What causes girls to end up working in strip clubs? Some are naive enough to believe it will be a step toward a legitimate acting or dancing career. Others say they just want to make some fast money. Having a man pay to view her body can make a woman feel desirable and in a perverted way boost her self confidence. Many use drugs and are looking for easy money to keep up the habit. Abuse sends others spiraling downward to the strip club.
For Anny Donewald, it was an amateur competition at a strip club someone convinced her to enter. The life, the money, the drugs, dragged her down quickly. She ended up working clubs in Chicago, Detroit and Las Vegas. When she hit her lowest point, contemplating a second abortion, a desperate prayer brought her salvation, in both the physical and spiritual senses.
Now Anny runs Eve’s Angels, a ministry that meets women in the clubs, befriending them and offering Bible studies where the women can feel safe and find Jesus. Eve’s Angels works throughout the Midwest. Anny tells her story in her book Dancing for the Devil: One Woman’s Dramatic and Divine Rescue from the Sex Industry.
In an article in Christianity Today, Anny gave some advice on how to minister to women working in the sex industry:
- Enter in—By entering the club, you are identifying with the women rather than conveying that they are to be avoided.
- Listen well—Hear their stories without judgment. Let them know they are valuable by paying attention.
- Speak hope—Rather than talking about their sin, give them hope, the “sense that a different kind of life is possible.”
- Be available—When that time of desperation comes, you want her to already know that you are there to help her escape this life.
Jesus’s interactions with prostitutes and shunned women aligned with these principles. And they really are good pieces of advice for all relationships.
Who are the broken women God has called you to love in his name?