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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

OPEN LETTER TO EVERY DAY VICTIM BLAMING



Believe me I understand your frustration and where you're coming from. Especially when it comes to the issue of language. As you can imagine, language was a very difficult issue we also had when forming the 12 step program that we formed in 1987. We had to call ourselves as a group something. Alcoholics Anonymous was for alcoholics who had the disease of alcoholism. They identify as “alcoholics” in their meetings. However, in Narcotics Anonymous they do not identify as “narcotics” in the meeting. They identify personally as “addicts” because they suffer from the disease of addiction. So why not call themselves “Addiction Anonymous”? Well for one thing the program was founded in 1956. The disease had not been officially recognized as a disease at that time. The reason why they chose to use the term “narcotics” in the title of their program was because they felt that it defined that both prescription drugs as well as street drugs, in other words, any “narcotics” was something they needed to abstain from in order to recover.

But these programs were for people who felt they were “addicted” to something. What about people who just gathered together for a common purpose? For example there exists groups such as “Divorce Anonymous” and “Emotions Anonymous”. Divorce Anonymous is for those going through divorce who want to have other people to lend on going through the same thing. Emotions Anonymous is for anyone with any type of mental illness that wants to apply the 12 step process to their emotional disorders. To throw an extra curve ball into the mix “Over eaters Anonymous” is for those who are anorexic, bulimic, binge eaters, and even those who are in the “HOW program for those who can't eat any refined sugars or flours. So basically if you have an eating disorder you're welcome to work it through in OA. This is a program where being a normal weight is not necessarily a sign of recovery. Not if you're a normal weight by bunging and purging.

When we formed our program there was nothing else out there in the way of recovery for us and I mean NOTHING. The term “trafficking” not only hadn't been recognized federally yet – you have to realize that in 1984 when I put together the first safe house for women who were being literally sold like cattle or savagely beaten by their pimps I want you to understand that not only did Mainstream America not believe this sort of thing was even happening but further if you tried to seek help by running to a hospital, a homeless or domestic violence shelter, or a treatment center you were refused admittance. That was even if you had money or insurance.

Elvis Presley made a movie “Harem Holiday” about a woman who wanted to be rescued from a harem in 1965. Bruce Lee actually showed both human and sex trafficking in “Enter the Dragon” in his 1973 film when he went into the underground cells. The woman in the cell wasn't Asian by the way – but a white girl with blond hair who was being clearly drugged and held against her will. Both were viewed as “fantasy”. When Linda Lovelace came forward in 1980 and revealed in her book “Ordeal” she had been forced to film “Deep Throat” with a gun pointed at her off camera” by her pimp/husband while no one one the crew lifted a finger to help her on this mob financed film you could actually hear the audience members screaming “liar” at her despite the fact you could clearly see the bruises on her legs during the bathtub scene.

I myself tried to tell a mental health professional what I'd experienced and was witnessing in 1983 and they started to lock me up for psychiatric observation. When I asked why they said “you must be hallucinating because those things just aren't real”. I went to look in the textbooks that therapists, doctors, social workers, and even police were being trained on and trust me according to the textbooks the kinds of things I was experiencing and witnessing while in the sex industry didn't seem to exist under any category other than “see drug addiction”.

I took a woman who had been stabbed 51 times into the ER by the Hillside Strangler bleeding to death. The hospital only stitched her up after I threatened to sue them but refused to admit her. While her stitches were still fresh I took her to the police station to have them got arrest the two cousins that had done this to her. We were thrown out on our ears by a cop saying “we can't get a warrant issued on the word of a whore”. Meaning if you stabbed a woman with a past record for prostitution you basically had a get out of jail free card back in the early 1980's.

So what am I supposed to do when I see we literally have nowhere to go and according to the world we don't even exist at all? I turned a warehouse I'd been using as a brothel into a safe house. I had tried using my home a few times only to wind up getting shots fired into my house. I was worried the neighbors were going to be shot so I figured a warehouse was safer. Especially if I put it right next to the police station. The first person I put in it was a woman whose pimp had broken her arm, her nose and blacked both her eyes. When the pimp realized he couldn't force his way in – he retaliated by reporting that we were operating a brothel there. The police came and knocked on the door at midnight. She was there to sleep and recuperate so she answered the door in her PJ's like anyone would at that hour.

Well in the cop's mind if you're someone with a record for prostitution and you answer the door at midnight in PJ's you must be hooking. So they arrested her and charged me with pimping her. It took me a while to get them to understand what was going on but she was finally able to get them to take her testimony against him. Clearly I needed to do something differently and I didn't think it was right that we were being incarcerated as criminals for what these men were forcing us to do. Not just men either mind you but women too. I've seen more than one woman being pimped out by her mother so it's not just the men that are the pimps.

I went and had a meeting with the Attorney General for California at that time – Edwin Meese. He had worked with Linda Lovelace on the Meese Report so he well understand that many of us were being forced to be out there against our will yet we were the ones going to jail, we were the ones losing our children, we were the one's having our property confiscated, we were the ones with the criminal records, etc. The judges weren't hearing that we were “forced” because again the TV was blowing up with Dolly Pardon dancing around singing in the “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”, the “Happy Hooker” was on the NY Best Seller List, Hugh Hefner was entertaining the top Fortune 500 executives with women dressed in bunny outfits hopping around his Key clubs or the mansion, and Joe Conforte was pushing the Mustang Ranch legal brothel by saying it was all a “victim-less crime” after all what “two consenting adults” do when alone together.

Edwin Meese told me that he didn't think we'd see the day in my lifetime that this country stopped arresting us as prostitutes. In the meantime, there was already existing law on the books because of AA and NA that allowed us to go into any courtroom anywhere in the USA and ask for “alternative sentencing” if found guilty if we had a 12 step program. Meaning if I formed a 12 step group - I had a chance to at least get us out of jail. Also, as a 12 step group, I could qualify for free public service announcements. What that meant prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1995 is that I could run free commercials on radio and TV late at night when they had left over air time (which is exactly when we wanted it). To have a TV or radio station back then – you were required to donate a certain amount of time to nonprofits free.

So in 1987 I seized my opportunity to do something to make a difference. I formed a 12 step group which we originally called “Prostitutes Anonymous”. The thinking was that anyone convicted of prostitution charges could ask the judge to come to our program instead of jail so we'll call ourselves “prostitutes” because prostitution is illegal. We didn't want pimps or panderers – so prostitutes was pretty specific. You also have to realize this was 1987 – meaning before the internet and before computers. Everything was done by directories back then. So anything to do with helping prostitutes in 1987 would have to be found in a directory under the title “prostitutes” for that reason – so we could be found.

No one wanted to record our public service announcements. No one wanted to be thought of as a “prostitute” back then. Remember – in 1986 they had just been considering a law to have us put on an island to quarantine us for fear we would kill everyone from HIV/AIDS. Los Angeles had a record number of serial killers targeting prostitutes. LAPD was going through what later would be the RAMPART lawsuits. Trust me – we were not a popular cause in 1987. A brave woman stepped up – Frances Nuyen from South Pacific and Joy Luck Club and offered. She made us a tape (we had to record things on tape then) for a 30 and 60 second public service announcement. Back then they had to be recorded on 1” size film which cost us $75 a tape to duplicate and send to each station to air. Sure they'd air them for free – but we had to pay to copy them, then ship to each station to air them for us.

