News broke on December 5th of August Ames' suicide. August Ames was a pornography actress and lived in Ventura, California. As news broke, it became apparent that Mrs. Ames was a victim of online bullying by other performers. Ms. Ames made the decision to draw some boundaries around what she would participate in and attracted a lot of criticism. She left a note to her parents stating she was sorry. She admitted a few weeks before her death that she was a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
Suicide in America is way too common. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 44,000 suicides in 2015. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Factors that contribute to people attempting suicide include depression, bipolar, substance abuse, and family history of suicide attempts.
Individuals involved in sex work increase the likelihood of suicide being considered and possibly attempted. The organization American Foundation for Suicide Prevention list experiences and factors that are common in sex work. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/ .
Residents that come into Refuge for Women will often describe times they contemplated suicide or, many times, made the attempt. They describe the harsh conditions and the feelings of hopelessness they would experience. The pain reached a point that they were willing to do anything to find relief. They will often credit God for sparing them from being successful in their attempt at suicide.
When I hear of individuals that are involved in sex work committing suicide, it becomes a mandate to continue providing places for people to heal. It is a reminder of the illusion that pornography creates, the pain the individuals on the screen are experiencing, and the toxic environment that sex workers reside in.
Lets keep the family of August Ames in our prayers.