Why? Because SWA wasn't designed to get people out of the sex industry. We were designed to help people get out who needed help to do so and couldn't get it from traditional sources like calling the police for help. We were also designed to provide "alternative sentencing" for victims of sex trafficking who were being convicted as criminals - so they could come to our meetings instead of being forced into a jail term because of mandatory incarceration laws. Remember, American women didn't have federal recognition they could even BE a "victim" until the Trafficking Act of 2000. Up until then you were viewed only, and totally, as a "criminal" by our legal system.
Our hotline and program was instead designed for women like those who were being forced to work for DEA agents who owned a strip club in New Jersey. I ask you - who do they call for help if they're being raped, trafficked, pimped, exploited, or otherwise abused by men with badges?
Especially when back in the 1980's THEY are the ones viewed as "criminals" by the legal system - NOT the DEA agents. There was a presumption that anyone who is a stripper is a "criminal" whereas when it comes to a cop, FBI agent, or DEA agent you then have the presumption they're not. It slants the playing field for every minute prostitution is illegal in this country. http://nypost.com/2015/05/20/dea-agents-secretly-owned-strip-club-with-illegal-immigrant-dancers-feds/
I myself was in that situation where I was being forced to do things illegal and dangerous I didn't want to do by men who were CIA, FBI, DEA, and also local cops in LAPD. Some of those cases became the infamous RAMPART cases. Others like mine were such I knew I'd never make it alive to testify in a court room so I instead created a "safe house". It was I later learned the first safe house for adults in this country for what is now called "sex trafficking victims". You can read about it at www.hightechmadam.com
So, how would I know if someone needed help? They're going to call me for help? HOW? Again, take a look at the situation of these women being trafficked and exploited by those DEA agents in New Jersey. Can they call me for help with the language barrier? How would they know they could call our hotline for help? The owners of the club are going to tell them?
They're kept isolated in lives where they're supervised 24/7, being shuttled from home to the club daily. I've got an interview from a victim like this who talks about how it took her a year just to get her traffickers to trust her enough to go to the store by herself at www.leavingtheliferadio.com
Meaning to me I think the whole premise of the Polaris National Trafficking Hotline is like a government "oxymoron" like "government intelligence". I ask you how does a victim "call herself" for help when she's going to be under constant surveillance by her traffickers or pimp? I know I didn't have any privacy when I was in that situation.
SO for years I relied upon phone calls from people in the community who knew I wasn't going to involve the police UNLESS that's what they wanted. Referrals to us of sex workers who needed help of some kind used to come from sources in other words like SWOP or even the Tits & Sass blog, The Erotic Review, Redbook, Rentboy, and other such sites and people who have now all been busted and otherwise shut down.
EXCEPT SWOP who is flourishing AFTER their founder, Robin, died in 2012 for some reason. http://www.nswp.org/timeline/event/death-robin-few
Usually groups die when their founder does. I mean look at Gabriella's work in Columbia as a case in point. Since she died of cancer, everything started dying off in her group/work. http://www.akissforgabriela.com/?page_id=2742
But SWOP has been growing, flourishing, and for some strange reason chasing anyone who is a friend of mine, or has anything positive to say about SWA or myself right on out of their group and social media.
In fact, after Robin died, they at one point were even offering grants of $500 to "organize a chapter". If you were verified as a sex worker by another sex worker, they were giving out $500 to cover things like refreshments for you to organize a local chapter of sex workers. This was so you'd invite out local sex workers to come out for coffee, meet and greet, and get to know each other. I was floored. I mean let's all be bank robbers and put up an announcement on social media "hey the meeting of bank robbers is happening this weekend - come on down".
I still can't believe my eyes here what I'm seeing. I moved to Las Vegas in 1996. So I have lived in Las Vegas since 1996. I'm a recovering addict so I'm "in the rooms" all the time in this town. Anyone coming into recovery who is also a sex worker is usually told by anyone with any time in the rooms "you need to go talk to Jody".
Why? Because they know I run Sex Workers Anonymous and I've been clean since 1985. They also know I sponsor a lot of men and women in this town who get, and stay, clean. So many that I have a weekly meeting of just my sponsees where we get together and work on our step work.
So I got to tell you when I started hearing about THIS - I was wondering "wtf?"