Prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1995 - our hotline used to get free advertising at night with free public service announcements that TV and radio were REQUIRED to run from 1987 when we started to 1995. Meaning at 2:00 a.m. you used to hear Frances Nuyen's voice and lovely face smiling at you saying "do you need help to leave? Then call . . . " and we generated calls that way all over this country and into Canada.
Once that Act yanked that requirement - so too did our free ads and our free weekly cable show go by the roadside. Suddenly I can't even BUY ads. You know why? I'm told that this will "anger their bigger advertisers" who are in the sex industry. Legal brothels in Nevada buy a lot of ads. So too do strip clubs and massage parlors and chat lines, webcam studios, porn movies, male enhancement products, adult toys like "Adam and Eve" - all don't want an ad for Sex Workers Anonymous running saying "do you want help to leave?" Hell no. So I've had many major shows and publications REFUSE ads from us. Now groups like Polaris have enough money to go up toe to toe with those other advertisers. We don't.
We also take more calls that Polaris or Children of the Night even does. Why? We take calls from any adult - male or female - in any part of the sex industry - whether trafficked or not - if they want help to leave. That's it. Now experts have said that trafficking is maybe 7 percent of the sex industry - meaning the other 97 percent are going to want to quit one day. Meaning I'm getting calls from strippers whose knees just gave out and want to quit for that reason - not because they're being trafficked or to get away from a pimp. You can hear some of our members at www.leavingtheliferadio.com
Now yes Polaris has passed a law requiring that a sign be posted with their hotline number upon it in many businesses in different states. For example, in California, it's supposed to be in all sex industry locations - as well as truck stops and emergency rooms. I can assure you it's not in any of them that I've walked into. Who is enforcing this? No one can answer me. Those who don't have the sign are supposed to be ticketed. Yet I can't get an answer from anyone as to who to call to make a report to get a business ticketed and who is going to do that!
Now to prove these signs are not up - I'm embarking upon some research I'm starting with www.pasadenaproject.com Once done, I'm moving on to another city and another. While we're out there however asking if signs are up - we're going to be handing out signs and looking for signs of trafficking. We're also going to let the sex workers know we're not the cops and we're there to help them if they want to leave.
We need help. Cars, gasoline, bodies, people to hang signs, etc. So please - stop trying to argue about language and let's get on with the DO. If you don't know what you can DO right where you are in your city or state - ask me. I can use help on the phones. I'm sure you have massage parlors and strip clubs and red light zones by you or TV stations you might be able to talk into free advertising.
So instead of telling reporters what to call us - call me. www.sexworkersanonymous.com I'll show you ways you can make an impact today. Not when some million dollar grant comes in - but now Please stop with the fund raisers. I got a call on the hotline last weekend from Miami to help two women. Every number I called to find them housing - everyone was gone at a fundraiser to raise "awareness". Enough. Please enough.
Let's get on with the work.