Meaning if you turned on your TV or radio from 1987 to about 1995 between midnight and 6:00 a.m in the cities where we had a tape going (at $75 a shot we had about 10 tapes we'd move around from city to city), you'd hear our commercial saying “do you need help? Call Prostitutes Anonymous XXX-XXXX. For some stations who found that word offensive – we simply had “Do you need help to get off the streets?” and then our phone number. There was no website – just our 800 number that by the way I had to rent an office so we could have a business phone in order to have an 800 phone number back then.

Then came time to approach the city of Los Angeles first since that's where I was living at the time and also was experiencing the most HIV/AIDS with respect to sex workers at that time. They were telling us to use condoms but then calling it “evidence” if we had them on us. So my work was cut out for me. I was very fortunate to have the visionary Tom Bradley as mayor then and Sheriff Block was actually personal friends with Norma Ashby then who was an ex-madam he had arrested in 1980. Bradley agreed to not only allow us to launch the first alternative sentencing program here in Los Angeles for prostitutes – but he personally helped us go in and clear out the prostitutes who were having to sleep on the floors because of the overcrowding in them. That included 400 transgender prostitutes who had been forced to sleep in sleeping bags on the cafeteria floors because they were afraid to mix them in with the regular inmates.

Tom found a recently emptied out treatment center, Via Avanta, and he personally helped us go in and clear out all of the pregnant HIV/AIDS positive prostitutes first, along with those transgenders, and put them into Via Avanta instead of being in a sleeping bag in the jail because of the overcrowding. Out of about 2000 female inmates – about 1800 of them were prostitutes. That's how bad it was – and that's how many we went in and started clearing out right away. From there, the judge then allowed for those who said they were like you, who didn't want to be there, who were being forced, who wanted to do something else, he allowed us not only to get them out of simply being incarcerated, and also out of just coming to our 12 step meetings – but we had all kinds of people reaching out to help. Schools started offering scholarships, employers offered jobs, landlords offered free move-in, etc. We even had daycares offering free care while these women took classes or got counseling.

Our program in Los Angeles was so successful – I had Allentown, Pennsylvania calling. They also had women not just suffering on the streets at the hands of the pimps but also being stuffed from the rafters in the jails. So in 1989 I sold everything I owned, left my job, and relocated to Allentown to help launch the “Program for Female Offenders”. They said we saved the country over $750,000 and we had an unheard of 80 % effectiveness rate. That was so successful we had one of our members go up and open up the first drop-in center that later became PACE in Vancouver Canada in 1991.

So you know what? Everyone was FINE with identifying as a “recovering prostitute” within our meetings. I wasn't hearing any complaints out of anyone. Until 1995 when the internet was born. Suddenly we had two big problems. The first was the fact that adult filters were blocking the word “prostitute”. Now guess who was the type of person most likely to be trying to find us online? You guessed it – the college girl paying for her school this way. Where is she going to be looking for us? On the college library computer. Which is blocking the word “prostitute”. The yellow pages is blocking the word. AOL is blocking the word. Every database online is blocking the word. I would call the directories and get them to agree to lift the block – but then people's emails were blocking the word.

What's the other problem? Webcam girls. Suddenly we have a whole wave of members coming in saying “I haven't relapsed – I'm working on a webcam and I'm not having sex with anyone therefore I haven't relapsed.”. Well technically maybe they had a point. Was it a relapse if they didn't have physical sex? It was a relapse if they stripped or did porn – so wouldn't webcam work be a relapse?

Okay well then what word do we use that conveys what we are but also conveys that ALL forms of sex for ANY type of money is a relapse? You know what? That's when a lot of members started saying “I hate calling myself a prostitute” but they were agreeing that the term “sex worker” implied that what they did was a job and not an identification of who they were as a person. Actually this made more sense. Because yes being a “prostitute” is a form of identification. However, sex worker being a job means it's what I did not who I am. We took a group conscience of all of our members that we could take a vote from in 1996. A few test runs on the computer proved the term “sex worker” bypassed the adult filters. The members liked the idea of saying this was a job they did – not who they were. Now as to whether they liked the job, wanted to do the job – well that's like any job now then isn't it in that every case is different.

So we changed the name to Sex Workers Anonymous in 1995. Everyone was FINE with it. They were fine with having an alternative to jail. They were fine with having a hotline they could call answered by another person in recovery 24/7. Remember now there was no Polaris in 1995. There was no Shared Hope in 1995. There wasn't anything out there for adults in 1995 because the whole issue of sex trafficking hadn't received federal recognition yet.

Do you know how that happened? I kept getting calls from Attorney General's telling me that prostitutes weren't qualifying for victim services because they were criminals. They kept telling me they wouldn't qualify for this until we got federal recognition which we weren't going to get until the American public believed. How were they going to believe? We as survivors had to keep going on TV that's how. Only it wasn't as easy as telling our stories to be believed. We couldn't sell any book or make a movie deal because then the public would accuse us of “just trying to make a buck”. We couldn't go on TV with sunglasses on or wigs because then the audience couldn't see we were telling the truth. I had to go on TV with my news clips about my arrest and the safe house so that no one could accuse me of “making it all up”. Plus every time I went on national TV and told my story I'd come home to find myself evicted and fired. Lost a few boyfriends and friends along the way.

Remember we weren't “heroes” back then. We were called “whores” “criminals” “degenerates” “perverts” “deviants” and a few other choice words I'd find spray painted on my car after a TV appearance back then. I don't think we really made headway until I went on the Joan Rivers show with a million dollars in book and movie offers to tell my story like the Beverly Hills and Mayflower Madam had done. I showed them to the camera and Joan and then tore them up. After Joan got down pretending to faint she asked me why I did that. I told her the truth – if all I wanted was money I'd go back into the sex industry.

But that I couldn't go back in the industry knowing that someone had to be out here on the other side helping men and women to find their way out and until someone else was out here with me helping them I couldn't afford to take those offers and be accused of making all this stuff up. Because back then trying to convince the world that the “Happy Hooker” wasn't so happy but that some of them might have had their drinks spiked or having a gun pointed at them off camera – well it just wasn't something the men especially wanted to hear back then.

So we kept bringing on more stories and more stories until finally we saw the Trafficking Act of 2000 passed. Only now I feel a bit like those Indians who were only told about the upside of their reservation getting federal recognition because once we got the official recognition of “trafficking” that's when all this war broke out over what is and what isn't trafficking. Not because it makes any difference except in the bottom line of what gets paid and who doesn't.

I can assure you that when our hotline gets a call from a woman who is being pimped out of a massage parlor run by an ex-cop or a strip club by a DEA agent and they want our help to get out of there – they could care less what we call them as long as they can call us for help. The same if you're trying to find work and your porn photos or criminal record keep following you everywhere. You could care less what label is used on you – as long as we can help you find work outside of the sex industry. You're facing jail time for a prostitution charge and you got two kids you're going to lose to foster care if you go to jail? Trust me you could care less what the name of our program is as long as I can sign that court card for the judge and keep you out of jail.

As I said, we launched our program and hotline in 1987 and I have not heard one single complaint out of anyone about the name of our program or what people call themselves at a meeting. As a matter of fact, the only thing we ask members to call themselves at a meeting is anything they want. If they want to say “recovering prostitute” fine. If they don't – fine. We don't ask anyone to do anything they're not comfortable with as long as they come into our program with the desire to leave the sex industry and find recovery.

