This post is by current Refuge for Women guest, Bridget Walker. Bridget's story was instrumental in the passage of safe harbor legislation in the state of Georgia. This post is Bridget's story of how this occurred.
Hello! My name is Bridget Walker. God allowed me to be a part of passing the safe harbor law in Georgia. Girls ages 17 and under will not be charged with prostitution. Unfortunately, I was one of the young girls who from ages 13 to 17 were charged with prostitution. I was in and out of juvenile hall and treated as though I was a criminal. I was a little girl lost and confused- misled and misused. Ms. Lisa Williams became my mother at age 17 when my birth father signed his parental rights over to her. I ran away from her. My mind couldn’t wrap my head around her loving me. I didn’t feel worth loving. My mother was very persistent. She gave me a job offer to become a Peer Advocate two years ago. It was two weeks until I was to go to Atlanta to start this job, and I relapsed. The year of 2015, during Phase One at Refuge for Women, she visited me. I hadn’t seen her since I relapsed. She was working with the senator on passing the safe harbor law. I was so happy and I explained to her how juvenile hall was not good for me. She recorded my voice. She went back to Atlanta and shared my message with those of influence and the law was passed. What a blessing! I was able to go to Atlanta to be a part of the celebration. While in Atlanta, I met my sister named Rachel. She and I have the same story. We both got to celebrate this victory with Ms. Lisa at the YWCA awards presentation.
Ms. Lisa talked to Rachel and me about opportunity. That when opportunity comes we need to take it. This inspired me. Isaiah 43:19 “For I am about to do something new, see, I have already begun, do you not see it?” It was God speaking to me loud and clear. This is the new thing he is doing! He has taken my hurt and my pain and made it into something that will help others like me in the future. I desire for God to use me as His voice to the unheard. He has done this and I have a feeling it is just the beginning of His plans for me.