Love is the answer

Acceptance of abuse is not normal, says former escort

Now in training as a counsellor, Sarah is remarkably transformed

Deciding to rebel after enduring abuse after her parent’s divorce, Sarah ended up in a vicious cycle of prostitution and drug addiction until a new understanding of love enabled her to escape.

Unable to overcome the effects of abuse by a trusted family member, she began drinking heavily at age 15 and had a baby as a teen.

A relationship ended after six years, because, she says, “I could not believe that I was loved.”

Sarah then lived with an exciting and intriguing man, until he became increasingly abusive and threatened to take away her two children if she tried to leave.

Lacking money and support as she had moved a long way from home, she decided to fund her family’s escape by working for an escort agency, visiting clients’ premises while her partner and kids were not home.

Recalling her first experiences in 2003, Sarah says, “It was horrible at the start. You feel dirty, that there’s something sordid about it, but I quickly toughened up.”

After raising enough money to send her children interstate so that she could leave her partner, she returned home but was unable to leave in time.

“The guy I was with beat me severely and tried to kill me. I got away with blood everywhere. People who saw me running were too scared to help me.”

Bringing her children back to a new place, Sarah resumed working as an escort feeling like it was her turn to hold the power.

“When I began questioning what was going on in me, I realised it wasn’t about the money. When asked, so many girls agreed with me that there’s some sort of power gained out of this.”

Not understanding why power was involved, she dug deeper and discovered that nearly every girl had been abused, most sexually. She realised that this was not a choice women were making from a healthy place within themselves.

“No woman really wants to sell her body,” Sarah explains. “These women are actually telling men, ‘Yes, abuse me’, not ‘yes, this is a good decision for me.’”

She also found that nearly every girl had lost all their children because welfare had taken them.

“Most of them come in on drugs, between ages 18 to 25, and need the job to support their drug habit. I was known as the only escort who wasn’t on drugs when I started, until I found that drugs made the job easier.

“The job funds the drug abuse, and the drug abuse supports the job. Drugs enable you to be ‘the life of the party’. It’s a vicious cycle.

“Drugs were also an escape from facing the separation of my parents, the abuse — just to keep myself numbed, to not have to face the pain I was carrying.”

“Then, one day I had a vision of myself as a healthy whole human being. I believe it was a vision from God. Until then, I had actually wanted to be messed up. The way I came across to others was ‘I’m a mess, deal with it.’”

Sarah reasoned she had nowhere to turn but to God and the Bible she had read as a child.

“I read in the book of Revelation, ‘This is the problem I [Jesus] have with you, you have forgotten your first love’ (chapter 2, verse 4).

“I just bawled my eyes out. I knew that God was reminding me that, after my parents’ separation and the abuse, I had turned my back on Him.”

After being an escort for over two years, during which time she had a third child, Sarah asked God to take control of her life.

She recalls praying, “Ok, God, I’ve made such a mess of life. I’m not prepared to go down any further. I’ve seen the girls around me, they all have lost their kids and more. I don’t understand Your ways, but I give up, I’m willing to surrender anyhow.”

She left escort work, gave up drugs, and although her family struggled financially, they never went without food.

“I remember praying, ‘God, where are you?’ And I just kept plodding along and slowly God revealed Himself to me.”

Going to a counsellor for help, Sarah began attending the Christian church he led, and through this church she learned about Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

“I couldn’t afford a bill, and the church would say, ‘We’ll pay’. I would reply, ‘I don’t deserve that’ and they would say, ‘It’s not because you deserve it but because God loves you.’”

With this new knowledge of God’s love, Sarah surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ and trusted in God’s unbreakable promises.

“I know I am going to be with God forever because I believe what He said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved’ (Romans 10:9). Even though I don’t deserve it, the sinless Jesus came and died on the cross in place of us because He loves us.

Sarah says she is now a completely different person, despite the sad memories she still has.

“God has shown me that I’m worth something and He is overcoming those pangs of fear I have that I’m not worthy of His love. The neediness I had to be with some guy has been filled by God.”

Sarah is now in training to be a qualified counsellor.

“God has changed me through His power. It’s not me; it’s Him working in me that He will use to help others,” she concludes.

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