The ONLY time I've seen this all out war over words came with the TVRA of 2003. That's when Randall Tobias and then President Bush came in and said that you don't get any money to work with trafficking victims unless you (1) are a faith based program and (2) unless you come out against the sex industry and pornography as not being a job or work but as a human rights violation. THAT'S when words became an issue.

Up until 2003, we had a meeting of our program in just about every major city of the USA. The courts were using us as an alternative sentencing program at no cost to them or the defendant. No special courts, grants or judges were needed. The Salvation Army or Catholic Charities would let us hold a meeting on their property with their clients. The local jail would let us hold a meeting there also. The local vice cops would give out our phone number to the women who said they wanted out. The local health department would give out our phone # to those who came out HIV positive. Local drug treatment programs would refer their clients to us who had issues and everything seemed to be chugging along just fine. Professor Sharon Oselin did a 10 year study of our program in “Leaving Prostitution” and it came back with great quotes from women saying it was our program that “turned their lives around”.

But then I had Melissa Farley come to me and ask me if I'd agree to state that sex work was rape and not just that all SWA members were, but that ALL all sex workers were rape victims. Well there's a problem with that and it's called the traditions. I can't take a position on “an outside opinion” like that no matter what my personal beliefs are. That would be the equivalent of asking Jimmy Kinnon, the founder of Narcotics Anonymous, to come out and say “there's no such thing as medical marijuana because any use of marijuana is an addictive recreation, not medicinal, use of the drug.” In AA terms – it would be like Bill Wilson or AA saying that “There's no such thing as a non-alcoholic. Anyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic and any alcohol use is addictive.”

As to who is at fault for what – that's all explored and written about in the steps on an individual basis by each member. I can't make a statement like that without violating our steps and traditions. Were you forced to do what you did by your pimp? That needs to be explored in your step process? Did you blame your pimp for what you did like the guy who blames the booze he drank the night before for what he cheated on his wife? That needs to be explored in your step process. I can assure you I've spoken to just as many people who have truly been forced to be in the sex industry truly against their will and had no choice as I have spoken to people who blame someone for their time in the sex industry.

Then again there's some issues that's really up to the person only. Take a woman for example who is running a motel in the middle of nowhere. She has three kids and she's now only 22 years old. This woman has no money and the motel has had no guests in over a month. They are broke. Totally broke. A man shows up and tells her husband that he'll check into a room for the night – but only, and only if, she agrees to take another $100 to spend the night with him. Now let me ask you – was that her husband's responsibility she went and slept with that man? Was she forced to sleep with that man against her will – could she have refused? Did that man show up in time to save them from starvation? You know what? It's not up to me or you to decide on this or this woman – it's up to her to decide what she feels about this. That's what our official position is on that sort of thing – it's up to the member, her sponsee and the higher power of her understanding.

So guess what happened when I refused to make such a public statement which violates our traditions when Melissa Farley asked me to? Suddenly every Salvation Army, Catholic Charity, and every other little faith based shelter tells me our program is no longer welcome on their property. Then the police, social workers, mental health counselors, etc, are all told they can't give referrals to us. Suddenly the news is printing stories that the “are no resources”.

I'm sitting back scratching my head wondering what they're going to do because my understanding is that an alternative sentencing program can't run without a 12 step program. That's what my mentor board told me when I put together a team of 12 step group founders to mentor me into how to form a 12 step group back in the late 1980's. They told me that the alternative sentencing programs couldn't run without either a very expensive program run by a PhD of some kind, or a 12 step program. Now unless someone is going to go out and start their own 12 step program I'm sitting back and I'm going to see what all these people are going to do.

What they did do was straight up lie to me and violate my copyrights and trademarks. They would lie to my face and insist they were not holding meetings of our program – and then they would run them any old way they felt like running them. I start getting these crazy phone calls where women are telling me that they just went to a “Prostitutes Anonymous” meeting where they were told that “prostitution is a disease” and that they are going to “need meetings for life” and that their “pimp is what made them do all those crazy things” and I'm hearing back that these meetings are sitting back pimp blaming for their actions no different than how alcoholics blame the booze for their bad behavior. Took me a while to get the evidence – but I did and I slapped all 11 of these courts with a “notice to cease and desist” because of my copyright violation. I still don't know what any intends to do about the money that was collected in my name, because of my name and about the damage done to our reputation because of this nonsense.

Because that's what I started hearing back from these groups. A bunch of women sitting around blaming everyone else for why they are where they are today and expecting everyone else to take care of them. Like somehow the government is supposed to hand them a check because they're a victim. Well I'm sorry but going from thinking you need to have some man take care of you to now thinking you need to have the government take care of you isn't our goal in our program.

In our program we say that we don't “care who you ran with, how much you made or what you did – but only in what your problem is today and how we can help”. Now the name of our program is “Sex Workers Anonymous”. That is not what we ask you to call yourself. In fact, we don't ask you to call yourself anything. The only we do ask though if you want to join our program is that you “have a desire to leave the sex industry (for whatever reason) and to find recovery (from whatever is up to you)”.

Now our first step ask that you “admit we are powerless over our addiction”. We define “addiction” by the NA Basic Text definition.

The Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous, as adapted from A.A., are the basis of our recovery program. We have only broadened their perspective. We follow the same path with a single exception; our identification as addicts is all-inclusive with respect to any mood-changing, mind-altering substance. Alcoholism is too limited a term for us; our problem is not a specific substance, it is a disease called addiction. We believe that as a fellowship, we have been guided by a Greater Consciousness, and are grateful for the direction that has enabled us to build upon a proven program of recovery.”

We go by the NA definition of addiction in our program because it covers everything we need to cover. First, it covers any type of drugs and/or alcohol we might be using both in or out of the sex industry. Second, of course it also covers anything that we believe will lead us into “jails, institutions, and death”. Now for some of us that also includes eating disorders. For some of us it doesn't. For some of us that includes abusive relationships. Some of us have come within an inch of our lives of being murdered by someone who said they “loved us”. It includes criminal behavior as that would also wind us up in jail. Gambling is covered within this definition IF it's a pattern for us that winds up up within that “jails, institutions and death” pattern. Any thing, any behavior, any substance, or any person that's going to wind us up in a hospital ER, a jail, a courtroom, or six feet under that we're finding we can't stop by our own control or choice - well then that falls within our first step. For some of us we could be standing there 20 minutes listing off substances and behaviors. That then becomes a point of division “well I'm sicker than you are”. No – we each are all covered by one point of contact which is we are each there to find “recovery” from our “addiction”.

Now if you don't find you fall within that category – then guess what? Maybe we're not for you. Alcoholics Anonymous is not for everyone who has a drinking problem. AA is for those who found that nothing else they tried to stop drinking worked for them. Now if you're standing in a courtroom with a judge about to pass sentencing on you to drag you off to jail? Guess what? You qualify for our 12 step program.

I will say this – I don't get in anyone else's face and tell them what their personal experiences are nor what to identify themselves as. But I am getting real sick real fast of people using me as a punching bag since 2003 I'll tell you that. People who by the way haven't done HALF OF THE WORK AND SACRIFICE that I have for the men and women who have needed help when this wasn't a “popular” field to be involved in. When it wasn't “cool” and when there wasn't a dime in this work. I'm also frankly getting real sick of a lot of other people right now in this field getting paid to do the work I'm doing.

Other people are going into the nice fancy restaurant around here and then sticking me with the tab and the clean-up and frankly I'm getting really sick of it. The ONLY reason I haven't thrown in the towel and I keep our phone on now is the same reason I turned our phone on in 1987 – because someone around here has to do the work no one else is doing.

