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Shelter helps women falling victim to domestic abuse, prostitution

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WAOW) — Advocates say prostitution and sex trafficking are worse now than ever before.

The issues are happening right here in central Wisconsin.

While many people picture prostitution as women on the street in search of sex, often times you aren’t thinking of the past they endured, leading them to that point.

Shirley’s House of Hope in Marshfield is a shelter for women and their kids who fall victim to domestic abuse.

The executive director said with prostitution, crimes including domestic abuse and drugs often go hand in hand.

At Shirley’s House of Hope, volunteers and employees are doing their best to help the women find their true identity.

The shelter offers a 9-month program that leads women through classes, getting them on the road to recovery.

“Either a woman gets started with prostitution and then is introduced to drugs, just to deal with it and what’s happening to her or else, she gets addicted to drugs and then to support her habits she gets involved in sex trafficking or prostitution,” the shelter’s Executive Director, Julie Cravillion said.

The shelter has seven bedrooms.

Each woman gets her own room but does share a room with her kids, if she has them.

Shirley’s House of Hope is run off of donations from the community.

Neena Pacholke

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