By Elisha Hammond
Genevieve Gilbert-Quach was swept up in a lifestyle of prostitution after her biological father left her stranded without financial support.
"I didn't choose prostitution," Geneviève says sadly.
"It was chosen for me by a longing to be loved by my biological papa. I was going to make all the men pay for the child support money my father never provided."
Living a life mapped out by poverty, anger and sexual addiction, Geneviève made the "secret transition" into the world of prostitution relatively easily.
"If I can have one-night stands and friends-with-benefits, why not be paid for it?" she remembers asking herself.
This lifestyle came with its costs and she soon found herself miserable.
"I lied to many friends; basically to everyone," she admits.
"Adult entertainment 'workers' know how to bluff happiness."
Alongside masking her own unhappiness, Geneviève experienced rape and sexual harassment ("it is an intrinsic part of the trade", she says), along with constant psychological torment and was left with the emotional scars of PTSD.
Eventually this prostitution damaged her body as well.
"I got many sexually transmitted diseases, including herpes, which is incurable. Men were blind to my pain and I was blind to their emptiness," she explains.
Initially used only to pay off her student fees, prostitution had become something far more destructive than she ever could have imagined.
Two years of 'working' in prostitution brought Geneviève to her most vulnerable state.
In 2002 a university friend gave her the book Too Busy Not to Pray by Christian author Bill Hybels.
She read his quote from Luke chapter 11, "Which of you, if his son [or daughter] asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
Crying profound tears of joy, she felt this was an invitation from God to put her trust in Him as the Father she never had.
She remembers thinking, "I might have found a papa that loved me, really loved me!"
Her friend kept reaching out to her. A few months later Geneviève reluctantly agreed to attend a dinner with her friends where the introductory Alpha Christian course was taking place.
Out of curiosity Geneviève started to research more about who Jesus Christ is, by starting to attend church. She was drawn to His promises of forgiveness, a fresh start and eternal life in heaven. Understanding that Jesus had lived a perfect life on earth and was executed on a cross for her wrong doing against God, she realised how much God loved her and wanted her to be made right with Him.
"A day comes when the joy of knowing Jesus cannot be held inside your heart anymore," she expresses after committing her life to God.
"This is the day when you feel no shame in sharing the goodness of having accepted this Heavenly Father as your Saviour."
Finding a father figure in Christ, Geneviève reached out for help and through "intense, regular care and counselling" she found a job and says she "was healed from the oppression I was a victim of."
After becoming a Christian, Jesus helped her to turn away from her previous lifestyle. "2010 was the year I became prostitution-free."
"Jesus was and is a warrior for social justice," she affirms.
"With Him there is no more fear, no more anxiety, no more revenge, no more hatred, and no more shame in our hearts; just love."
God's love has not only healed Geneviève's past wounds, it has given her a new burden to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others in her past position.
"God has clearly spoken to me to carry my cross like Jesus has," she says, referring to her new lifestyle of allowing God to control the direction of her life.
"The stigma that prostitution carries makes this cross very, very heavy. I do need help to carry it."
However, Geneviève knows she can feel secure in her newfound faith with the knowledge that her Heavenly Father will not let her carry this cross alone.
She founded Pink Cross Foundation Australia, helping those suffering with the scars of prostitution and "work" in the adult film industry.
Counselling others with similar backgrounds to her, she is able to use her position to testify to the healing power of God's love and how it has worked personally in her life.
"Through God we learn to love others and ourselves better," she concludes.•