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Thursday, December 10, 2015

SOLUTION TO DECRIMINALIZATION, LEGALIZATION, ILLEGAL DEBATE OF SEX WORK

You don't have to "condone" something to want to regulate it in some fashion.  Look at guns for one example.  Many people don't condone guns - but they can agree some gun control is needed.  

"Legalization" of prostitution is not going to solve the issue of "regulation" or even "monitoring" of prostitution.  Why?  To obtain a license one has to be disease free and not have a criminal record.  Guess what?  Those who have diseases and felony records PROSTITUTE.  So they will not get a license to work within a legal brothel.  

Also, there will also be clients who want total discretion.  Meaning they won't want to go into a legal brothel where they can be recorded, and documented.  There are clients who don't want ANYONE to know their business - so they will always pay more to a prostitute to see them outside of the legal brothel.  

Which is why ANYWHERE there is "legalized" prostitution you have an increase in trafficking. Amsterdam proved that when it shut down their windows district in 2007 because of the increase in sex trafficking, as well as other related crimes like drugs and money laundering.   After spending 30 years working with women coming out of the legal brothels of Nevada - I can assure you this is an abusive system towards the prostitutes PLUS we proved that a male to female brothel will not operate nor will anyone allow a gay brothel in their neighborhood.  Which is another thing  - legalization of prostitution isn't going to have one bit of impact on gay male prostitution.  In other words, legalization is only going to make trafficking worse.  We've seen it with Amsterdam, New Zealand, Australia, and even parts of England where it's legal also.  

So no I"m not in favor of "legalization".

The problem with "decriminalization" is then how are you going to identify who might be a trafficking victim in need of help?  The current system seems pretty much to arrest the prostitute and then ask if they "need help?"  So if you decriminalize prostitution  then you remove any type of government interaction to see if one is being tested for diseases, if they are being trafficked and need help, etc.  So many are not in favor of decriminalization for fear of losing some type of control over the prostitute for "their own good".

Which is why I think a licensing process is a great solution.  Make one thinking of entering into sex work of any type go in to the licensing office by themselves to apply.  At this point of contact, the person can then be asked "Do you need help?  If you are being forced to do anything against your will then I can take you to help right now so anyone who may be waiting for you outside you don't have to see again."  

I say that because many of the Nevada legal prostitutes report their pimp was waiting for them right outside the licensing office.  However, if they knew they could say something and be taken out another door to safety - that would be the perfect time for them to be able to leave.  So first, make the person come to the licensing office and be seen alone.  Then asked if they need help to leave right then.  If someone is being threatened or held hostage back home - they can send a police car from there.  So make that point of contact where they are obtaining the license where they can get to help.  

Like any license - they need to be able to pass a test.  Have there be an orientation/class where they are taught the law, taught self-defense techniques, and also taught what is sex trafficking.  What is "coercion".  Many prostitutes don't even know what that words mean.  So teach the license holder what certain words mean like "coercion" and make sure they understand what even "free will means".  It's easy to say "are you doing this of your own free will?" and the person will just automtically say "yes".  It's another to have them define "free will" and have to define it to pass the test to get the license. 

Studies prove real victims of trafficking don't even know what that means most of the time . Have orientation cover what is trafficking, what is appropriate, what is controlling, etc.  For example, make sure they are putting their money they earn into their bank account no one else has access to.  Make sure they understand this so that if they are not in total control of their earnings - they can raise a hand at the orientation and say "I have a question here".  

Have the orientation cover what to do if they find they're being trafficked.  What do they do?  Who do they call?  Cover what to do if raped.  For example, cover in the orientation that if raped then don't take  shower, don't clean off evidence and DNA, and go immediately to an ER, etc. So don't just cover sex trafficking - but also cover rape, domestic violence, child abuse, etc.  Also go over "safe sex" techniques, as well as reproductive care.  Make sure all the tests are done not just for HIV/AIDS but also for things like Hep C, HPV, herpes, TB, etc.   This way the prostitute also knows not just about sexual transmission but even oral transmission.   Don't just test for diseases - but also make sure the license holder understands if they give oral sex while having just had dental surgery they're exposing themselves to risk. 

Also teach some self-defense like not walking to a car alone at night carrying money, how to use a taser, not to leave the back door open when carrying in groceries, etc.  Make sure they know how to get a restraining order or file a police report if need be.  Know what the laws are so they know where the line is not to cross legally.  

