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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FOX GUARDING THE CHICKEN COOP

My grandma used to say "the fox can't guard the chicken coop".  I'm reading about a plan by Los Angeles to expand their services for sex trafficking victims.  Do you know why I called out for this movement?  Do you know why I had to turn that warehouse spoken of at www.hightechmadam.com into a safe house?  Why I couldn't just put the women up in an existing program or shelter?  Why we couldn't just say put them in the local domestic violence shelter?  Call the police?

We were calling out for the public to understand that sex trafficking was real AND that existing services were not safe.  That an ALTERNATIVE system had to be set up.  I didn't tell people to call 911 for help - I had them call an 800 number I set up and I ALWAYS said "we are not connected with any law enforcement".  Why would I do that?

Because in most cases the system itself was involved.  One of our early board members was a man named Michael.  Michael told me his social worker "sold" him back to his pimp after he'd run away from the pimp to go to the police for help.  They assigned him a social worker who then sold him right back from where he'd run off from.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2167590/Social-worker-arrested-major-investigation-Florida-foster-care-child-prostitution-ring.html

We had another board member whose teacher was pimping her out - http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2015/07/11/child-trafficking-dc-abuse/30003179/ so teachers can be involved in trafficking.

Here's a case of two cops trafficking children - http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/local/33667842-story  Do you know what happens when a child is sex trafficked?  I do.  I was a victim of police trafficking when I was in sex work.  I had them assure me I would not be arrested if I "worked for them".  I refused.  To prove their point they arrested me.  To get away from these men, I said I would work for them.  My attorney went in an got the case dismissed.  I then moved and changed my phone number.  However, that was in the early 1980's.  It's not the same today.   I know what we had to go through with the Chris Butler case where this is a private investigator working with cops who is running massage parlors.

Meaning they can find anywhere you rent a room.  They can find them through phone logs.  They can show up at any shelter with a badge and demand to speak to the victim, throw them into the back of a police car, and then tell the shelter workers they are "wanted for questioning".  Then what?  What is the shelter worker going to do?  Refuse?  Do they even know to refuse or question?  Do they know for example to call the station, ask to speak to the chief, and ask if this person is being legally removed or questioned?

What do you do when the foster parents are involved?  http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120418/underage-sex-trafficking-victims-are-treated-criminals-us

What do you do when the parents are involved?  http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/18/domestic.child.trafficking/index.html?eref=onion

One of the advantages of our hotline at www.sexworkersanonymous.com is that if the person is being trafficked by the authorities, or someone in power over them, then they can safely call us to let us know there's a problem.  We can then locate someone that can be trusted to help them.  We have a list of people in just about every city of people other members have worked with in the past that we KNOW are "cool".  For example, if there's a problem with a local cop - we know a cop in that same town that we've worked with in the past that we can speak to about helping this person.  We've been around since 1987.  We have a long list of trusted people we've worked with in the past.  If we don't know - we can speak to a member in the area who might know a name.  Either way, we can get a name of someone they can trust.

Another advantage of us is follow-up.  If they get moved to another worker or another facility or another program or get another counselor - we're with them the whole way.  We know if we don't hear from them after a while where to go asking questions.

Most important if they tell us there's a problem - we can step in to do something in ways they can't.  For example, if a juvenile for example tells us their social worker has tried to exploit or molest or abuse them in any way we can then find out who that workers' supervisor is.  We can then go report what we were told to the supervisor WITHOUT naming the child.

The reason is simple - if they know it's that child complaining they will retaliate.  The same for "anonymous" tips.  They still record a voice.  If a victim is scared their voice recording can be identified by someone who can gain access to the records - we can make that phone call.   This is to protect the victim from retaliation in a system they can't get out of.

If the trafficker is a cop or a social worker or someone with "friends" then they can't get out of that system.  If it's known they complained - they can be targeted.  So we not only can keep tabs on someone in case they "disappear' - but we can also make reports about what's going on in ways the victim might be reluctant to do.  We don't "age out" (meaning we don't stop working with them once they turn 18 years old).  We don't get fired.  We can't be threatened with being fired.  Our only concern is our members' well-being.

But if a child is in a shelter or house on day and disappears the next - we can follow-up on that in ways others might be scared to do so.

Example - we got a call once from a teen shelter.  The director of said program was molesting the teen prostitutes in his care.  I told them "call the police".  They said "if we call the police, the news gets out and then we don't get donations.  So we're not going to call the police."  I said "what do you want me to do?"  I was told "if we ask to have the child transferred to another program we get fired.  You however can ask to have the child moved and no one gets in trouble."  Okay and that's what we did.






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