Non-profit reaches out to women in Charlotte's sex industry

Non-profit reaches out to women in Charlotte's sex industry

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on December 10, 2012 at 6:55 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 10 at 8:00 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local non-profit is lending a hand to women working in the sex industry in the Charlotte area. 

It's called Rise Up Ministries and they often target area strip clubs.  Volunteers spend time with women working in area clubs.  They also bring them toiletries and gift bags and counsel them on finding other jobs.

They say many women are looking for a way out.  Founder Aimee Johnson says she has good reason for starting the organization.

"When I was teenager, my father tried to kidnap me and traffic me, and I had to go into hiding in California.  And with that I see how my life has turned out and that you're not broken beyond repair," she said.

Rise Up Ministries also has a hope line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The organization is less than a year old, but Johnson says there's a real need in the region. 

Johnson says many of the clubs actually invite the volunteers in for on-site visits.  "J", a dancer who wants to remain anonymous, says she's found hope after Rise Up reached out. 

She recently gave birth to a baby girl.  She says the ministry along with her baby has given her real incentive the quit the club.

"I'm so thankful for her.  Now I'm getting all emotional.  She's made me like want to be better and more determined and work hard to get out.," she said. 

With Aimee's help, "J" is looking for a new job, and plans to stop dancing by the end of the year.
 

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