Artisan Spotlight: Juliette

Picture of Juliette

Juliette is a 39-year-old artisan at DuHope. A mother of five, she estimates that she practiced sex work for 20 years, though she doesn’t remember the exact time she started. She has now been working at DuHope for the past six years.

Before DuHope, Juliette worked as a housekeeper. After realizing that her pay was too low, she went in search of a better job. Unfortunately, this led her to survival sex work. She doesn’t recall the exact time that she began sex work, though she believes it has been at least 20 years. In that time, she has given birth to 5 daughters, only one of whom is in touch with her regularly. The other four live with their fathers. She carried heavy shame and guilt for being unable to care for her children and she was angry and resentful of the life she had resorted to. Being on the streets for so long as a sex worker caused her intense hurt and pain that still haunts her today. 

Juliette came to realize that working as a sex worker had made her dependent on alcohol. Alcoholism is not an easy addiction to break in one day; it took her many years to realize that she needed to quit. Counseling provided by DuHope helped her quit her addiction, as it taught her how to have self-control—a virtue that she needed to apply in every aspect of her life to become a better person.

Being at DuHope has given her an opportunity to work in a dignified profession and earn a living for herself and her child. She has been with so many men in life and, at her age, she is tired. Even the man she was with most recently only caused grief and stress, stealing her belongings. Juliette has made the decision to live a normal life and focus on taking care of her daughter. 

Juliette once carried a lot of resentment as well towards her sister, who mistreated her when she and her daughter came looking for help and a place to stay. She has since forgiven her sister. Though her sister has passed on, she no longer carries anger in her heart towards her.

Over the years at DuHope, Juliette has learned how to pray. Through counseling she has opened up about her struggles and has begun to heal, making her a better parent. Initially, due to her drinking problem, she was unable to take care of her children and her relationship with her eldest daughter was strained. Her eldest used to resent her for not revealing who her father was. Today, their relationship is much better and they get to see each other now and then.

Since coming to DuHope, her anger issues have disappeared like they were never there. Now she is a peaceful woman, full of joy and an amazing sense of humor. She has no idea who she would have been if she had never arrived at DuHope, but one thing she does know is that God spared her life and has blessed her.