When I was on the street, I had this ongoing fascination with the idea of writing my own version of “The Anarchist’s Handbook,” to teach other women choosing to get involved with drugs and street life how to go about getting into addiction and “The Life” of prostitution on the street. As time (and the depth of my addiction) wore on, and the novelty and “fun” of doing drugs wore off, my obsession changed. I soon wanted to publish ideas and information on how to get out of the street life, out of active addiction, and especially out of that extremely exploitative and degrading form of sex work that made me eventually feel that I was less than a human being.
I need help! I am looking for other women to tell their stories with me on paper, in photography or other visual art forms, in music and spoken word performance, perhaps even on film. I am looking for former street prostitutes like myself who are out of the Life, or current street prostitutes who are seriously motivated to leave the Life right now, to talk to me, to tell me how we can make this happen — for ourselves ,and for others who come after us, in the future.
If you, or someone you know, might be interested in collaborating with me and contributing to The CHCB Project in any way, consider asking them to contact me, ASAP, please! (If the person does not have access to the Internet, e-mail me for a direct phone number they can call or text, and I’ll send it to you.)
(PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT a law officer OR an informant! All calls to help me with my project are CONFIDENTIAL, and NOBODY will be asked to supply any identifying information! My goal is to help bring others up, to listen, to offer empathy and perhaps even hope. I dream of finding a way to get our stories out: to others like ourselves, and to people outside the Life who might be able to help.)
I don’t condemn the act of a person prostituting him or herself – prostitution cannot exist without a demand for prostitution. As long as there are sexual hangups, there will always be a demand for prostitution. Why condemn a fact of life?
What I do feel I need to do, rather than laying blame, is to find a way to give at least one other woman who is truly motivated to get off the street right now, who wants to find a new, real life, out in the world… to offer a realistic hope for a better future, and perhaps even some assistance in helping her make her own dreams happen… to help her get away from the existence that tears down her sense of self, that destroys her will to truly live life.
I’m not sure yet what forms my efforts to help other women get out of the Life will take just yet. I’m working on putting together an anthology of poetry for my first project (Working title: “The Crack-Ho’s Cookbook: Stories of Survival, Sorrow, and Strength”). Have an idea of how I might be able to help others who are currently in the situation I was in at that time? Please add a comment below, or contact me directly!
Venushakti Autumn Velatura