So its May 30th on a Thursday night, roughly around 10:30pm. The next morning, I got to wake up, rent a lens from Glazers camera, and head down to Portland to shoot a wedding for the weekend. I am there sitting in my drivers seat browsing Craigslist, looking for some new camera equipment. As I am surfing the web, I glace up and notice a lady standing on the corner of the street in front of me.  My first thought is that she must be waiting for a ride or something. But the more I watch her, I start to notice that see is acting a bit strange. This Lady of the Night, starts pacing back and forth looking around like she has lost something. She then starts to take off her jacket and throws it around her shoulder. Now I am thinking, what is she doing taking of her jacket, it must be a bit nippily outside in just a tanktop. It is at this point that she starts to make her way towards me Element.

As I am sitting there watching her, I can’t help but think she is lost or something and might need some directions. So as she is just about to pass by my Element, she says something towards me which I couldn’t understand. So being me, I roll down my passenger window and ask if she was lost. The Lady of the Night then makes the move and approaches my window and says, “No, I am working…I am a Ho!” Then she asks me what are you doing sitting in your car? Hmmm….How should I answer this question? If I tell this promiscuous women that I live in my Element, then this whole situation might just get a bit more awkward. Instead of telling her my living situation, I simply tell her, “I am looking for some camera equipment, I am a photographer.” Now I don’t know what she was thinking when I gave her my response, but I was trying to play it safe and keep her from asking me more personal questions.

A few months ago, I attended a sex trafficking seminar about how women get into the sex industry. It was at that seminar that I heard for the first time an ex-prostitute share he story of how she entered the business and how after 7 years she finally escaped this horrific sex industry. They say that girls as early as 13 years old start to enter the sex industry of prostitution here in the city of Seattle. It’s so crazy and sad to see what our world has come to, where men are buying sex from under age girls. So as I reflected back on my experience from the sex trafficking seminar, I ask this lady outside my Element, “How long have you been doing this?” In reply, she states about 5 years. The way that she responded to my question, seemed that she enjoyed what she was doing for a living. How can one be excited and trilled about selling oneself for sex?

The Lady of the Night then asks me, “Do you want me to get in, so we can talk?” Now upon hearing this question, a man has two options: The first would be to let this prostitute enter my Element and go from there…The second would be to say no thanks, I am not interested! Now if we look at the statistics here in America, the average percent of men that have bought sex at least once in there life is about 15-20% in the country. Although these numbers seem low, I did not want to be apart of this kind of insane statistic. The temptation is at hand, how would I respond? In return, I looked at this woman and told her that would not be a good idea. Upon hearing my response, she was a bit taken of guard. For some reason, she wasn’t expecting me to refuse her business. She quickly took my response and said that if I change my mind that she would be on the corner where I could find her.

When I look back at this whole situation, I can only praise God for protecting me of such a corrupt lifestyle. Sure I could of let this Lady of the Night enter my Element and simply have a conversation with her, but who knows where that conversation would have gone. As bad as I wanted to help this woman get out of the sex industry, I made the right decision and refused her business. As the Lady of the Night walked away from my Element, I quickly jump on internet and tried to find the number to REST to give to her. The seminar that I mentioned earlier about the sex industry, was put on by a non-profit organization called REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). This organization was created to take action against the commercial sexual exploitation of girls and young women in Seattle, WA. They work to provide a path to freedom, safety and hope for victims of sex trafficking and people involved in the sex trade. For anyone reading this blog article, if you know anyone involved in the sex trade and would like to help them in some way, please have them call the hotline 206-451-REST (7378) or a local resource in your area that help women escape the sex industry.