We are all on a journey, but the women we work with at Door of Hope tend to be on the road less travelled. It’s not a common route and that can make it a lonely road, where it’s rare to bump into people that know and understand you along the way. Being off the beaten track, it’s common for women to encounter regular be bumps in the road, or blocks along the way.
On Door of Hope outreach we see these difficult journeys play out in reality too: with women walking the streets selling sex, or being in transported in cars to clients by those who can control them.
In 2012, research by Eaves released in a report called ‘Breaking down the barriers’ dug into this topic, exploring women’s experiences of leaving prostitution, with a focus on the barriers women experienced on their journey out. They found nine major stumbling blocks for women: problematic substance misuse, debt, housing, mental and physical health issues to name a few. But crucially, what did they find was key to overcoming the barriers? The people and specialist organization’s that journey alongside them. “This research has found that there is a need for formal exiting services to help women out of prostitution and that exit is achievable. Women can and do wish to leave prostitution and express the need for both formal and informal forms of support to do so”
That’s where Door of Hope comes in. Our role is to journey alongside women on the path she is on. We stand alongside women, working at her pace, in her space on the blocks and bumps that she feels hinder her journey out of prostitution. Our team provide the consistent support and reliable advice that she needs to find a lasting route out of prostitution.
This week we consider how we can make sacrifices to our daily journeys to support theirs – donating the money saved from the changes to our commute or regular trips we make or sponsorship we receive to fund the journey out of prostitution that Door of Hope is on with dozens of women in east London.
Stand in solidarity with women this month by taking part in the #NovemberCampaign or by making a gift of £18 to support the Door of Hope project, for which we hope to raise £18,000 through the #NOvemberCampaign.