'Project Rose' helps accused prostitutes get help, avoid arrest - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

'Project Rose' helps accused prostitutes get help, avoid arrest

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • 2 planes with more crash victims to leave Ukraine

    2 planes with more crash victims to leave Ukraine

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:13 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:13:41 GMT
    Ukraine's government says 51 containers holding bodies and body parts of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash are ready to depart for the Netherlands aboard two military transport planes.More >>
    Dozens of containers holding remains of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash were loaded aboard two military transports to go to the Netherlands Thursday on the second day of the airlift, while Australia's government...More >>
  • Gaza fighting rages amid cease-fire efforts

    Gaza fighting rages amid cease-fire efforts

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:01 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:01:56 GMT
    Israeli tanks and warplanes are pummeling the Gaza Strip as U.S. and other diplomats push for a cease-fire with Hamas militants.More >>
    Israeli tanks and warplanes bombarded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, as Hamas militants stuck to their demand for the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade amid U.S. efforts to reach a cease-fire.More >>
  • Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:35 AM EDT2014-07-24 06:35:51 GMT
    The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Arizona to carry out its third execution in the past year Wednesday following a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.More >>
    A condemned Arizona inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.More >>
Police were out in full force on Thursday and Friday trying to combat a major issue in our city - sex trafficking and prostitution.

But they're not taking the accused women to jail; they're taking them to a place where they can get help.
This operation is called Project Rose, and the goal is to get these women help and get them off the street. 

"I was afraid to leave because if I left what would happen to me?," said Kathleen Mitchell.

Mitchell was on the streets of Phoenix for more than 20 years. She said she was afraid to leave her boyfriend, who became her pimp. 

"He beat many of the women, baseball bats, golf clubs, broken legs, arms, concussions," Mitchell said. "He didn't beat me but he didn't have to because I saw him do it."

Eventually she got arrested, served her time, and started a program to help other women. Now she volunteers at Project Rose where, twice a year, police go out in force and take accused prostitutes to a safe location. They can get clothes, food, a medical examination, and help navigating the services for them in the Valley.  

"We have people who are coming here who need $50 to pay rent on their hotel today or they have childcare issues," said Mitchell.

Dominique Roe-Sepowitz with the ASU School of Social Work help jump start Project Rose. This is the fifth Operation Rose, which lasts two days. 

"Today is Friday, it's payday, so people are looking to buy sex," Roe-Sepowitz said. 

Roe-Sepowitz said their success rate is 35 percent - those who are now leading productive lives. The other 65 percent may just not be ready, or are still dealing with the challenges that got them there in the first place.  

"Boyfriends who are coercing them to do it or having drug addictions that are really hard to combat," Roe-Sepowitz said.

But they said if even one woman's life is changed, this operation is worth the effort. 

"Some of these women and girls say, well, I chose to do this," Mitchell said. "You chose it because you didn't know what your options were."

To date, Project Rose has helped rescue 330 women. For more information, visit: http://www.projectphoenixwebsite.com
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Powered by WorldNow