The response was I read they were "reconsidering" this and they did in fact back up. We then started discussing how to start training police officers to identify women in trouble and how to set up "safe houses". This is where I got concerned because of what I'd found when I first moved up to Nebraska.
In fact, I met Johnny Gosch's mom who gave me a very good book about the scandal. I found it interesting what she had in there about ABC news also stealing some of her documentation and evidence. It was because of her book I had warned Jeane Palrey not to trust the ABC news and we were right. They originally said there was "no names of significance" in her book until we said "not so fast" and the Smoking Gun revealed names such as Randall Tobias (who wrote the TVRA of 2003 giving all the money to faith based groups who had nothing to do with this movement at that time), and David Vitter. So if left up to ABC those names wouldn't have hit the press.
The staff at Boys Town was having us come in at night and take certain kids to another shelter which we knew to be safer. They didn't want to risk their job and bad publicity they said would hurt donations. If they lost their jobs then they wouldn't be in a position to refer the kids being targeted to us to help get them out of there.
But I had moved back to Nebraska in 1994 to set up safe houses. There was houses with land we could buy back there for $5000 outright. So it became easy to take women needing help from either the east or west coast and set them up or new lives in the midwest. Back then it was amazing because we could let them stay in our house until they got working. Which jobs were plentiful and well paying. Most employers didn't even ask for an ID, a resume, nor would they do any background checks. So we could get a woman working by the next day making $10 an hour to start. Now with the average rent for a house being $250 - that $10 an hour went a long way back there.
My now ex-husband has a very large family. His nephew was a prosecutor in Omaha at the time. So we had no problem helping these women get settled in and not worry about their pimps following them out there to drag them back. Being in such a small town - if anyone did show up asking questions about a woman - we'd hear about it in five minutes and could act accordingly.
What threw me was after we had started talking more and more to the Nebraska legislature about setting up more safe houses and doing some training, as well as changing the licensing process for escort services (which they license back there), this man with a church I won't name started calling me and basically "taking over". He kept repeating to me "where is the money going to come from to get this stuff done". I would explain where the money would come from but that wasn't the answer he wanted to hear. I couldn't help but feel he was hinting for a cash payment.
But why? If you're charging for an escort service license, and you set up an orientation process for these women to go through where a proctor gives the orientation about what sex trafficking is, where to go for help, etc. then you charge them for that and VOILA! That's where the money comes from to pay for the testing. Then he'd say "well how are we going to pay to change the forms?" I repeated "from the fee you charge the applicants".
Suddenly the "wall of silence" goes up. Next thing I know I'm hearing they've set up a "task force" and "safe houses". I get a call from a woman back there saying "we have no money for anything" and I'm like "for what?" She says they need furniture, clothing, houses, etc., for the safe houses and there's "no money". I told her "honey, I've got safe houses right now back there. I've got family who will help with picking the women up and taking them to the safe house. I have a whole network already set up back there you can tap into so why isn't anyone calling me about these women? I mean who in the hell is even providing therapy?" I say that because back in the mid-1990's the whole state of Nebraska only had three licensed therapists in the whole state!
The woman was shocked telling me "what do you mean you have these resources?" She then starts telling me how she's running around trying to get all these things because she thinks there isn't any resources. I'm like "well who told you this" and "why didn't anyone tell you about us?" I then learn she was talking to a representative who I'd been talking to for years. Clearly this woman didn't want to tell her about us for some reason.
I go to contact her and she's been promoted. Now why she wouldn't tell a survivor who is trying to help other survivors back in Nebraska we exist I just don't understand.
But reading this - well it makes more sense now. http://m.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/cd4ebc7c233b4bd19a2a07915c12ab91/IA--Prostitution-Sting-Priest#.V4Q1NLojbc0.facebook
When these trafficking task forces first formed, of course we assumed they'd want to know about our work in the area for years before they formed right? Wrong. We started reaching out to them offering to connect them up to our local group, to utilize our existing resources, etc., and we're getting completely shut down.
Why? If someone opens up a task force to help an alcoholic and Bill Wilson calls up saying "hey how about I connect you up to our local AA chapter?" you'd think they'd jump at the chance right?
Only we've been finding one by one by one that someone, or many, on those task forces has been directly involved with the very trafficking they're claiming to be fighting. If anything, a pattern is emerging - that of the cover-up.
We also start getting calls from private citizens telling us they went to report sex trafficking to the task force and they started finding themselves being threatened into "backing off" not just pushing on the information they have against the traffickers, but also from extending help to the victims. One woman was telling us how she was hiding a victim at her house and when she went to the police to let them know what was going on - she finds herself being brought up on charges!
Wondering what "safe houses" they're using for these victims, we keep hearing they're being taken to the Salvation Army or the Catholic Charities shelters. But they only take straight women - they refuse men, transgenders, and lesbians. What we also keep hearing is that any of these victims who have one bad thing to say against anyone in office, or a priest - they're kicked out on the streets.
It took me a while to figure out why these shelters instead of working with the network of houses we use - and then I saw the movie "Spotlight'. I began to realize the Catholic Church has been covering up a lot of stuff for a lot of years. I then asked myself if any cases of corrupt law enforcement being involved with the actual trafficking have com out of these shelters run by the Salvation Army or Catholic Charities and the answer was "no".
It also made sense to me finally why I have been calling these same shelters in Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, and other states asking them to help us with victims and they won't even speak to me. I mean they're getting money to house these victims so why not the ones who come to me for help? Well the ones who come to me for help are usually the ones who are trafficked by cops or priests.
Now I'm piecing together why they won't help any victims we call them about. I help them and they deny they exist by telling anyone "don't listen to Jody - she's crazy" and it just makes them all disappear "officially".
Just like how ATLAS at the end of 2007 had ZERO victims they reported saving, while that year we took over 300 calls just from Nevada. Calls we tried giving to ATLAS only to have them say "we can't work with anyone that isn't referred to us by Metro". I'd explain to them these women were reporting being raped and pimped by Metro now WHY WOULD Metro refer them someone who is going to be talking about what they did to them and THAT'S why we needed their help. They were the ones who got $870,000 to "help trafficking victims". Well here I have trafficking victims sitting on my couch needing help and what am I supposed to do with them when I'm living on an SSI income of a whopping $730 a month?
And then when anyone would ask Metro or Terri Miller about the calls we're getting they just say "oh she's crazy - we don't have any of that going on around here".
Well the news that's coming out proves otherwise. Now we're seeing it's not just law enforcement. It's not just the prosecutor's. It's not just Homeland Security. But it's also the church involved here and part of the cover-up.
WHEN are people going to realize these victims CAN'T call the police for help and that's why they call us? I don't know of any other national hotline that does what we do but us. Hopefully as these articles come out - maybe people will catch on as to why people in these offices are trying so hard to get people NOT TO LISTEN to what I'm saying on behalf of men and women who are having to protect their anonymity and can't?