Women in Crisis

Sexual Exploitation - Nina

Prostitution and survival.

Nina had been involved in prostitution from a very young age. She had been finding it increasingly hard being out on the streets the more she began to acknowledge the damage it was causing her. Nina was regularly using heroin but she found that even this did not help her to forget what she was suffering. Nina felt frustrated by how long it was taking to ‘sort out’ her problems and became increasingly angry each time she went back out onto the streets.

Nina was introduced to Eaves and a LEA worker through another service. Her first meeting with the LEA worker helped to explore her aims, but she didn’t think they would amount to much, mainly as she was due to leave London to attend a detox and rehabilitation centre.

Moving on

A couple of months later, Nina received a text message from the LEA worker she had met from Eaves, wishing her well and asking how she was getting on in treatment. Nina felt touched by this thoughtful gesture. She had returned to London and was back sleeping rough, using drugs and selling herself, but there had been a recent incident when she had been assaulted by a punter which had left her feeling quite shaken and made her feel more vulnerable.

Nina contacted the LEA worker and was told to come to the office as soon as possible. She was supported in securing a place in a shelter, referred into a training programme along with a variety of workshops and creative groups, which enabled her to build her confidence by considering a future other than prostitution. Nina was helped to access counselling and emotional support, as well as supported through the process of engaging with police and medical professionals, which she had previously found daunting.

Nina told us how her worker believed in her when she didn’t believe in herself and was patient, caring, encouraging and respectful.

“My worker repeatedly told me that exiting was a “process” and for some it can take time. I’m exceptionally grateful that I was given time and not turned away because I’d run out of chances or had taken too long due too it being a time-limited service. I wouldn’t have made it had that been the case.”

Nina is now working as a support worker for women and she refers women that she encounters on to Eaves where necessary as she is confident that they will receive a good service here.

For women like Nina, once they decide to exit prostitution, the journey can still be a long and complex one. They need someone who can provide long-term and quality support. Nina told us “I took a risk and trusted her in a way that I’d never done before and it paid off.” Women like Nina are at crisis point.

Halt the crisis

Names and images and have been changed to ensure anonymity

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