The presents are wrapped, the tree is up and the kitchen is full of the smell of festive baking – all in preparation for a Christmas spent with family and friends.
But not everyone shares this time of year with loved ones. Some single people alleviate the loneliness by visiting a sex worker. They may have never used their services before but the thought of spending Christmas on their own can drive them to seek comfort elsewhere. It might not cross their mind to use protection, but unless they take care, it can lead to infection for both parties.
And of course what of the people who are plying their trade this cold Christmas? Many have families and would much rather be at home watching their children open their presents than putting their lives at risk to earn a living.
The sad truth is many can’t visit their loved ones. Some don’t have the money to travel because their boss pockets most of their earnings. Some may be too ashamed to face their families or have long since been disowned. Many sex workers are from abroad. They may have left their own country dreaming of a new life in Britain, only to have been sold to a brothel for a few hundred pounds and kept as slaves.
In this season of goodwill, please spare a thought for sex workers. Imagine if it was your sister, brother, daughter, son or friend. Very often it’s not their decision to be there and they’re trapped with no one to turn to.
And if you are one of the people who will visit a prostitute this year, please use a condoms. You never know what unwanted gift you’ll be giving or receiving otherwise.
As the founder and director of raTrust, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our supporters a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I also have a special message for those people who face loneliness, hostility and possibly danger because they are sex workers, drug users or carriers of the HIV virus.
Do not give up. Life is full of ups and downs but no matter how bad things are, have the courage to hold on to your hopes and dreams.
Everyone can feel positive when they have health, a loving relationship and enough money to pay the bills. The challenge is developing the mental, emotional and spiritual strength to carry you through the bad times. I and everyone at The raTrust, believe that you can overcome the hurdles in your way. We are here to catch you when you fall.
Fight for your dreams, fight for peace of mind, fight for your health and live your life with passion! Remember, the last chapter in your life has not yet been written and no matter what happened yesterday, a new year is the chance to make your hopes, dreams and goals a reality.
Dominika Rejmer – Director and founder, The raTrust.