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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DOES IT MATTER IF THERE'S A PIMP OR NOT?

Care about sex trafficking victims?  Then care about these refugees who face the same risks.  There is no difference in the risk these women face when performing sex work.   Each is putting their life at risk - and that of their children.  There is no pimp behind this woman - but she needs our help just the same.  If I could speak her language - I would reach out to her to help.  In www.sexworkersanonymous.com we do not care if you are trafficked or not.  If you want help to get out of sex work and we can speak your language - our program is here for you.  Help us find translators.  Do you speak another language?  Please get in touch with us.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PENSACOLA FLORIDA

We have a new meeting in Pensacola Florida now.  If you'd like to attend one in that city - just give us a call for contact information.  One thing - this is a "panel" meeting meaning it's not run by a member.  You can attend a meeting, get materials, and basically it's a "presentation" of our program and materials being led by a non-member.  You can still however attend a meeting of only members at our phone meetings.  Your confidentiality is still guaranteed at this meeting since the woman leading it is a minister and therefore what's said to her and in front of her stays with her.


LOS ANGELES MEETING

Our meeting in the San Fernando valley is moving to Culver City.  If you'd like to know the new location - please just get in touch.

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA MEETING

Prostitution is legal in Australia.  We have confirmed a new meeting is starting in the Sydney area of Australia.  If you'd like to attend a meeting there - please just get in touch.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

FAKE PROSTITUTES ANONYMOUS MEETINGS - SEXTRADE101

We've had a problem with people running "fake" Prostitutes Anonymous meetings for money.  Each time we've located them, they're in connection with programs that have received grant money in some way from the Hunt Foundation to try and attack the sex industry itself.  These groups are not what our program is about, and the people running them are violating the law.  They are violating our copyrights and tradmarks and the money they're collecting is through fraud.   Because of these fake meetings, I google us about once a week.

About two years ago, I came across http://www.sextrade101.com/  Sextrade 101 led by Natassha Falls stating they were running our meetings.  When I contacted them about it - I was told quite rudely "we don't run them anymore".  Okay well take it off your site then.  They're clearly using our keywords to generate traffic to their website and that's also illegal to exploit our work for their gain.  It frankly implies we endorse them when we do not.  I asked them to remove the listing from their site.  Mind you this was over two years ago.  I have checked on them every six months or so - and not only is the listing still there - but the people behind the organization continue to be rude to us in the process of exploiting our work for their gain illegally.

This is not an ethical action which makes me question everything they're doing.  I've asked them simply to remove the listing without having to sue them for damages or file charges. They are using my name and while doing so want to continue to be rude assholes to me.  Not cool.   They know it's very hard for us to sue them being they're in Canada.  So all I can do is say to be careful about trusting any group behaving in such an unethical manner.  If they wanted to start a 12 step program of their own - they're free to do so.  If they wanted to use ours - then they should give us the respect of running things out way which include things like we do not publish where we're holding meetings online to protect the members.  Clearly they don't seem to care about protecting our members - which again has me concerned about their clients.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

LETTER TO PAUL ABRAMSON AT UCLA

Dear Paul:

I have a question that seeing you know about prostitution and the law - I thought maybe you could help direct me to find the answers to something that's going on right now.

I think you know I started our program as a 12 step program so that we could be used as an "alternative to jail" for those convicted of prostitution, especially in cases where the person was forced to do what they were caught doing when arrested, i.e., a trafficking victim.  I had a board of directors who was guiding me who told me that jails, treatment centers, and alternative sentencing programs can't operate without having a 12 step program and if I ever wanted to see programs for prostitutes develop (remember this was 1987), then I'd have to start with having a 12 step program as a foundation.  

Once I did this, them Mayor Bradley came to me about the overcrowding issue.  The HIV virus had guards scared to come to work.  They wanted the prostitutes out of the jails yesterday.  He set up a committee with one person from the police, one from probation, one from social services, one from prosecutors office, etc.  They all agreed to let us do the first "alternative sentencing" program and allow me to have the prostitutes in the jail.  

They found an empty drug program, Via Avanta, for the women,  and another one for the men,  and they literally went in and cleared out 1800 out of 2000 women who were there on prostitution charges, 400 transgenders, and 20 men. They were taken out of the jail and put into the residential program for the remainder of their time and then those who were coming up were given our meetings instead of jail. 

This was so effective, I was asked to go to Allentown, PA and duplicate this there in 1989.  I set that up and then Vancouver wanted help in 1991.   I went back to Los Angeles, and we set up a duplicate program in San Diego and Orange County.  By the 1994 Shernan Oaks earthquake - I had 6 meetings a week going in a different part of Los Angeles.  We charged nothing and I was told we saved the county about $1,000,000 and made it so they didn't have to build a bigger jail.

In 1994, I moved to Nebraska to buy houses for $5000.  I set up homes there and brought out women from both coasts that I got resettled.  In 1996, I moved to Nevada because no one was going to pick up these women who were stranded out there in these tiny counties.  

