Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Ex-Dancer's Plea

An Ex-Dancer's Plea

By Carol Wiley, Director
A Way Out Victim Assistance Program

Circumstances of life always present opportunities to trust God or to take matters into our own hands by trying to make our world work apart from God. Traumatic events such as physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse or abandonment program the victims make unhealthy choices based on the futility of their own minds and the deceitfulness of their own hearts. (Jeremiah 17:9) They become predisposed to believe the lies of the world (money and fame is the cure), the flesh (relationship at all costs is the cure), and the devil (God is your enemy and perpetrator). Lifestyle changes start when a person predisposed to make life choices based on lies is confronted with God’s love and truth. Here is one dancer’s story and challenge.

"I was introduced to the topless club by a friend who had been dancing for six months. I needed money for rent, food, my utility and phone bill, so I thought, Why not?” My friend told me how much money she made and sure enough, I made $600.00 the first night I danced. Needless to say, I got “Hooked”. I was making $400.00 to $600.00 a night. ”It gave me a false sense of security because I got so much attention. I made friends, a term I’ll use lightly. We went out to regular dance clubs and shopping to buy expensive furniture, clothes and jewelry. Sounds like a great job doesn’t it?

“Well, it wasn’t. While I had all the money to have the “nice things in life”, the price I paid with what dancing was doing to my mind was much higher. That’s why almost every dancer feels she has to take drugs or use alcohol to go up on stage. It got harder and harder for me to go to work, but I kept on dancing thinking this was the only way I could make money.

“A sadder aspect of dancing is seeing 30-40 year old women with no other skills dancing to support husbands and boyfriends who beat them and took their money and/or take care of their children. These women’s families turned their backs on them and they couldn’t think of any other way to make the money they needed to pay the bills, feed their children and give them a warm, safe place to sleep at night.

“We need as much help as we can to get these women and 17 and 18 year old children out of this destructive, exploitive business. They need help acquiring skills so they can work well-paying regular 9-5 jobs so they can go home, feed their kid and tuck them into bed at night. Then these women can get up in the morning look at themselves in the mirror and like what they see. Then they can feel like “normal” contributing members of society.

“I have stopped dancing and so have a lot of other girls that I danced with. I go to work and go to school. The other girls do one or both as well. We live comfortably and happily in nice, furnished apartments, we have transportation, and there’s always food in the fridge, but we need to help these other girls who are drinking, doing drugs, and selling their bodies. Without organizations like Citizens for Community Values and their volunteers I would still be in the business thinking, “There’s no where else to go.”

All sixty women helped in the “A Way Out Program” have suffered abuse and abandonment. All have tried furiously to make their world work apart from God, but the courageous ones have chosen God’s truth over the lies they once believed and are now living life, not just surviving.

Consider making a difference in a young woman’s life in 2002 by joining our volunteer force or by referring any young woman who desires to leave the sex industry or who has been harmed by pornography to us. Call Carol Wiley at 685-1493 or email: carol@ccvmemphis.org.

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