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I have shared in the past some of my thoughts on prostitution, but it is a difficult topic because the sex trade comes tangled with so many issues. A friend shared this documentary on facebook, and I believe it is worth the 45 minutes to watch in its entirety. Focused on the sex trade in Windsor, Ontario, the film includes interviews with street prostitutes, a former call girl, and a woman who worked in brothels over several years. The interviews do a great job of humanizing these women who are often written off as trash – yes many of them have drug addictions, but they are also mothers, widows, journalism students. Many of them are irreparably damaged inside and out, but their personhood is still there, and that is so easy to forget when we just think of cliches. Watch the documentary!

Many of the women say that they would like help with their drug addiction, that they would like to get off the streets but are trapped, and this is one of the hardest things for me, to see how hard it really is. I’m still processing what my take-away from this documentary is, but I don’t want it to be despair. So much needs to change in order for these women to be free (and although this documentary doesn’t address it, there are also men trapped in prostitution) but I don’t want to cop out and just shake my head at how sad the situation is. I am also so convinced that prevention is the best solution, but again just don’t know what on earth I can do. (One social solution mentioned in the film is longer-term transitional housing for girls getting out of the business, and I think women are so justified in receiving support as they need to completely rebuild their lives.)

Did you make it all the way to the end? After the credits roll there is a follow-up interview with Susan that I almost missed. What are your thoughts? Would you weigh in, even just to say you don’t know what to say?

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