The FBI once quoted that the average lifespan of a prostitute is seven years. I don’t know how they got their numbers or where they found their research, but instead of debating it, just stop and think about it for a minute. There is no other profession in the world with the average lifespan of only seven years. A 2004 mortality study showed that homicide rates for women in prostitution are 51 times that of the next most dangerous occupation for women, which is working in a liquor store. Can you imaging signing up for a job knowing there is a good chance in seven years you will be dead?
There are a number of of contributing factors to this including suicide, violence between the woman and either her trafficker or a “john”, and inadequate medical attention. The top two reasons sited for the seven-year lifespan were due to very high homicide and HIV/AIDS rates. This to me is unacceptable.
At Awaken, we’ve seen two deaths in the five years we’ve been operating. The first was due to possible heart failure. The second, was this week. We still don’t have all of the details, but the heartbreak is the same. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known this sweet girl for two years, like I have, or just met her last month. This young woman was bright and energetic. She came from a terrible upbringing full of abuse and neglect, yet still carried a sense of optimism. Together, we shared meals, laughter, and our stories.
She will be greatly missed. I know we have all experienced different degrees of death and have very different ways of processing it. For me, it helps to recount the good times and laughter we shared. I hope this week we can honor her by continuing to share stories of the loved ones that we have personally lost. They may have passed from this life, but the memories we have will remain forever.
PC: The Wren Project