Search This Blog

Monday, February 8, 2016

JOBS IN RECOVERY

One of the biggest functions we handle in Sex Workers Anonymous is that of the job situation.  Because we're arrested for prostitution (in some form or another), then that shows on our record when looking for work.  When we're in the press - it's even worse.  That's why when I hear about one of us in the press - I know not only are they no longer going to be able to work in the sex industry but they also are going to have a really hard time finding work.  For this reason, we've collected a list of jobs and employers that either don't care about this type of thing, or that bypasses it.  For example, there's some jobs such as transcription, or taking plane reservations by phone as a home worker - where you don't meet your employer "face to face" so that if you did get your face plastered on the news it won't block you from finding work.

I assure you however very few are open about hiring sex workers.  In fact, if someone does throw out hand signs that they'll hire ex-sex workers it might not be where you want to work.   Why?  I go by the stories I've heard like the restaurant manager who willingly hires ex-prostitutes, but then he is raping them in the freezer.  After the rape, he then says "who is going to believe you?"  Tell me where a prostitute has won a rape case and you can see why no one has charged the guy.  So you have to be wary of anyone who makes a big noise about hiring ex-sex workers.

Then we have the companies who are willing to overlook the criminal backgrounds.  They ask me not to publish their names anywhere and they don't want the bad publicity of being known as hiring ex-sex workers or victims or whatever you're calling them.  Because most people these days really aren't making a distinction and honestly there shouldn't be.  Very few are in sex work by choice.  Whether that agent of force is another person or poverty.  Until this country goes communist, then many men and women go into sex work to eat and get shelter.  I have yet to see escort services in communist countries.  If there are, they don't have that many women working in them.   So yes we have a list of companies who will hire ex-sex workers, or trafficking victims, but they don't want to be on some list circulated around the social workers offices that they do.

What Kayla here went through http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/02/07/stigma-most-difficult-barrier-for-sex-workers-leaving-the-trade-study-finds.html is one of the reasons why we also support our members even after they get jobs.  Their past came come back to haunt them in many ways years and years down the road.  Then they get fired, evicted, lose their license to work, custody of their children even.  The article calls it "whore stigma" which doesn't even begin to explain how dangerous this branding is.  Once you have been stamped as a "whore" then again predators look at you like open season knowing you're unlikely to press charges, and if you do, you probably won't win.  Also, what's the point of charges if you're targeted for rape?

Trust me - the minute some men hear you used to be a sex worker - they are all over you.  The change in some men when they "lose respect" for you is frightening.  I've had it happen too many times, including a rape in Atlanta City.  I had just moved there and I called for night security to come help me during a hurricane.  The power had gone out and my apartment was flooded.  I was worried it would come back on and electrify me.  So I called the handyman for help.  He took this as a sexual invitation because of my past.  After the rape he said "who is going to listen to you over me?"  He had a point.

All the more reason why we also work with our members to get their records sealed.  NOT by "proving they were forced" but by showing they need this sealed to enable them to leave the sex industry, find work, get licensing to work, etc.  I've appeared at many work permit hearings in Vegas to explain why this person needs to have their past overlooked, to be hired, and to have their records expunged.  Stamping someone as a "trafficking victim" doesn't make this go away either.  Again, I used to come home from a TV appearance speaking about being forced to do what I did and I'd find "whore" spray painted on my car or my front door even one time.  I would also be fired and evicted.

So we've had to get resourceful, and also network among ourselves.  Many of us now own our own companies, or have become managers.  So we'll get hired among others in recovery.  We also have a list of employers who can help you find work, and jobs even where you can work for yourself.  Many of our members do well by becoming business owners and are doing quite well for themselves.  One of our first members is now making over a million a year running a cleaning service.  She can't risk associating with us now - but she's doing good working for herself.

What I would like to see is for us to have the same protection as the LGBT community.  If you're fired for being gay - that person has recourse.  However, if you're fired for a porn shoot you did 10 years ago - you have nothing.  THAT'S what would be useful for us.  We get just as much hate and problems believe me and that's why I think we need the same protections and recourse as the LGBT community has.  We're stalked and targeted for rape, abuse and murder just as much, if not more, than they are.  But we have less protections.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.