I cannot believe such a horrible and exploitative show was ever greenlit. Actually, considering that A&E has shows that publicly shame hoarders and addicts, it really isn’t surprising they would expand their dehumanization to sex workers. It’s also not surprising that they misrepresent prostitution with their assumptions that prostitution is always human trafficking or than all prostitutes have pimps. They also portray the women as being morally and emotionally weak. They’re also shown as being unintelligent, drug addicts, and bad parents. It seems that they (including the “advocates” who are former prostitutes who shame and yell at the “victims”)1 don’t view these women as being fully human because of their profession. That’s really gross.
The attitude of “Pastor Kevin” and his team towards prostitution, as well as the actual lack of resources that they provide to the women they’re “rescuing” is reminiscent of crisis pregnancy centers. There are grand promises they make to these women, but the reality of how they “rescue” them is a hotline number, a prayer, and a bunch of empty promises. None are trained to actually help or identify the people they claim to be rescuing. They coerce these women into talking about traumas and life stressors to at least two total strangers in the eight minute timeframe. They try to make these women trust them & seem shocked when they aren’t “empowered” to change. They seem shocked when they aren’t ready to leave a potentially abusive situation to go with a group of people who have emotionally abused you & lied to you in the less than ten minutes that you have known them.
Human rights and sex worker advocates have rightly called them out for doing more harm than good to these women & to the cause of ending human trafficking. And when there are even reports that the women that said yes are being reported to cops? Yeah, that really sounds like they want to advocate for these people. And their idea that they are saving these women or that all sex workers need saving really speaks more to the egos of the “savior” than it does the SW.
This show is messed up.
I view the advocates as people who are dealing with Stockholm Syndrome. ↩