Make sure they know the hotline phone numbers for not just the National Trafficking Network, but also for domestic violence, child abuse, rape, domestic violence, etc.   Then photograph any tattoos or identifying marks on the sex worker in case their body is found somewhere.  Have a copy of dental records on file.  So this is the time to also get a file on the sex worker in case they go missing or their body is found in a ditch.   Things like burial wishes can even be recorded in case their bodies are found in a ditch and there is no Will or family than the state will know what to do.

During orientation, they can be advised of long term consequences to consider before entering sex work.  They can be advised for example they might have trouble finding work after obtaining this license as it will show up on background checks.  That any porn they do might wind up online forever.  How to get porn taken down if they leave sex work and want it taken off line.  As well as how to structure porn copyright releases so they expire after a year so they can have them removed if they decide they want to leave sex work.  Including they can even be taught how to negotiate contract negotiations.  

For the "long term considerations" - give them a time to back up and think about the license.  Ask them " do you want to think about this and come back another time?  Have them think about how this and ask them "if you're thinking about doing this for a crisis situation might there be another solution?"  

Have the fee be pretty hefty to get a license.  You know why?  You don't want them entering sex work "desperate" for money and broke.  That's another form of coercion and they might not be thinking clearly.  By the fee being expensive, it helps to make sure the person also has money to leave sex work.  I'd even advise a deposit be posted of a $1000 to be given to them if they decide to leave the sex industry.  This way they're walking in the licensing board with $1,000 cash on them on hand and if they decide they want to walk out of there without the license - they've now got this $1000 to maybe buy a plane ticket home instead.

The fee will be put into a fund that helps fund disability, illness, retirement, vocational rehabilitation, etc.  If you do get HIV while working as a prostitute - then what are you going to do?  Have the fee go into a fund to create a retraining fund for those who do have to quit because of disease or disability.  What if you break a leg - how are you doing to work as a stripper?  So one needs a workers compensation fund even.

Then require monthly visits to the office to maintain the license.  At the visit - they get their health checked.  Have them asked again - are you still doing this by your own free will?  If the answer is "no" then can ask for help right there.  


If they don't show up for the monthly update - then someone can be sent out to check on them to see if they were harmed, if they went missing, if they fell prey to traffickers, etc.  

By having a license, you encourage them to pay their taxes which in turn puts money into their social security fund for when they get older or disabled.  

If a sex worker isn't licensed - that can be an alert there's a problem right there.  A licensed sex worker can then report another who is an unlicensed sex worker and that can be an "alert" there might be a trafficking victim.  The same for the customers if a sex worker isn't licensed.  They can report that worker for not being licensed and then the office can check to see if that person is okay or not. 

If a young girl or boy goes missing in a certain area - alerts can be sent out to license holders to "keep an eye out for this kid".  The sex industry is the front line for a sex trafficking victim.  You alert the licensed workers about a new missing kid and you are way more likely to hear back a sighting than just some poster in a Walmart about the missing kid.  I have found more kids by sending out copies of posters to sex workers in a certain area than any amount of billboards usually can find.

The same for missing kids.  Photos of license holders can be cross-checked with photos of missing kids.  Some people might not even know they were kidnapped.  That's happened.  So cross-check photos of license holders with that of missing kids and you might have a few matches.  


If there is a disease outbreak - alerts can be sent out.  Someone goes missing?  Those in their area can get alerts to "keep an eye out".  Information to help them find another career can also be targeted that way.  For example, scholarship information about sex trafficking scholarships can be sent out to license holders that might qualify.  

So I think a great solution to this issue is licensing with a workshop being offered first, then a test that has to be passed, in order to get the license.  A packet with phone numbers to resources will then be provided and the fees go to fund programs to help those who need help with things like vocational rehab, disability or retirement.  Each month they're then provided with an opportunity to break free from any trafficker or pimp who might attach to them.  If they develop a drug problem they can be offered treatment every time they come in for their monthly "check in" visit.  

Those unlicensed can then be reported as potential trafficking victims and again faces of those obtaining licenses can be cross-checked against that of missing kids.  Fees go to set up special programs without having to cost the taxpayers anything.

Most important police can be freed up from investigating simple prostitution to instead more complex trafficking operations if you go with the licensing option for this issue.

Thank you. 









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