Redempta’s Journey through Counseling
When Redempta, an artisan at DuHope, first arrived, she was a deeply hurt woman, who often lashed out in anger at those around her. She was addicted to alcohol and marijuana, she neglected her children, and the challenges she had faced in her life had hardened her heart. Today, Redempta is a shining example of the extent to which a person can change for the better.
Despite her obvious trauma, Redempta had never believed in counseling. She believed that voicing her problems was a waste of time for her and for the one who was listening. She never believed that she could move past her trauma just by talking through it, nor was she in a position to listen to others.
Living as a survival sex worker, Redempta could not imagine what a normal life would look like for her. Her anger and pain left her feeling hopeless. Her relationship with her children also suffered. She struggled to show them affection and was not able to communicate with them effectively. She had lost hope that her life could improve.
Through DuHope, her healing journey began. The counseling sessions provided through the program have given her a new purpose for her life, beyond what she could have ever imagined. She learned to open up about her story. She allowed herself to heal from years of trauma and rebuild her relationships with her children.
DuHope’s counseling program not only changed the trajectory of her life, but also positively impacted the lives of her children, breaking a cycle of abuse that Redempta had also suffered as a child. After attending counseling, Redempta realized the huge effect her sex work and abusive behavior was having on her children, especially her son. Her son had become depressed and suicidal. He held resentment towards his mother and he couldn’t even look at her. Through many counseling sessions and personal growth, she has mended her relationships with them.
Redempta’s story of success through counseling has also touched the lives of her fellow former and current survival sex workers. She felt a drive to help them, encouraging them and advising them the way that she had been advised. One of her friends was neglecting her child, the way that Redempta once neglected hers. Redempta reached out to her and advised her to communicate with her child in a loving way and show her that she loved her. The woman had left her child with other family members in the village, so Redempta urged her friend to bring the child to stay with her again. Her friend followed Redempta’s advice and now she has a strong relationship with her child. This is just one of the many example of Redempta using her own healing to heal others.
Today, Redempta strives to be a good example for her children. She communicates with them openly and honestly. Her priority is to raise them to be positive role models and loving parents to their future children. Redempta prays that counseling continues at DuHope, because of its huge impact on the women trying to exit survival sex work and their children. She is an example of the incredible transformation that is possible when these vulnerable women are given the opportunity to share their stories and heal.
*Redempta and her son have given us permission to use her name, photos, and share their story. The son mentioned in this story is not the son pictured above.