“We wouldn’t have been here, if we would have had good fathers, they said.”
Newsletter by Frits Rouvoet
“I do have a dream, but it was stolen. Broken. I don’t even dare to dream anymore.” That’s what one of the women told us. The Red Light district is more crowded than ever and the municipality of Amsterdam is making plans to change that. In the meanwhile, the hurt for the women continues, every day. That is why we lanced something special, last week: a workshop Realizing Dreams. Journalist Elise Meester interviewed Frits about this workshop.
Frits, a workshop Realizing Dreams, do tell?
“We noticed that a lot of women have a dream, but it got lost along the way. They had a difficult start in life. Domestic violence, dysfunctional families, it is more of a rule than an exception. I remember one time when a few women, who were still working in prostitution, joined us for lunch, and one said: ‘I think we wouldn’t have been here, if we would have had good fathers.’ They explained: one had a distant dad, the next an alcoholic father and an other was abused. This obviously harms you and your ability to dream immensely. They never learnt to make something of their lives. Sometimes we hear: This is the only thing I’m capable of.”
I once read that research showed that the 15 personality traits of a cult, so the reason why people don’t escape a cult, exactly match the ones in prostitution.
“That’s right. It is so difficult for a woman to break that circle. Their world has become so small. You eat, watch Netflix, go to bed, only to wake up the next day in the late afternoon to go back behind your window. On top of that, there are a lot of prejudices about women who have worked in prostitution. We have made it a ‘normal’ job, but we don’t treat it like a normal job. Good luck explaining to your employer why you have a gap of multiple years in your resume. A lot of employers don’t want to hire an ex-prostitute, because they are afraid of the hassle. So, even if the women want to quit, and do something else, they will feel that mark forever. Dana once asked me: ‘Frits, do you think people can see that I’m a prostitute?’ I thought: that’s a strange question, she looks normal, right? But still she felt judged by society. They really need someone to believe in them and especially to stand by their side. When you’re feeling down, you need people who can carry you over that edge, or at least who can look over it. That is our goal: that they will be able to look further than their circumstances. That dream is there.”
What do you hope the women will learn during this workshop?
“I hope that they will find that God sees them. You’re standing there in tiny lingerie, but that says absolutely nothing about who you are. That’s just your situation. Who you are is on the inside and that’s what God sees. He has dreams for you, bigger than you could ever dream for yourself. We want to stand beside them to realize those dreams! The workshop was already received with a lot of enthusiasm. For example, we handed out a flyer to one of the girls. When we passed by a second time, three women were looking at the flyer! Obviously we hope that these three, but also a lot of other women, will participate!”
We don’t like to ask…
But Bright Fame doesn’t receive a governmental subsidy. This gives us the freedom to share our faith, but also to help the women without dictated requirements. Bright Fame runs on passion…but we also need the finances.
Would you consider to become a friend of Bright Fame? You can support us monthly. With 5 euros or 100, every amount is welcome! The money will be used for job coaching, social work and legal advise if they want to step out. We are an ANBI acknowledge foundation, so you can deduct is from your taxes.