4 Things You Didn't Know About a Strip Club

As a follow-up to last week's podcast with Ron Hargett about strip clubs, today we are posting once again on the subject. Many of our guests have spent time working in clubs. Part of our focus at Refuge for Women is educating our supporters about issues of sexuality in our culture - in particular how they relate to our guests. Today, we are pulling back the curtain on the "image" of what it means to be a stripper with 4 Things You Didn't Know About a Strip Club: 1. Ladies pay for stage time at the club

The women are subcontractors and tip the security and DJ when they leave for the night.  The women pay the club to utilize space for making money.  There are nights when the earnings don’t equal the required payments to everyone.

2. It’s not uncommon to start out as a waitress

A strip club is an abnormal environment that takes getting used to.  If management can get a woman comfortable in the environment, there is a better chance she will be okay getting on stage and stripping.  She becomes desensitized to the abnormality and willing to do what she was unwilling a few months earlier.  The possibility of making greater money on stage exceeds the waitressing tips.

3. The women are intoxicated to do the job.

Women that are under the influence in a strip club have fewer inhibitions and can generate more revenue.  By the time a woman comes to Refuge for Women, over 90% have an active addiction.  The addiction likely didn’t begin in the club, but it got a lot worse.  Some of these addictions are alcohol related, but drugs like heroin are common today.

4. No one plans to stay long as a stripper

“I needed to pay a few bills and figured I could make some fast cash.”  This is a common phrase that we hear from guests at Refuge for Women.  A woman intended to stay for 3 months and it became 3-6 years instead.  She tried to leave a few times and when times became challenging she returned.

Something New

The tears hit the pillow, how could they understand?They don’t give her the love she needs, so she found it in a man. She drinks to kill memories, acts out to kill the pain. Why did they even have her? Probably in vain. She needed so much more, than to be an accessory in their life. She tested herself human, by cutting with a knife. She goes to the doctor’s office, she thinks it’s just the flu. But she learns about the gift of life, a coming of something new. She tried to keep her secret, but mom already knew. A baby boy was coming, what was I to do? I promised I would love him, we’d never be apart. But how was I to know that, when – I had an empty heart. I turned to another man, to fill the empty space. I became dependent on his time, his love and his embrace. We became a family, the start of something new. I gave all I had to give, then he left me too. I had no more fight in me, had no will to live. How could I do anything? I had nothing left to give. I started doing pain pills, another something new. I felt a huge void in my life, it’s because I hadn’t met you. I cried for your protection, to see your lovely face. Why wouldn’t you come and hold me, I needed your embrace. My flesh won a battle, one I wasn’t ready for, Because I discovered heroin, and my body needed more. I masked my pain with chemicals, my life became a mess. You heard my cries from heaven, your child was in distress. You sent your angels to save me, something I couldn’t do. How could it be that easy? All I needed was you. You stood by me in the prison, a hell called withdrawal. You comforted me when I was in so much pain, I was clawing at the wall. You pushed me to my limit, giving me a test. Was I ready to give you my heart? And die to my own flesh? I made the decision to trust you and let you take the reigns, I never thought you could restore me or free me from my pain. I feel you all around me, better than any high, So with that I tell my heroin, I have to say goodbye.

Written by a guest at Refuge for Women

Refuge for Women Chicago Update

We are excited to let you know that in the next 18 months, there will be a Refuge for Women house in Chicago!  Last week, we held our first board meeting where a group of individuals that are committed to seeing a place of escape for sexually exploited women came together.  Anne Polencheck is leading the charge and leadership is being put in place to oversee the prayer ministry, communications, development, and more.

It is important to have branches of Refuge for Women outside of Kentucky to better serve those in need.  Each exploited woman has a set of needs and at times those needs do not permit her to travel long distances.  These needs may consist of children in the area or legal challenges that don’t permit traveling over state lines.  A local house will be available for those that need to stay.  Individuals that need to escape the area will be able to relocate to a different state that has a Refuge for Women.

We have a  3-phase approach to establishing the ministry in the Chicago area.  In the first phase, we will be laying a foundation with a board of directors holding monthly meetings and establishing a 501 © 3 non-profit.  In the second phase, we will begin to establish partners in the Chicago community.  These partners will provide resource and work opportunities for guests that come through the program.  The cost of establishing the ministry in Chicago will be around $300,000.00 annually.  In the third phase, we will begin implementation and beds will be available to be filled.  We plan for this to occur in 2015.

If you are interested in getting involved or staying updated on progress please check out Refuge for Women - Chicago Facebook page or our website.