Tuesday, May 3, 2005

New Name — New Life

A New Name — A New Life — A Dire Need

By Carol Wiley
Director of Victim Assistance
Citizens for Community Values of Memphis

The Victim Assistance Program sponsored by Citizens for Community Values now goes under the name, A WAY OUT. The program will continue to operate under the umbrella of Citizens for Community Values of Memphis and its board of directors. The ministry focus will remain helping victims to recover from the harms of pornography and the sex-oriented businesses. A Way Out Victim Assistance Program sponsored by CCV has been providing a way out for these victims for about seven years now and has to date assisted 55 victims leave the world of topless dancing and escort services. Of these 55 victims, only 3 have returned to topless dancing as their career. The others have made or are in the process of making the transition from the subculture of the sex-oriented businesses and are now integrated into society pursuing other professions, managing homes and marriages, as well as seeking to grow in their faith. In most cases one would never suspect they had ever been a part of the “music of the night.”

One of our graduates actually has a career as a ballroom dance instructor with Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Her dream was to be a dance instructor and to compete in Ballroom Dance Showcases. She came to “A Way Out” in 1994, a young dancer who was pregnant, broke, afraid, and not knowing how she would survive. She was given the immediate help she needed which included housing, pregnancy care, financial support, and job skill training and she was sent for ongoing counseling. She was mentored and surrounded by a loving support system and was faithful to attend her counseling sessions. After giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, she worked in an office to help provide for her new baby. She never gave up her dream of ballroom dancing.

In 1998 “A Way Out” paid for her to attend Dance Vision Camp in Las Vegas. While at camp she was discovered by the current American Rhythm Champions, Bob Powers and Julia Gorchakova. They recommended her to Bill Wynn, Arthur Murray Franchisee, who offered her an instructing position a few weeks after she returned to Memphis from camp. She has been instructing since September 1999, and placed 4th in her very first professional competition. She recently transferred to the Manchester Studio to be closer to her home so she could spend more time with her son, now six years old.

This precious young woman returned to Memphis this month and put together a Ballroom Showcase which was held in the gym at Christ Methodist Church. She invited everyone who had supplied support and encouragement for her in her path from dancing in the dark to living and dancing in the light. She is not only a talented dancer, but she is an excellent mother, friend, and growing Christian.

A Way Out desires to help any victim who wants to see God’s love and grace change their lives. We are in dire need of Godly women to help mentor and work in varying degrees with those desiring a changed life. Call Carol Wiley at 685-1493 or email carol@ccvmemphis.org.

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