So if you don't like the name of our program – then please be my guest to go out there and start your own program. Or even better, how about you do some service work around here for a year, get yourself on our board, and then you can make a motion to have our name changed. No I take that back – even better is you chip in on the bills around here and then you come talk to me about the name we go by. But the next person that wants to get in my face about the name we go by – you come up with a better way to do the work we've been doing and I'm all ears. I'm not telling you what to call your experiences and I would appreciate the same respect of you not telling me what to call mine.







LETTER TO TORONTO STAR ABOUT SEX TRAFFICKING ARTICLE

In response to this article - http://projects.thestar.com/human-sex-trafficking-ontario-canada/  I sent their editors this letter for publication in their editorial section:


Dear Canadian Media:


I know you probably don't know who I am from Adam and there's a reason for that.  I'm writing you to see what I can do to change that and explain.  Catch this clip from "Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee in 1973.   http://www.movieclips.com/videos/enter-the-dragon-official-clip-master-fighter-510741059967  I need to get the rest of that scene - but you can see this jail cell with men in this clip.  The men are human trafficking victims.  After they show the men, they show a white girl, not an Asian girl mind you, but a white girl, who is being drugged and clearly being prepped for sex trafficking.  In Elvis "Harum Holiday" he's also trying to rescue a woman from sex trafficking.  Only we didn't have the word "sex trafficking" back in those days.  In fact, when I asked about those sorts of scenes - I was told "oh those sorts of things don't exist anymore".  

Why?  Because in the 1970's the "Happy Hooker" was on the best seller list.  The XXX film "Deep Throat" was the first adult film to be shown in a regular mainstream, not adult, theater.  Dolly Parton was singing her heart out in "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" with Sylvester Stallone.  The song got an Oscar nomination "I Will Always Love You" about her affair with the local sheriff. Playboy had a chain of Key clubs, along with his mansion, his magazine, and his TV show.  Joe Conforte opened up the first legal brothel in Nevada in the early 1970's as well.  

So when Linda Lovelace came forward in 1980 to say she'd been forced to film "Deep Throat" with her pimp/husband, who was white, pointing a gun at her head, the world didn't believe her.  I walked into a nightclub that was owned by Richard Pryor's family.  You may have heard him speak about his mother who worked in his grandmother's brothel?  Well the "family" needed a way to launder that money and with his entertainment connections they opened up a nightclub.  They recruited me to rent homes in Tarzana, and offices in Beverly Hills, along with bank accounts so they could also open up record studios to further launder the money that was pouring in from Iran Contra's cocaine money by the 1980's as well.  

I had seen images of street walking junkies and pimps like "Huggy Bear" so I was completely ill-equipped when I was turned out into a "family" where there was no violence used against us, we lived in mansions and were driven in Rolls Royces.  When I managed to get free - I went to seek therapy for my PTSD.  They started to lock me up for observation thinking I was hallucinating because "such things don't exist".  I looked in the psychology text books - and to them it didn't exist. LA had a record number of serial killers also - the Green River, Hillside Stranger, Grim Reaper, etc.  I took a woman who had been stabbed 51 times to the police who then threw us out.  They said they "couldn't get a warrant based on the word of  whore".  When I asked why - they said "because she's a criminal".  

Because of HIV/AIDS - the treatment centers, homeless and domestic violence shelters, everyone was turning us away.  Even if you had insurance or money - if they thought you were a "prostitute" then you were refused any help at all.  Children of the Night opened a shelter in 1979 - but they cut off help at 18 years of age.  I was 19 years old then and too old.  Besides, I had a dog and they didn't take children or pets then.

There was no where for us to go.  No one even believed we existed except Lois and she only took in kids.  Even with her - she had trouble making people understand why she had to make a distinction between prostitutes and runaways.  People couldn't understand that a young girl in most of these shelters would be raped by the other clients and staff alike and they needed special protection.  Covenant House by the way wouldn't even take prostitutes because the pimps would come looking for them with guns and they wouldn't hire armed security.  Then suddenly they would take male prostitutes.  That's when we learned it was because Father Ritter liked boys.  Took ten years to get him out because no one wanted to stop the money machine to get him out.  So for ten years I had staff smuggling the male prostitutes out to me when he wasn't looking because they didn't want to go to the press or the police - but we could at least get the boys out.  Until it was discovered what they were doing and then they'd be fired anyway.  

I turned my old brothel into a safe house.  I got arrested for it too when the pimp retaliated by reporting it as a brothel.  I got it sorted out but it cost me every penny I had and got my mother arrested also.  You can read about it at www.hightechmadam.com  But that's when I realized I had no choice but to educate the world that things had to change.  The modern day sex trafficking movement was born when I stepped up on a talk show stage in 1987 and announced our hotline, our 12 step program, and called out to have courts use our program as an "alternative to sentencing" like how AA does for alcoholics and NA does for addicts.   

The Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed which then did coin the term "trafficking victim".  We were told that federal recognition would allow prostitutes to receive assistance as victims they were being denied because they were criminals.  Like the Native Americans learned however when they received federal recognition - it wasn't all roses to get that recognition.  I had no idea what making money available would mean in the real world. 

I say that because by 2000 we had a chapter of SWA just about in every major city of the USA (we were better known by Prostitutes Anonymous).  We also had chapters in Canada.  In 1990, a woman I sponsored down in Florida, Paige Latin, moved to Vancouver.  There was a serial killer up there and in response she set up a chapter.  Soon she had 10 women in her studio apartment and something had to give.  She went to the ministry and they gave her enough money to open what I was told was the first drop-in crisis center in Canada for prostitutes.  Another one opened in Ontario not long after that.  Our original program was called SPACE for Substance and Prostitution Alternatives Counseling & Education.  

I'm not sure the exact year but it was about 1995 (I remember it was about when the movie aired), when Paige's father died.  She had to go take care of things like his funeral and signed some papers for things to be handled in her absence.  She didn't have time to have me review things before she left.  Evidently she pretty much signed over the farm and PACE took over our center.  They were what's called "harm reduction" people.  I call that the kind of people who tell you it's okay to shoot heroin as long as you put your vitamins in your needle.  I can't agree with it - so I pulled all my support.  

The people who also didn't agree with PACE split off to form PEERS.  In the meantime, the Telecommunications Act of 1995 had passed meaning I couldn't run public service announcements for our hotline any longer.  Let me explain something I'm sure you're aware of by now - most prostitutes, whether they're pimped, or trafficked, or not, aren't really safe in most drug treatment programs.  http://www.laweekly.com/news/a-drug-rehab-mogul-built-an-empire-that-s-now-being-probed-by-the-fbi-da-and-state-of-california-6390686

They aren't safe in jail. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2013/03/26/kern-county-settles-last-of-molestation-conviction-suits.html

They aren't safe in court - even with court staff around and it's a guard whose feeling them up.  http://lasvegastribune.net/clark-county-court-patricia-doninger-youre-fire/

They can't call the police because they might be like Holtzclaw http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/daniel-holtzclaw-alleged-sexual-assault-oklahoma-city or like Chris Butler http://patch.com/california/sanramon/private-investigator-christopher-butler-pleads-guilty0df4c86437 or just either completely incapable of protecting them http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/When-Jailbirds-Sing-It-was-the-pure-savagery-of-3018647.php or they took a bribe or were blackmailed to look the either way.  In Margo's case we don't know other than she agreed to testify against her traffickers and her and her twins were savagely slaughtered in their own home.

Nor does the stamp "christian" mean they're a good place to go either for help.  http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/02/21/dark-side-mercy-ministries/  Remember, there was a famous study done once that revealed 100 percent of porn stars came from very strict religious backgrounds, and that their sexual abuse was done within that context.  

True story - I was suffering from what we've now dubbed "post prostitution syndrome".  To try and figure out what it was, or if anyone else was suffering from it (I had two years clean and out of all sex work and was completely insane) I went to interview these women at a church that I had been told was doing an "amazing job at turning their lives around".  This church was supposedly going out and picking up women off the streets and getting them clean and out of prostitution and everyone told me "you need to go interview them over at so and so".  So I did.  

As I was interviewing them - I realized these women were living the same exact lifestyle as that of being pimped only their pastor was their pimp.  The church?  Children of God.  They were using sex to get donations and converts for the church and the pastor was sleeping with their kids.  http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Flirty_Fishing  As I realized this was the "dry drunk" for us - replacing the pimp with a pastor (you might want to look a little closer at Annie Lombert by the way), the light bulb went on for the women too.  Suddenly I had 10 women with kids who wanted out. So when I went on the first Sally Jesse Raphael show in 1987 I asked for help to get these women out of there.  I got a call from an apartment owner in N. Hollywood who helped me get each one out of there.  The pastor packed up and left the country and changed the name of the cult to "The Family".  

PEERS from what I understand just closed their doors for a lack of operating capital.  Look - if you try and talk to these women without knowing what you're doing you're just going to make it worse.  In fact - it pretty much does make it worse.  It's called the "Backfire Effect" and trust me pimps and traffickers are well aware of this.  http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/  Meaning the more you actually try to help these men and women, the more you actually anchor the brainwashing and in fact trigger it.   It's one of the reasons why when I first started doing trainings for police officers and social workers in the 1980's they used to tell me "I'm just so frustrated because the more I try and help the more they fight me back" or "I take them out and then they go right back"!   Because they couldn't understand why these women would either go right back to the pimp, or someone just like him, or even worse!

Look in the late 1980's and early 1990's when the jails wanted to have their numbers reduced, and treatment centers were paid by their success rate - I was setting up trainings, and programs, and workshops right and left.  I had a course set up even at Mission College's Addiction Studies program.  We were offering continuing education courses there and I was in the process of setting up the trainings at the policy academy and even working with the colleges to put education in their textbooks on how to work with this community.  

Again, that federal recognition just changed everything.  That and the abortion people.  You can trace it - once money came into the field in 2000 - the TVRA of 2003 was passed.  What that said in English was if you didn't sign a pledge stating that you were against pornography and prostitution that you didn't get paid.  Bush came in and said if you weren't a "faith based program" you didn't get paid.  Which started a stampede of money.  Only guess what?  These were the same people who the year before were refusing to let me have meeting space because they didn't want "hookers on their property".  These were the same people who were organizing teams of women to run the strip clubs out of town.  Not SAVE them but RUN THEM OUT OF TOWN.  

Honestly, many of the films that got blasted out over the airwaves post-2003 are the equivalent of "Reefer Madness".  Then came the cherry on the sundae.  Many of the police officers who you're reading about were either trafficking these women, molesting them, raping them, beating them up, or buying sex from them?  They started getting real worried about the chain of information.  A police officer can get access to information in the files of a social worker, mental health, counselor, even the local shelter.  But guess where they can't get information from?  

Us.  I was approached in 2007 and basically asked if I would become a paid informant on our members.  I refused.  That's when the lid came down.  Every police officer, social work, counselor, etc. who basically works for the government got told they couldn't give referrals to us.  They can't access our notes and we won't release information to them.  The faith based people weren't giving referrals to anyone that wasn't connected up with this "Freedom Registry".  Now the ACLU won the ACLU v. Catholic Bishops.  The Supreme Court in 2012 also ruled that this was a violation of our constitutional rights - but this still remains that from about 2003 until about 2012 - everyone who was working within the system was told not to even think about giving out our name and number for one reason or another.  

Add onto that the "johns" like Steve Sassa who was running Heart Media who certainly doesn't want to even think about anyone interfering with his "drug of choice" (all johns are sex addicts) and we're not going to get in those publications.  No active alcoholic is going to run an ad or an article about Alcoholics Anonymous.  No - they're going to run ads about how great booze is.  

Steve Sassa has been running Telemundo for a couple of years.  Tijuana has now been confirmed as having an HIV/AIDS epidemic among the sex workers.  It took PBS to get the word out about the epidemic.  

So your article is showing the results of all of this blacklisting about information on us for a variety of reasons.  Whether it's people afraid we're someone going to help someone get an abortion (ridiculous), or that we're going to somehow increase the number of lawsuits against cops (again ridiculous - but guilty people act paranoid) or people like American Apparel who throw out a lot of ad money in sexualized content - either way I've got to figure out a way to get the media to help us get our hotline number out there.   If you had 100 residential programs - many of these women wouldn't call them.  That doesn't help the men or the transgenders.

Now if someone is under the age of 18 - they can get to any airport or bus stop and Children of the Night will get them free to their house and they're awesome.  For those under 18 - you really need to get that information out there.  They'll even pay for a cab if they can just call their hotline at www.childrenofthenight.org  They also take girls, boys and transgenders.  I've sent kids to them for 30 years and they are really really good.  Especially when it's the parents pimping them - she can handle those difficult cases.

So this is why you haven't been hearing about us.  There are a lot of people who are trying to go for this $20 million that I understand the ministry has set aside to do something about trafficking.  So what I saw was they went after the PEERS people and wiped them out of the way so they had a clear path.  Now the people who made nothing but a mess of things in the states are trying to get their hands on money there in Canada.   I just need your help please getting the two hotlines out there for this community where we can meet them where they're at and get them what they need.  

If you need testimonials - I have some at www.leavingtheliferadio.com  and the clips I have up at www.hightechmadam.com Thanks for your help and listening.  January is trafficking month - so any opportunities you have to help us get press - please let me know.  I don't charge for anything we do.  
  If you need me to edit it for word count - just let me know and I can.   Thank you.  Jody www.sexworkersanonymous.com) 

Sex trafficking is not a secret. It's not something that just suddenly sprouted up in Canada either. I'll prove it to you. There was a movie made in 1995 “Fighting for my Daughter” where Lindsey Wagner played the mother based on the story of a woman who came to me for help in 1991. Her daughter had been kidnapped by a pimp and the police refused to help find her daughter to bring her home.

The mom had heard rumors she was with this pimp and had gone down to the red light district asking for her daughter only to be rebuffed of course. They didn't want to get beaten or worse if they told where she was. This pimp had murdered three other prostitutes so word on the streets was the prostitutes and the cops were scared of him.

She came to us at www.sexworkersanonymous.com (we were called Prostitutes Anonymous then). I was pregnant in Los Angeles at the time so I couldn't travel to help her if she had any money to fly me up there anyway. Our program had a local chapter in Ontario and Vancouver then so that's how she heard about us. There was a serial killer targeting prostitutes in Vancouver so our Vancouver chapter there being led by Paige Latin. She had 10 women staying in her studio apartment because everyone was afraid to go out on the streets to hook because this killer was just leaving hookers' bodies in pieces by dumpsters in alleys. So Paige couldn't travel either.

So I gave the mother the advice of what I would do to find her if I was local – to dress up like one of the hookers, blend in like one of them for a few days, and after they think you're “one of them” then they'll tell you where she is. Which she did and about a week later she found where her daughter was.

The pimp was not only holding her against her will - but was threatening to murder her if the girl went home. Turned out the mom was getting a check for the daughter which had been cut off because she was gone. So when she came home she told the social worker how we helped to get her back. The social worker thought that this was really cool and told the producers on the Sally Jesse Raphael talk show. We flew down there to do her show and after taping got approached by the producers to do the movie. We agreed to do it as long as our hotline phone number was put up at the end of the film. Only the end of the film is kind of like what I'm writing you about – they didn't run it after we spent six weeks working with the script writer. You'd think after all that work to make a film about such a horrible event – they'd want to get the phone number out there of the group that helped this woman save her daughter.

I also don't know if I understand why the producers made the pimp white. They said they didn't want to make it appear "racist". But he was black so I don't know how reality is racist. But in the film they made blond and blue-eyed even. Me? They made me African American even though I'm white. Go figure.

There are Russian, Chinese, Hispanic and white pimps. Chuck Traynor, the man who pimped Linda Lovelace was white. Pimps come in all colors of the rainbow and there's all different types. I assure you there are many different styles of pimps and traffickers and if you only cover a few of the more violent ones - you're going to wind up with what I saw on the NBC "Sex Slaves" show. On there they arrested this woman who had seen the show. The producer says "well if you saw the show - why are you out here?" She says "oh that's not me".

If the media keeps only focusing on these more horrible dark violent cases exclusively and then the other types of trafficking that are more common is going to go under the radar. In the case on the show “Sex Slaves” this was a woman who had just had a baby and lost her job. She had rent coming due and just ran an ad on Backpage to pay the rent. Nothing dark. Nothing horrible. But it got her arrested for prostitution.

Believe it or not, Bruce Lee was even trying to warn us about sex and human trafficking in “Enter the Dragon” in 1973. Elvis Presley was also trying to enlighten us in “Harem Holiday” in 1965.

So sex trafficking is nothing new. Our hotline has been on since 1987. It's answered 24/7 by a survivor and our program is for anyone – male, female or transgender who wants help to leave the sex industry for any reason – whether trafficked or not. That means even if they want to quit just because they are just sick and tired – that's okay.

We used to be able to run free public service announcements for our hotline which is how the mother found us. But when the Telecommunications Act of 1995 passed – that wiped out all the free commercials we used to be able to run on TV and radio. Believe it or not it also wiped out our ability to buy advertising even. Why? Because company's who either are in the sex industry, or whose owners are supportive of, or patrons of, the sex industry, spend billions of dollars in advertising that we can't even hope to compete for. Which means when I go to try and buy some ads for us – we get refused and told right to our face that they're not willing to risk losing their bigger advertisers by taking our ads.

But then we run into problems even if I had a million dollar ad budget. A few years ago Steve Sassa, the CEO of Hearst Media was fired when a pimp of an escort he was texting sent some of his text messages to the legal department because he was being blackmailed. So he was for lack of a better term a “john”.

Now I invite you to think about just how big of a media empire Hearst Media is. Before Steve Sassa became CEO, we were able to have a wonderful article about us published in Cosmopolitan, a Hearst publication. While he was CEO however – we couldn't get a return phone call for any of the TV shows, magazines, newspapers, anything published by Hearst Media.

The truth is that it's easier to point the finger at these pimps and say they're the problem rather than what's really underneath it all. That there's a lot of people who don't want these women to find their way out besides the pimps. There are some people who believe that ohn Kennedy was assassinated because he was going to bring about world peace. Problem with that is peace isn't very profitable. Sex trafficking could be wiped out quite easily. However, the one teeny little problem with that is you'd have to also wipe out the sex industry to do so. There are a lot of men who aren't pimps who just aren't going to let that happen. If you want to help to get out of the sex industry – please get in touch with us at www.sexworkersanonymous.com

-- 
Jody Williams

OPEN LETTER TO BRADLEY MYLES OF POLARIS ABOUT PIMPS IN MEXICO


I read this article today by Bradley Myles of Polaris about how he's "discovered a town where pimps are raised". My first instinct was to call Bradley. Only I know from many many past attempts to communicate with him about this article he won't return my calls or answer my emails. In fact, not one of my attempts have been responded to. Shame. Maybe if he were to consider opening up a dialogue with someone who is not only a survivor of American sex trafficking, but also the founder of the oldest and largest group of recovering survivors of the sex industry he wouldn't be sounding in this article so shocked by what he saw down in Tenancingo, Mexico. Because this sort of thing is not only nothing new – it's the sort of thing that was part of my story and it's going on right now in the United States.

Maybe if he wasn't spending his time talking to “faux survivors” like Samoly Mam, Chong Kim, or Wilthema Ortiz Pettigrew he might have heard about this sort of thing before now. These are just but some of the names that are being paraded around luncheons, fund raisers and the media by a group of powerful people trying very hard to convince America the sex industry and sex trafficking are one in the same so they can pass some laws, advance their careers, line their pockets, and increase their social ranking by exploiting us without even giving us the common respect of returning our phone calls while saying how much they care about us.

For those of you who don't know – Bradley Myles is not a survivor, neither is his wife. That I'm aware of anyway.  The National Trafficking Hotline they formed was launched in 2002.  A report I read last month stated they've answered collectively about 100,000 calls to date.  I don't know how many of those calls Mr. Myles has taken personally but I don't think he answers the hotline himself.

I answer our hotline personally and when ours was launched in 1987 I didn't have  choice but to be the person answering the hotline.  You know why?  Because people who had not witnessed what goes on in "the life" don't believe you when you describe this world.   So who else was going to launch the hotline but me? Besides – I'm the one who got the “call” (wink wink). If you don't know what I mean by that – you can read John Quinones' interview with me about how our work got started and why in more depth.

That outsiders didn't believe us was proven to be the case when Linda Lovelace released her book "Ordeal" in 1980 to audiences on talk shows yelling "boo" and "liar" or "crazy" at her for revealing she had been forced to film "Deep Throat" while her pimp pointed a gun at her head from off-camera.

I read somewhere that Polaris brought in about $10 million dollars in grants and donations last year. You know how the first hotline for adults who wanted help of any kind to leave for any reason in this country got off the ground? We didn't have money for commercial answering services in 1987.   There were not grants or fund raisers because again NO ONE BELIEVED US except a few insiders who knew these things to be true. Again, Lois had opened up Children of the Night for the teens. I already got smacked for opening the first safe house for adults in 1984 by getting arrested. Been there done that. So I was going to go the “outpatient” route now.

Which meant paying a fortune to have an 800 number.  Back in 1987 we didn't have VOIP or internet.  Meaning I had to have a landline phone to get an 800 phone number.  To get an 800 phone number, one had to have a business phone.  To get a business phone, one had to have an office.   The phone company wouldn't install business phones in residential property. So I was paying $100 a month for the office, another $100 a month for the phone, and then $1.00 a minute for the incoming calls.  Our monthly phone bills were over $1000 a month.  I had to work two jobs to keep on our hotline. Children of the Night was able to get the bills paid for the kids through social services because they were kids. But for adults to have a hotline – I took out a second job.  

We were the only hotline there was to call if you were over 18 years of age.  Meaning if you were being held captive by your pimp handcuffing you to the bed and you managed to break free one night and escaped by running down the streets with no clothes on to a pay phone to call us for help - we were who you called.  

We had to help because victim services didn't recognize us as victims, hospitals refused to admit us, domestic violence and homeless shelters refused us, and there was not one single safe house for us anywhere in the country if you were over 18 years of age back then.   Do you have any idea what it's like to be told there's no “place for you” at a homeless shelter? Or to be like the woman I took in back in 1984 – she had a broken arm, a broken nose and two black eyes but the domestic violence shelters refused to take her?

So if a porn performer found out she/he was HIV/AIDS positive and couldn't work in the industry any longer - we'd get the call. There were posters up at HIV testing sites saying “if you want help to quit the sex industry for any reason – call XXX”. Before the Telecommunications Act of 1995 – we had PSA's with Frances Nuyen running all night on TV and cable where she'd say “do you want help to leave? Call XXX-XXXX” and it was that simple (we didn't want to upset anyone either so we kept it simple).

 When Jeane Palfrey, the DC Madam, was arrested and had her name and face plastered all over the internet so she couldn't run a service any longer - we got the call. She was a trafficking victim – but not one that could call the Trafficking Hotline.  Just as we got the call from a woman whose pimp threw her out of the car while it was going 75 mph when she told him she was pregnant and wanted to quit.  Just as we got the call from a hotel room where one woman had knocked out her pimp with the iron from the room so she could break free.  We had to get her out of there before he woke up.  Could we have called the police?  They would have charged her with assault probably so the answer is we thought it was better to get her out of there first.

We launched our hotline because sex workers had nowhere to go for help.  We couldn't go to the police or the mental health professionals because we'd either incriminate ourselves, or not be believed, let alone helped.   Back in the 1980's we were even turned away from hospitals, homeless and domestic violence shelters.  We welcomed calls from anyone in any part of sex work for any reason because if we turned our back on them - it could mean a potential death literally of someone.

 We didn't have federal recognition so there were no victim services.  We didn't have trafficking task forces either.  It was because there was nothing in the way of other resources I plugged in that hotline, took on two jobs, and tied myself to a 100 foot extension phone cord day and night so that we would have somewhere to call for help.  I didn't have the luxury I might add of making distinctions between who I helped by saying our hotline was ONLY for “trafficking victims”. In other words, if you needed help to leave for ANY reason – you called us then as you can call us now. The line of who is a trafficking victim vs. who isn't is in reality a very blurry one sometimes that can take sometimes years to figure out in reality.

Which means I've witnessed and experienced the sex industry from many levels while I was in that world in the late  70's and early 80's.  In fact, I've have answered an estimated 500,000 calls into our hotline from 1987 to 2014. I mean by that I've  personally answered those calls myself to protect callers  anonymity and confidentiality.  I also couldn't hire a professional answering service - because commercial services all refused to take incoming calls of such a volatile nature.  No one wants the legal responsibility or liability should someone sue.  Which by the way - no one has filed any lawsuits against us for doing bad work to date. 

We don't refer women who call us over to law enforcement except in a few rare cases. In the world where Bradley Myles lives the cops are who you call for help. That's not my world nor the world many sex workers, nor those who are trafficking victims live in. Why? Because sometimes the very person they're running from is law enforcement. I point you to the Chris Butler case where I was having to help women escape active duty highly respected police officers who also happened to own massage parlors where they were also selling drugs they'd taken from the evidence rooms. I can also assure you Oklahoma prostitutes were aware of Daniel Holtzclaw before news of him reached the press.

Maybe it's because our current legal system isn't set up properly to protect us from the enemy. Margo Compton tried to stop a domestic trafficking ring by going to the authorities to inform on a ring being run by the Hell's Angel's. While she was testifying against over 180 traffickers – her and her twin daughters were savagely murdered in her home. They were left in her home because safe houses for trafficking victims aren't set up to take in women with their children. She testified before the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed - so the police couldn't authorize an officer to guard her at the house. The message was sent – testify against us and you die.

A recent article in the Guardian proves also what I've been saying – these women aren't safe even in jail as a form of protective custody. Not when the guards in the Kern County jail were sexually abusing the female inmates there so routinely they had a standard contract they were offering the women not to sue in exchange for $200 and a bag of chips. Silence can be bought cheap in Kern County when you're afraid to say “no” to a cop anyway. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/08/the-county-kern-county-california-sexual-assault-secret-payoffs

Leaving the sex industry, whether a trafficking victim or not, often means entering drug treatment. Not being us, Bradley also doesn't understand we can't just hand out referrals to just any drug treatment program without having carefully checked them out first either from our point of view. Why? Show me one case of rape that's been won where the victim is a prostitute in this country. Along with prostitutes telling me stories of being raped by “johns”, pimps, and cops – I've also heard 1000's of stories of them being raped by drug counselors - http://www.laweekly.com/news/a-drug-rehab-mogul-built-an-empire-that-s-now-being-probed-by-the-fbi-da-and-state-of-california-6390686 Just like this director said “why believe the word of a junkie prostitute?” So we don't just refer prostitutes into “just any” drug treatment program unless we've checked them out from OUR point of view first.

One of the reasons why we like to have one of our members go to court with each other is because we can even find ourselves raped right in the courtroom – and I don't mean figuratively. You'll notice in this case the courtroom staff just looked the other way while this woman was being abused. I don't know if the victim was a prostitute or not – but does it matter?

I'm glad Bradley is waking up and realizing young boys are groomed to be pimps and they need to be factored into the equation when it comes to helping the victims of sex trafficking in Tenancingo, Mexico.  Only Bradley - it's going on in Mexico TOO - Tenancingo is not a pocket or an anomaly.  Nor is it anything new either.  

Not only is this something going on right under our noses right here in the United States both back in the 1970's when I was first witnessing it - but it has EXPLODED on our school grounds across this country to the point there are security guards, and high school principals and teachers, all having back room meetings right now trying to figure out how to keep these pimps off campus legally without finding themselves the victim of some kind of lawsuit for "racial profiling".  

When my daughter was eight years old in a Las Vegas school she had a pimp HER AGE trying to recruit her to work for him.  In her case however she just laughed and brushed him aside because my daughter knew better.   So please stop trying to make us think this kind of thing is going on "elsewhere" when in reality it's going on right in our own back yard and it's going on right now.

To go back to when I was first "turned out" in Tarzana, California - I knew about "boys being groomed into pimps" when the "family" that lured me into sex work was the same family Richard Pryor speaks about when he talks about his mother working in his grandmother's brothel.  In that "family", the young women worked as prostitutes, but they were trained and groomed in "the game" by their mothers and grandmothers.  

Then when they became older, or got sick or injured, they too would graduate up to madaming like they'd seen their mom and grandmother did.    This allowed them to stay in the "game" their whole lives.  Meaning the young girls were raised up in the "game" from birth on.  This way literally you could be in prostitution not as a “job” but as a “life” hence the term “in the life”. It was a “way of life” you choose for yourself, your family, your children, and you stayed in it from cradle to grave. This is one of the differences between one of these who are “in the life” and someone who views the sex industry as a “career” or a “vocation”. Those in the “life” also feel it's a personal identity as to who you are – not again just a job title – that's why it's called “the life”.

I remember the first family BBQ I went to where the young girls as young as five were being taught how to "trick" for quarters in exchange for dancing while the adults coached.   The boys in this family were taught how to be drug dealers and pimps.  To train them to be pimps they were first worked as prostitutes also. In other words the boys were taught not to give their quarters to the girls to dance because that made them “tricks”. The boys were taught they had really “won the game” when they could get the girls to spend their quarters on them.  The boys would engage in prostitution at a young age by doing live sex shows and/or pornography with the other young girls so no "statutory rape" occurred.  

Rock, the young man who was my age, was paired with me because he didn't want to pimp.  He preferred to be a drug dealer which was a choice the men were given. I had to take care of a man in the family to be admitted into the inner circle – so I took care of Rock. I didn't want a pimp – so I let him have his own room and he dealt out of that room.  Some young men eager to start pimping as soon as possible would often be given transgender or older prostitutes who would actually groom them in how to pimp them.  https://www.revealnews.org/blog/teen-pimps-increasingly-charged-for-trafficking-under-new-state-laws/  Yes you heard me - the older women would train the teen pimps in how to pimp on them like "training wheels" for when they moved on as they got older.  

The average age a man starts becoming a pimp is 13 years of age.  I invite you to listen to a man talking about going out to learn "the game" at this young age. 
 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/05/20/ex-pimp-of-32-years-tells-all-1  I invite you to listen to Aubrey speak about how her boyfriend/pimp turned her out at 13 years old while being taught how to do so by his father raping her while he watched.  Sort of "hands on" training in rape and "turn out 101" for pimps.  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/07/08/hear-from-a-nevada-brothel-prostitute

I invite you to look at the relationship between Montana Fishburne and Jeremy Pipes. 
 http://www.thisis50.com/profiles/blogs/report-laurence-fishburnes  This couple met online and were in school together.  They are about the same age.  To the outside world they looked like “high school sweethearts”.

The day Montana turned 18 years old, she was tired of being arrested for prostitution.  Jeremy marched her into the Vivid offices the day she turned 18 years old to sign a XXX film contract.   Snoop Dogg confessed to "pimping across the USA" during his 2003 tour in Rolling Stone.  The "johns" were NFL players.  After Montana's film debut, all kinds of athletes were hitting her up on twitter for "personal training sessions".  

She wasn't walking the streets any longer - but I assure you she was in the sex industry.  She wasn't being "trafficked" either.  Montana was being pimped.  There is a difference.   That difference and how pimps brainwash their victims is what I was certified by the FBI to testify about as an expert witness because a true pimp rarely uses force or threats.  These are facts that are being left out of many of these new trafficking laws and I'm finding that very frustrating.

Why don't “real pimps” threaten or coerce their victims?  Doesn't last. If you scared some one bad enough – then they'll find a way to leave. If they leave – game over. The “trick” is to get the victim to do it over and over, willingly, gladly, and then sign up for more. Think Hitler. People didn't get on the trains thinking they were going to be gassed – but because they believed they were going to get jobs.  

We're talking a generational culture for life some people are raised within.  These people aren't operating out of fear - but are "supporting the family" in their minds;.  This is also why when you train people like cops and social workers to come at a prostitute with this concept and attitude like "you poor victim of trafficking" they will look at you like you're speaking a foreign language.   They're not “victims” in their minds (these types of victims). In their minds they feel loved and cared for in fact.

I know - I speak to them almost weekly now.  The social workers, probation officers, cops, therapists, etc., who are being taught in trainings (I was excluded from designing by the way) to approach this person like "you poor victim of trafficking" where there is this villain supposedly over them exploiting them, forcing them, harming them, deceiving them, etc. they need to be "saved" from tell me "the prostitute just looks at me like I'm speaking Martian" because if this person was raised in this culture then you are speaking Martian to them.  The person over them isn't a "trafficker" but may be their mother, father, husband, boyfriend, brother, or even child in their mind.

They aren't being "exploited" - they're "taking care of the family".  They aren't being threatened - they are "willingly giving" in their mind.  Listen to this interview with a SWA member - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2014/06/21/playboy-to-prostitution--sex-workers-anonymous-member This single mother feels she was putting her daughter through school without the burden of school loans over her head. If you talk to her about being a “victim” she won't know what you're talking about.

They aren't being "controlled" - they're being "cared for" or they're “caring for” someone else.  Now again is this every single prostitute?  Absolutely not.  There are of course victims who are being handcuffed to toilets like the one I pulled out of a house in Las Vegas and being told their family will be murdered if they don't comply to turning tricks without objection and all the money goes right into the hands of the trafficker. Every case is different and that's my point here.

The people behind this “No Such Thing” campaign are so focused on trying to brainwash all of us into believing there's only one type of victim, and one type of experience, as well there's only one type of “trafficker” that they are literally saying there is “no such thing” as something that does exist. It's actually a form of mind control they're trying to use on us so we don't see the problems that do exist right here under our own noses.

Because of the “No Such Thing” campaign, they did in fact just make a whole group of people disappear for 2015 – that of juvenile prostitutes. Go on and ask for the report for the number of juvenile prostitutes arrested for 2015 in Los Angeles and you'll see a big fat zero. Only one big problem with that. In California, it's the law that if you're found guilty of prostitution you have to be tested for HIV/AIDS. Juveniles included. Now if you're tested for HIV/AIDS under a prostitution charge the result are sent to the CDC. This way if you're found positive the state knows about it if you continue to prostitute because they'll call it “attempted murder”. Now for 2015 there are not only no numbers for the number of juvenile prostitutes in Los Angeles (a statistic needed in order to be able to allocate financial resources for them by the way) – but we now have no idea what the HIV/AIDS rates are either for the year.

As I'm writing this “Enter the Dragon” is on TV. This is a Bruce Lee movie from 1973. In the back story of the film – we see both sex and human trafficking that clearly Bruce Lee was trying to tell the audience existed back then. I was 13 years old then and growing up I was told that “white slavery” didn't exist any more when this film was released. Because I was told this, when I walked into the nightclub a few years later that this family had bought to launder their criminal money I was completely unprepared for what they brainwashed me into.

I walked into what appeared to be a normal family culture. Raised by a single mentally ill mother I had no other reference to go by to tell me any differently. When the police were trying to shut them down they countered with they were only being harassed because the cops were “racist”. Looking back now I know the cops who tried to pull me out of there and warn me what was happening to me weren't racist. But this family had generations of time to perfect their brainwashing and I assure you a few yoga classes wouldn't have pulled me out of there.

What I'm trying to say is the sex industry is just that – an industry. Like any industry there are many different cultures within it. Within that industry there also exists sex trafficking. There are many different types of trafficking, many different types of cultures, and a wide variety of pimps and traffickers. Not everyone in the sex industry is having sex and some pimps don't use force but in fact love. Now until those who say they want to do something to help this community want to start listening to this community – then we're going to continue to have men like Bradley running the largest non-survivor run nonprofit in this country acting surprised to come upon a culture that not only has been there all along, but also has been in this country since before he was born as well. You can't begin to solve a problem either until you understand that problem which you won't until you start talking to it's victims. ALL of it's victims – not just a few hand selected ones.

All those women who were raped by Bill Cosby existed but the world would not acknowledge them sadly until Hannibul Buress acknowledged them, a man. Once he did however, we have gained a lot of powerful preventive knowledge. I don't think women will be accepting a cup of coffee on auditions anymore now. Sex Workers Anonymous also exists, but I don't think until Bradley acknowledges us will the world acknowledge us either. Shame because there's also a lot of knowledge that we could gain now by realizing we have cultures right here in the USA today who are also not only raising their young boys to be pimps, but also their daughters to be prostitutes as well. Just like when Bruce Lee came out with “Enter the Dragon” though - maybe we're not ready for that dialogue yet.