GRAND RAPIDS – Lady Godiva’s Showgirls closes in GR
In the dark corners of strip clubs all across the country, traffickers loom. Strip clubs are breeding grounds for trafficking – its disguise even sometimes fools the women working in them. Many of the girls who begin stripping do so through a “boyfriend” who eventually leaves the role of lover to become a master manipulator, taking every cent the woman makes during her ten-hour shift. Violence and criminal action run rampant in strip clubs across the United States.
It’s always bittersweet when a strip club closes for those who understand the pain and depravity the girls face in these dark places. On one hand, there is cause for excitement because many girls have been set free. On the flip side, when a strip club closes, questions like “Where are they now?” begin to emerge. Some of the girls will turn to prostitution. Others will drive farther away to other clubs, either in Grand Rapids or in surrounding cities like Kalamazoo or Lansing. Even fewer will decide to leave the life completely.
Despite the uneasiness that this situation brings, a strip club has officially closed in the city of Grand Rapids. Lady Godiva’s Showgirls, a controversial strip club in Grand Rapids, has been sold to make room for downtown apartments, offices, and retail space. According to Wood TV8, demolition of the building is set to take place this fall to allow for the new developments.
There were only three strip clubs in Grand Rapids, which is quite a small number considering the population density of this city as a whole. One of the two left, Sensations, is also owned by the same woman who owned Lady Godiva’s, raising questions about whether or not the second location will also eventually close.
Lady Godiva’s has a shady past marred with the death of several strippers, shootings in the parking lot, and mafia activity. A WAR, Int’l partner has tried to go into this particular club to minister to the girls with no avail – even being banned from the premises because she came without a male escort.
So while the questions arise in the midst of this news, WAR Int’l realizes the closing of this strip club could be one step closer to ending human trafficking in West Michigan – and sharing the love of Christ with the girls who now have to search for employment elsewhere.
Please join us in prayer as we lift up the girls who formerly worked at Lady Godiva’s. Pray that God would lead them to places of joy and peace – out of the sex industry. Pray for the ones who do turn to other strip clubs or pimps in Grand Rapids – for their safety and protection in these dark times. Pray that they would find an alternate way out of the sex industry.
If you would like more information about this strip club closing, or the development that will take its place, you can visit WOOD TV8’s website that includes their article on this issue at http://woodtv.com/2015/06/30/arena-district-to-expand-with-sale-of-gr-strip-club.