I love that Jada Pinkett Smith ‘s eyes are being opened to what is going on in our world as it relates to Sex Trafficking. Here in her CNN Video Documentary she talks about how she learned that “stripping” was a gateway to being trafficked for some women. Jada shares how the “strip” culture is now glamorized in our music and in videos. Just a few years ago, I remember being with some friends riding past a strip club and I immediately became wrecked. I knew that one day, I would be helping these women avoid some of the pitfalls that stripping leads too and showing them how life can be in Christ. Back at age 19 I fell into that pitfall. I was working in Georgetown in Washington, DC at Wet Seal, and I met some women who seemed like they were “balling.” I was a struggling college student, and wanted the “material” things they appeared to have. They told me that with my looks and body, I could make a lot of money. Sounds like the Players Club movie right? LOL Well because I did not have Christ, and even more so I had no realization of the value of who I was as a woman, I fell for it. The next week, I went for my first “audition” at a strip club. One of the girls gave me the nastiest, strongest alcohol, so I could be nice and tipsy before I went on stage. Reflecting back on that experience, I get sick to my stomach as I remember the bar owner looking at me with lustful eyes. I looked like a baby up there, so pure and innocent. They helped me come up with my stage name, “Divyne.”
I will also never forget the first time I was offered 1000 dollars to be someone’s “date” for the weekend and I woke up. I remember feeling so dirty, because I knew that although 1000 dollars was tempting at the time that I would be renting myself out to be a prostitute. I felt at that moment I would lose control of this entire thing. Days later, I stopped stripping. Deep inside, I heard the voice of God tell me that I was built for more and that I did not need to do this. I heard the voice of God tell me that I was purposed for great things and that I did not belong here. I heard the voice of God tell me that He loved me.
I know God truly has a “divine” plan for all of our lives, and I thank Him for speaking to me that day. There are thousands of women all over the world that I believe God is speaking those same words too; yet they drown out God’s voice with the voice of others, alcohol, and drugs. Unfortunately, many don’t hear God’s voice until its too late and they lose control. Some end up dead, and many end up being trafficked and pimped. This experience is partly what birthed my passion to help women all over the nation and the world who are in positions like these. I often think that if someone told me during that short time I was stripping (literally about 2 months), that God loves me, and that there were other options, I just may have listened and walked away that night.
In June, my husband and I along with a group of amazing individuals are going to Thailand to the Red Light Districts to do just that. We are sharing the love of Christ and providing hope to women in these situations. In Thailand due to the poverty many are working in the bars by choice, family pressures some, and many have been trafficked. My hearts desire is to also make an impact right here in America as it relates to trafficking. We are just praying for the right doors to open and godly partnerships.
Wherever you are, if you see these women or know women who are in that industry, don’t judge them. Love them. Share with them another way. You never know whose life you will impact.
Jennifer Lucy Tyler
Just some quick updates about what’s going on in my world:
- Both of my books are available on my website!!! The proceeds all go towards my husband’s and I missions trip to Thailand to help women who are in Sex Trafficking! Please continue to pray for us and that mission in June!
- My entrepreneur group High Heels High Goals has t= shirts available! Check out our website at www.highheelshighgoals.com
- I will also speak with month at the GLAM Project Conference designed for teen girls ages 13-19. The conference is 4/26/14 and takes place at 9 am-4pm. The address is 4600 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD