LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville woman essentially became a sex slave as a teenage.
Decades later, she escaped the grips of the sex industry, and while it was a life she never wanted, it was one she was lured into.
"I kept going back to it," Mary Frances said. "You carry a lot of shame."
Off and on for 35 years, Frances lived a life of brothels, peep shows and strip clubs in Louisville.
It first started when a biker gang member showed interest in her at the age of 15.
"When the ice cream truck would pull up, one particular person would buy the kids ice cream, and he chose me and would buy special gifts like milkshakes and banana boats," Frances said.
That man introduced her to the sex industry, taking her to the red light district as a teen. Frances said she lived in poverty. Her parents had 15 children.
She later found herself in a picture booth where men paid to take pictures of naked women. As a prostitute, the money would go to her pimp, and she didn't get anything. With no education, she spent decades trying to leave the industry. She said she couldn't even read at the time.
"Once I'm 50 years old and crying out to the Lord to save me from myself, the women of Scarlet Hope come, and ironically it had been that day I had been praying," Frances said.
Scarlet Hopes says the organization, "exists to share the hope and love of Jesus Christ with women in the adult entertainment industry." The Christian organization gave Frances food and fellowship and a few days later, she finally called it quits.
She later got an education and three years ago started writing a book.
"I knew I had to tell my story, and first and foremost to glorify God and to bring light to those who are the least of us," Frances said.
She said it's been a journey writing, "A Harlot's Cry," letting her deep dark secrets be known. She has learned a lot about herself and strengthened her relationship with Christ. She's hoping her book will help so many others in the same situation.
Frances has four adult children and said she's now at peace with her life and feels incredibly blessed.
"I don't think anyone in their heart think that's OK," Frances said of those caught in the sex industry. "It's survival. It's probably where they feel comfortable.
"There is hope. There is a better life."
The Harlot's Cry Book Launch Party is Saturday from 1-5 p.m. at Hikes Point Christian Church.
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