Everything was fine until we saw the Trafficking Act of 2000 pass.  We were jamming then.  I saw us get a chapter going in each major city by 2003.   Then Randall Tobias came in with the TVRA of 2003.  It said that you couldn't get funding for victims' unless you stated prostitution was not a job, but a form of rape.   Then Bush stepped in and said no money could be had unless you were a faith based program.  

Only guess what?  The only person who was against prostitution and was faith based was the Hunt Foundation. Suddenly every Salvation Army and Catholic Charity yanked out our meeting space out from under us.   I had the phone ringing from all over the country with women going "what do I do?  I told them "find another meeting hall".  Only not so easy.  You know why?  We had to get insurance.  Can't get insurance when prostitution is illegal and a bunch of prostitutes are meeting.  Some said it could even be called "conspiracy".  

We were told that to get insurance we had to get a release letter from the local police who said they were okay with us meeting.  To do that, we had to tell the police who we were and where we were meeting which violated our anonymity,  Our members weren't going to do that so everyone went up into arms.  I literally had a stroke and almost died.  

I don't know what happened from 2003 until 2006.  The Salvation Army comes to me and asks me to run the Nevada chapter of ATLAS - their trafficking program.  I agreed if they agreed to let us have meeting space back again.  They agreed.  i then told them if they wanted me to fight trafficking i need a translator and someone who would arrest cops.  Suddenly someone else was given the job.  But they told me they needed me to publish a report that trafficking existed where there was legal prostitution.  I agreed.  

While I'm doing this - I keep hearing about meetings of ours.  Only when I would check on them with the local Salvation Army - they would deny this.  What I found was CAASE was funded by the Hunt Foundation.  They had set up 10 programs like Project Rose.   They had asked me if they could use our program with this and I refused.  I told them no one would be threatened into our program.  In these programs - they would threaten to arrest the women, women only, if they didn't attend meetings they said were our program.  Only they used our old name of Prostitutes Anonymous, our old literature, and every time I would confront them - they would deny doing this.  

I finally found enough evidence to get a "cease and desist letter" out.   Without the 12 step program there was no program and they had no choice but to shut down their programs.  They could have formed their own 12 step program - but they didn't.  They just folded.  

When they folded - the word went out to mental health, social services, jail, probation, the courts, police that if you referred a prostitute to our program you'd be fired.  They meant it too and many people were fired.  Anyone who believed in us was in fact fired. 

Then this weird campaign started to get us to change our name.  I started getting bombarded with calls from non-members trying to get us to change our name.    These women told us they "found the name Sex Workers offensive".  Our members were fine with it and told them so.  

I then went to the Los Angeles womens jail and I asked to bring a panel in to speak to the prostitutes.  They said "what prostitutes?"  I'lm like "huh"?  We don't have any prostitutes here - only human trafficking victims.  Okay but they're on prostitution charges.  Then I was pointed to there being no prostitution arrests for juveniles for 2015 at all.

Next thing I know this "No Such Thing" campaign kicks off.   It's fine they want to say there's "no such thing" as a 'sex worker" or "prostitutes" but then I go to the probation department and the prosecutors' office who tells me - we can't put them in an alternative sentencing in our program because these women are "victims" not "prostitutes and "not sex workers".  

Okay that's fine but addicts in NA meetings aren't called "narcotics".  Nor is every addict in there have the disease. Some just are problem users. If these women are victims - they're just as welcome in our program because our program doesn't state our 1st step is over sex work.  Our program is for people who were in some part of the sex industry for any reason who now want to recover for any reason. 

Now if they allow AA for the alcoholic and NA for the addict - can they shut me out of working with the prostitute because they don't agree with our name?  Professor Sharon Oselin by the way got done with a 10 year study into three programs that work with prostitutes and ours came out the best.  The results were published in "Leaving Prostitution".  Each county by the way that's received grant money from the Hunt Foundation, which is religious based,  has put prostitutes in a faith based program which every study ever done on faith based programs has shown they fail - including this one out in 2013 by Sharon Oselin.  The three programs she studied were faith based.  They all three folded.  Ours is still operating.  

Yet right now in these counties the courts are either only recognizing a faith based program or it's ignoring ours and doing nothing.  Further, these programs are taking federal money yet refusing to admit men, transgenders, and the LGBT.  I've complained to the grant sources about it - but it changes nothing.  I've gone to the Attorney General who does nothing because they get a cut. 

Where can I get research on these things?  Any ideas?  Thanks!

--
Jody Williams
(702) 468-4529 Cell Phone
www.sexworkersanonymous.com

HELP TO LEAVE SEX WORK IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

http://m.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-city-council-takes-stand-against-sex-workers/Content?oid=4563294&showFullText=true

This is a great article explaining what's going on out here about sex trafficking right now. Very informative.   This is one of the best pieces of investigative writing I've seen in ages.  This is a great reporter and a fantastic article.

If you need help - you can reach us at www.sexworkersanonymous.com