If I could tell a young woman anything, it would be that she is treasured. She is worthy…valuable…and that no matter what she may think or go through, there is a reason she is here. Many young women move to Los Angeles with broken hearts and the desire to find the dream…that one thing that will finally bring purpose to her life.
However, Hollywood makes a lot of promises it can’t keep. Our culture tells us lies and masks them in shiny lights and dollar signs. Many women are lied to and told that their worth and value lies in their bodies…but Treasures Ministries offers a different perspective.
Last Saturday night, my husband and I were honored to be able to attend the Treasures Gala, celebrating 10 years of this amazing ministry. Treasures reaches out to women in the sex industry and tells them these 3 things…that they are:
While this may be a topic that some people would rather turn their eyes away from, the statistics are too overwhelming to ignore.
Did you know that there are more women in the sex industry today than any other time in history? The commercial sex industry in America is generating $13.3 billion a year, which is more than the NFL, NBA, and major league baseball combined.
Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography.
11,000 adult movies are released in Hollywood each year, which is 20 times more than mainstream movie production.
Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates $27.8 billion per year.
90% of women in the sex industry were sexually abused as children.
70% of interviewees in a study noted that childhood sexual abuse had an influence on their entry into prostitution.
70% of females who are trafficked are trafficked into commercial sex industry (this includes porn and strip clubs).
89% of women in the sex industry said they wanted to escape, but had no other means for survival.
Women in the sex industry experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at rates equivalent to veterans of combat war.
These aren’t just numbers. These are people. These are friends. These are women who desperately need to know that they are loved, valued, and purposed.
The Treasures Ministry began with Harmony Dust leaving notes on the cars of girls at a strip club she used to work at. The notes reminded the girls that they were loved, valued, and purposed. Now, Treasures reaches over 6,000 women working in 170 clubs throughout Los Angeles and Las Vegas. This ministry provides support groups, mentors, and ongoing care to provide tools and healing to the ladies recovering from this destructive lifestyle. Treasures brings gifts to these girls, doesn’t judge or condemn, and instead makes them feel special.
One young woman said:
“I have always wanted to meet the girls who have been bringing us gifts. For 6 years we have looked forward to these gifts. Nobody EVER gave us anything or did anything nice for us. You were the only ones who cared.”
This ministry inspires me and reminds me of the impact we can have when we encourage one another. As young women, what would happen if we would stop judging and condemning, and instead offered a gift, a helping hand, a smile, and encouragement?
None of us are perfect…and God doesn’t use perfect people. Treasures reaches out to broken women and not only inspires them, but comes along side them and teaches them how to become leaders and liberators. What does amazing grace really mean? I once was lost but now I’m found? We can become strong, world changing women out of the most broken circumstances.
Who can you encourage today? Who is in your life that needs the gentle reminder that they are loved, valued, and purposed?
Click here to learn more about Treasures.