‘Haven’ for women leaving sex work

Stuff co.nz 8 December 2014
Hers was no normal childhood – by the time she was 15 Rosalie Batchelor was on the streets working as a prostitute.

After years of sexual and physical abuse the teenager escaped to the streets and spent the next 20 years traversing the country finding work and running from her troubles.

By the mid-1990s she was working in an Auckland brothel and being tracked by a private detective over an incident of fraud that could have landed her in jail – she realised she had hit rock bottom and needed to get out. She found god, was baptised in the Elim church and moved to Palmerston North to help other women out of the the vicious cycle of prostitution, which often draws them in to a life of crime and addiction.

Batchelor is now in the capital scouting for a suitable house for what will be known as Rosalie’s Haven – a project that has the backing of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective and the National Council of Women.

The council’s chief executive Sue McCabe said the council supported initiatives that empower women to make positive change and give them more options in life.