# Prostitution and real rehabilitation
Does finishing advanced studies and finding a job in the free market mean rehabilitation and opening a new path in life?
One of the common mistakes that repeats over and over again is the assumption that if someone has completed academic/professional studies and found a job in their field of study, then they decided to make a "change" and successfully followed through on their decision.
It seems that the reason for this belief stems from a wrong social perception that prostitution is only a matter of financial hardship, and therefore the way out of prostitution is to adopt a "normative" life expectancy - such as a decent job and advanced studies.
In fact, quite a few women, due to the dissociation mechanisms they adopted in their childhood, and which allowed them to function alongside the reality of abuse and neglect - even in their adulthood are able, at least for certain periods of their lives, to live a double life.
That is, a life that includes being in the world of prostitution alongside leading a normative life of advanced studies or work.
It is important for us to clarify that even if a woman left the world of prostitution, and managed despite all the difficulties to integrate into academia or a job that is considered respectable - even then this does not necessarily indicate rehabilitation.
Even after actually leaving the world of prostitution, the mental difficulties that women have to deal with are deep and wide - and even then, many times what makes functioning possible are the disconnection mechanisms - which make it possible to display exemplary functioning even when the emotional world is dismantled.
We do not mean to exclude those who are studying or working as part of a profound change and as part of a significant rehabilitation process, but we do want to emphasize that prostitution is a violation of trust, in the relationship between a person and those around him.
Therefore, real rehabilitation (rehabilitation and not change!), one that produces a change that is not apparent, must include much more than "occupational rehabilitation" or financial assistance - but rather a profound emotional process that accompanies life - which will help to build the self from the ruins of the past, as well as help to try restore trust in the world.
* The post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia" surviving our community.
# prostitution and help
Whether you've been in the group for a short period of time, or whether it's been years, you've probably read various posts - of first-person testimonies or posts asking for help. These posts often reflect the acute, concrete and emotional distress that survivors often find themselves in.
In light of the emotional difficulty that these posts evoke in readers, many times the instinct is the desire to save the woman, not stand by and remove her from the circle of prostitution.
At the same time, it must be remembered that receiving aid is a complex matter. It can be assumed that many of them will be able to understand the complexity involved in getting help, and maybe even identify with it - but for women in prostitution, getting help is often much more difficult than for the general population. This difficulty arises because many of the women in prostitution have lost basic trust - both in humans, and in the ability to allow themselves, or even imagine, a different future. Many of them do not recognize a reality in which someone can be there for them without asking for anything in return, and due to the damaged trust in relation to the world - they find it difficult to accept this thought.
That's why we in the community make sure to go "at their pace". That is, we try not to push, when the main message we convey is "We are here. When you want - if you want, we will know how to connect with those who need it to get out of this world.'
Some of them are not interested in rehabilitation - at a specific stage or at all. This lack of responsiveness often leaves us frustrated and helpless. However, at the same time we also understand how difficult, long and arduous this journey is. Therefore, we always continue to lend a hand and go with everyone at their own pace.
This giving of a hand, is often the one that proves what most of the time it is already possible to even dare to dream - that there is a place in the world of unconditional acceptance, of a home and of a back - that as long as the woman wants, she is no longer alone in the world.
It is interesting that sometimes the very giving itself, without any demand, is the one that restores - even if only a little - the ability to believe in what never existed or was accessible in their world. Building this capacity, although it is not a stated goal of the association, is the one that many times gradually enables the opening of the door to other lives, to hope and faith - in humans, and in the world in general.
* This post was written in collaboration with "Shelgia" surviving our community society. Thank you.
# Prostitution and spouses in rehabilitation processes
This time we will dedicate this post to the role of spouses in the rehabilitation process of prostitution survivors.
We know that quite a few survivors ask their spouses to join this group and read posts to understand them better. This post is for you.
We do not believe in the legend of the "knight on the white horse, the one who saves a woman" - in fact, no one can save anyone in connection with prostitution, if the person himself does not want, can and is able to receive help.
At the same time, it is important for us to say that supporting the spouse is a critical component in the rehabilitation of a survivor.
So how do you support?
Here are some tips:
Don't judge or mention the past in prostitution with the terms "you chose", "you wanted" - but: "These were the circumstances of your life, you tried to help yourself in the way you could and knew, with the tools you had"
Don't push the partner: "Let's go, the past, what was - was." Trauma has its own rhythm, it takes time to process the past, to be able to process and share. In everything related to sexuality - understand and respect the space, contain the triggers and be as careful as possible. Honest communication is key: encourage your partner to share what is appropriate and what is not. You should get specific professional advice on this complex issue.
You are not ashamed of your partner's past, but you certainly do not tell her story without her permission. This is her life and she is the one who will decide who to tell, how and when - and everything is under her control. Avoid probing and asking, preferring to say: "If you want, when you want, I'll listen to you, I'm here."
We encourage you to be active partners in your partner's journey.
* The post was written in collaboration with A., a survivor of our community.
# The first year out of prostitution
Prostitution rehabilitation process is essentially similar to addiction rehab. All the habits of life change: the people around, the agenda, the routine changes. Everything.
"It's not easy to change life from one end to the other, sometimes it feels like it's on the border of the impossible" survivors shared with us.
Quite a few "stumbles" occur mainly when there are psychological "urges" to return there, certain triggers that float and rise or there is an economic need that sends one back to this world.
Fortunately, as time passes without prostitution, it is easier to overcome and it becomes a task that feels "almost impossible"
Wishing everyone the best of luck, sending hugs and strength in this complex journey. You are not alone