Phoenix program helps women out of prostitution

Nov 27, 2012, 1:47 AM | Updated: 1:48 am

Many young girls and women get trapped in a lifestyle of prostitution because they don’t have the resources to leave, which is why the DIGNITY program was started.

Laura Toussant-Newkirk, spokesperson for Catholic Charities and DIGNITY(Developing Individual Growth and New Independence Through Yourself) was started by a sex-trafficking survivor when she noticed a lot of women going in-and-out of jail because they didn’t have services to overcome their issues.

“A lot of people think of prostitution as a victimless crime,” Toussant-Newkirk told Mac & Gaydos. “Most don’t realize that 85 percent of them came from abusive homes and started as young as 13.”

DIGNITY provides outreach on the streets and in jail.

Toussant-Newkirk said if individuals are arrested for prostitution, they can elect to do an intensive 3-month program to rebuild their lives.

“89 percent of the individuals that complete the program are not rearrested,” she said. “That saves the city of Phoenix a little over $300,000 in jail costs each year.”

DIGNITY also provides a year-long residential program where women can work on overcoming issues of self-esteem and breaking the cycle of that lifestyle.

“93 percent of people who graduate, leave the life for good.”

For many of the women in the program, they have no permanent address, no job experience, no health care and very low self-esteem.

They are constantly looking for volunteer help and donations so those in the program can find success when they leave.

Arizonans In Need

Kellie Burkhart/Special contributor to

Ways you can help a boy with cerebral palsy

Our son, Andrew, just turned 6 and has cerebral palsy.

12 years ago

Arizona Family Relief Fund helps families with troops sent to war

Arizona Family Relief Fund assists family members that are affected physically, emotionally and financially when troops are sent to war.

12 years ago

One-on-one counseling and education by Strong Families AZ

Strong Families AZ provides a variety of home visiting programs to assist families in raising healthy children through one-on-one counseling and education.

12 years ago

Liberty Wildlife helping the nature of Arizona

Liberty Wildlife's mission is to help the nature of Arizona's community through rehabilitation, conservation services and natural history education.

12 years ago

Karie & Chuck

Arizona group matches charitable donors, recipients

When people donate money to charity, they often assume it will go to the right place.

12 years ago

Bruce St. James Show

More than 2,000 homeless veterans in Arizona

Many Americans often pay tribute to veterans on holidays, but what happens when the fanfare fades and it's time to go home?

12 years ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Phoenix program helps women out of prostitution