Vision of Jesus helped transform me, says former Boscombe prostitute

SHOCKING: Nefarious takes a look at trafficking in Cambodia and across the world

SHOCKING: Nefarious takes a look at trafficking in Cambodia and across the world

First published in Faith Matters by

A HARD-hitting film to be shown at a local church explores the horrors of the sex trafficking industry.

One of the interviewees in Nefarious: Merchant of Souls is a woman who was a prostitute and heroin addict on the streets of Bournemouth and whose life was changed by faith.

The film grew out of the work of Exodus Cry, a group based in Kansas, USA, which works to get people out of the sex industry.

Sex trafficking is said to be the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, with nearly two million children enslaved.

The woman who became a prostitute in Boscombe tells how she was in and out of local authority homes and had been raped while in care.

She ran away and was forced into sex from the age of 13 in Manchester’s Moss Side and in London.

“In London, these two guys said they had a girlfriend who could put me up. They locked me in a wardrobe and raped me,” she said.

“In Moss Side I was taken by these two people and that was the first time they brought punters along. I was 13.

“I know it sounds strange to a normal-minded person but when you’re a child and you’ve experienced that kind of abuse, you think it’s quite normal.”

Her life descended into heroin addiction and prostitution in Boscombe.

Now 55 ,she did not get off the streets until she was 40 and off drugs until 46.

She credits the transformation to a vision she had of Jesus which helped her seek help.

“This is a message about the restoration Jesus can bring people,” she said.

“I believe in the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ and I know that it’s because of my relationship with him that I’m a transformed person.

“I was a drug addict for 31 years and a prostitute for 36 years. Most people I know are dead.”

The organisation which made the film, Exodus Cry, started from a prayer meeting in 2007 and works to help women out of the sex industry.

Blaire Pilkington, its Kansas-based director of intervention, said the film featured the stories of women still in the sex industry and those who had got out.

“We see in the film that trafficking is an exploitation of vulnerability.

“We really take away the stigma that they choose to be there.

“It wasn’t so much a choice as these traffickers packing them into this place of exploitation,” she said.

She said many trafficked women and children had found “real freedom through God”.

“We feel that’s a really positive message because so much of this can be really heavy and depressing,” she added.

• Nefarious: Merchant of Souls is shown on Saturday July 14, 7pm, at the Harbour Theatre, BCC Life Centre, 711-715 Wimborne Road, Moordown.

Admission is free and places can be booked at nfhop.org or nefariousdocumentary.com/screenings/uk-tour/

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