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Tuesday, February 9, 2016


A law was passed requiring a sign be posted with the National Trafficking Hotline in the following types of businesses:

  1. On-sale general public premises licensees under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code).
  2. Adult or sexually oriented businesses, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 318.5 of the Penal Code.
  3. Primary airports, as defined in Section 47102(16) of Title 49 of the United States Code.
  4. Intercity passenger rail or light rail stations
  5. Bus stations.
  6. Truck stops. For purposes of this section, "truck stop" means a privately owned and operated facility that provides food, fuel, shower or other sanitary facilities, and lawful overnight truck parking.
  7. Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals.
  8. Urgent care centers.
  9. Farm labor contractors, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1682 of the Labor Code.
  10. Privately operated job recruitment centers.
  11. Roadside rest areas.
  12. Businesses or establishments that offer massage or bodywork services for compensation and are not described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 4612 of the Business and Professions Code.

I've relocated back to Los Angeles where 80 percent of the world's pornography is created.  That also means a very large number of porn production studios such as Vivid, as well as porn performer modeling agencies.  Every victim I've ever spoken to in over 30 years now has reported to me that they get their nails professionally done.  Even if the pimp sits there with them while it's done - they get their nails done in a shop.  Even if they go nowhere else but the shop - they go to the nail shop.  They may not eat out, or go to the movies, and often don't even go to an urgent care or ER as traffickers use their own "in house" doctors most of the time, but they go to get their nails done.

In the whole state of California, 90 percent of those who are licensed to work as massage therapists are operating out of the Pasadena/San Gabriel area of California.  That's 20 minutes from where I live.  Vivid is 20 minutes from me.  So is the largest porn performer and modeling agency in the country.  We also have some of the largest strip clubs in Los Angeles - Cheetah's, Spearmint Rhino, Body Shop, you name it and it's in Los Angeles.  I have four strip clubs within 10 minutes of where I live.  

Not a one of them have these legally required signs.  I've taken some Sex Workers Anonymous members with me, and we've gone into random strip clubs, massage parlors, porn modeling agencies, adult stores, etc.  We tried to do a survey of three  of each category.  In each, we found no signs posted anywhere.  I had a sign company offer to donate free signs to us on an unlimited basis.  The owner made us up 100 signs to use to get started with sign distribution that met the legal requirements of SB1193 and added in our hotline # for adults, with the hotline for Children of the Night for juveniles.  We then went back to these businesses and asked them to post the signs.  We were told that unless "they were going to lose their license - they weren't going to post any signs".

Okay they can get a ticket for this according to the law.   There was a huge press conference last year about groups like CASTLA, the Jewish Womens Federation, the prosecutors' office, and the Board of Supervisors with doing an outreach campaign about these signs.  In fact, Jackie Lacey and Eric Garcetti both printed up letters to business owners letting them know there was this law and the signs needed to be posted.  This committee did mail out flyers and signs to the truck stops and urgent cares - but when it came to the strip clubs and massage parlors they did not.  Now that might be because Los Angeles alone shows over 4,000 LISTED massage parlors - who knows how many aren't listed.  But they didn't send any of these materials out to those types of businesses - let alone the porn production and modeling agencies or motels where many victims also frequent.

We then were left with trying to find out who to call to get the tickets issued for those businesses that aren't in compliance.  We called Jackie Lacey's office, Eric Garcetti, the Board of Supervisors, CAST, the local police, and everyone else we could think of and asked if we could find out who exactly will come out and issue a ticket for non-compliance.

We have received no answer and no cooperation.

However, it seems that quite a number of people are willing to go out to motels on Super Bowl weekend with the press watching to sell SOAP.  Soap which by the way has to be removed when the room checks out for hygiene reasons.   Soap which costs money.  Whether the hotel owner buys the soap, or someone else buys it and then it's donated, someone pays money for that soap.  Now if San Francisco can get a prosecutor and an officer go out with the press to a motel to get bars of soap put in them which will be removed once the room is turned, and I doubt the motel is going to pay for that soap to be in every room for every turn, then it's not really getting much help out there.  Especially since studies have validated what we've been saying for years now - which is they don't identify as "victims".  They self-identify as "prostitutes" and "sex workers".   This is probably why our hotline gets five times the calls that Polaris does.   We also get the calls from those who don't even realize they're "victims" until they've been clean from drugs, and in recovery for a while, far away from the brainwashing so they can finally admit it to themselves.

My point being - why is the SOAP getting this kind of support but we can't get any support for the sign posting that's actually LAW.  Putting soap in motel rooms isn't a state law - but the SB1193 IS.

We have the signs.  We have the outreach workers.  But we need someone willing to help us convince the owners they will lose their licence if they don't post the signs.  So where is everyone?

A walkathon isn't going to get these signs up.

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