Thursday, January 14, 2016
Throwing the First Stone
"Look here, do you want to play for a while? I will make it cheap, there are two you can choose from." A journalist on news gathering for the paper writes about his visit to a red-light district and the greeting he received from the pimp.
"I am just passing through, are you open for business even during the day?" He asks, refusing the invitation. He was offered the girls who were in their twenties, sitting in the porch of their place of work, scantily clad and with plenty of make-up, staring vacantly at the journalist.
Price for satisfying the desire of the man is about 66 dollars but over half of the money is shared with the owner of the establishment and the pimp. The money they receive often goes to pay off debts they have incurred for clothes and cosmetics. Buying a woman for sex is just another of our distorted consumer values.
In the Catholic Times' article on the issue, the journalist gives us an example of why the situation goes from bad to worse. He found a woman who left and began a new life. She was in her middle 30s, brought up Catholic. At age 8, her father died, and her mother put the children in the care of the grandparents and left the family.
The family was in debt; she didn't have much schooling, and without education, she found getting a job impossible. She did get a part-time job which was not enough to take care of her needs and help her family. Room Salon was her only hope; and told she could earn more than 2,500 dollars a month.
Reality was different. She received money in advance for living expenses and a place to stay; these became her shackles. She was forced to have cosmetic surgery on her whole body, paying off this debt she ended up in the red-light district of the city. Even when sick, on certain days she would have over ten clients. If the debt was not paid she would be beaten by the owner and reviled. Her body weakened, and her mental faculties were a mess. With counseling, and overcoming difficulties, and with the help of the police she left, but her situation was serious.
" I was a woman of the street, and this road which I chose, destroyed my life." She fought bitterly to change her life and the image she had of herself. With counseling, and training, she received certification and a job. She was one of the lucky ones, says the journalist. Government programs do not offer the money, and the return to the past is common.
She dreams of a society where the past does not prevent one from living in the present when changes are made. She finds her religion a great help in making the transition and the words of Jesus to those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery. The Journalist finishes the article with a hope that those who read the article will be ready to help those in similar circumstances. We are all members of God's family.