You might be wondering what an organisation like Rahab, who supports and advocates for individuals who are involved in the commercial sex industry do on a week-to-week basis?
At Rahab, the simple answer is no week looks the same. Our clients are our first priority, so we adapt our time to suit their needs and facilitate opportunities for positive outcomes. As an example this can look like making time in the day to take a client to an appointment.
Our main ‘regular’ activity is our night outreach. With the dedication and help of our volunteers we usually have teams out up to four times each week in the West Reading area. These teams use this opportunity to identify individuals involved in on-street prostitution, to build relationships with them, to provide some refreshments and health supplies, and if the client wishes to refer them into our daytime support program.
One of the main things we explain to new volunteers is that the clients we approach are working. This might mean that they client approach us for some chocolates, a drink and contraception, and will chat briefly but we are unable to go into much depth. Other times the client might not want any contact with us at all at that moment, but they come and find us later on once they’re more free. However, because of the relationship Rahab has built over the years with our clients we are usually met with a friendly conversation and are able to have a bit of light-hearted banter with our clients.
When we make contact with an exploited person on our outreach, we:
- Meet them where they’re at – During our encounters with our clients we seek to build a genuine relationship with them. This is key to gaining trust and being able to provide support tailored to the client’s needs.
- Demonstrate the love of God – As an organisation with a Christian ethos we endeavour to remind our clients that they are valued, loved and cared for.
- Give her Rahab’s contact details – Whether this is a staff member’s mobile number or email, or a Rahab social media page, they’ll be able to reach us whenever they’re ready.
- Care for them – By providing for their needs with free health packs, which include toiletries, contraception, and refreshments, we are demonstrating that we are there to help our clients with no strings attached.
- Offer prayer and further support – When the client is ready, we can help support her break free from her situation and work alongside partner organisations in order to provide her with safe options for a new life. Some examples of what this might involve are helping her to get to substance misuse treatment, or housing support appointments. We are keen to address our clients needs in the order and the timings that the client chooses.
If this sounds like something you want to support, then you can get involved here