Monday, October 26, 2015
LETTER TO PRACHI GUPTA, STAFF WRITER AT COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE
I can't answer the question of tying the people who are threatening me to Amelia's case without knowing more about the information she has about who threatened her exactly. You wrote about her threats but when I'm asking you to write about mine with respect to our work with trafficking victims who are LGBT, as well as transgender and Jewish - I'm not hearing anything. One look around the general field right now of trafficking and it's clear the only people the majority are focusing on now are heterosexual Christian females. The reason for that is because they've turned this into an abortion issue. That was why we had to get the lawsuit of ACLU vs. Catholic Bishops going. We had to go with the ACLU on that because no private attorney would touch a case suing the church.
We've been receiving threats for what was involved in the Supreme Court decision which highlighted that our government turned around and refused all funding for trafficking work to any group who would not come out and state that (1) sex work was not work it is a human rights violation, (2) that the group's mission was linked to stamping out all forms of sex work. Meaning also that anyone receiving federal money to help trafficking victims in fear that by even associating with us they'd lose their funding also shunned us to protect themselves.
Meaning what happened is the equivalent of taking Narcotics Anonymous out of the whole drug court system because they won't come out against the group's passing laws getting medical marijuana recognized as a medicine and therefore legal to possess and use. The same as saying that because NA does not make a distinction between drugs prescribed by a doctor vs. street drugs that they are to be excluded from the drug courts that wouldn't even EXIST if not that NA showed us that drug use was not a crime, but actually a sign someone was sick and in need of assistance.
I happen to think that's quite a story myself. That prior to the TVRA of 2003 - our hotline was viewed about the same, if not more, than the National Trafficking Hotline. Why? Because we didn't limit our calls to only trafficking victims. We answered the calls of anyone wanting help to get out. BECAUSE we didn't make the distinction, and Polaris did, they did EXCLUDE anyone who was not calling as a trafficking victim, but were calling because sex work was a job they hated and therefore wanted to quit - we got toppled and replaced as far as the hotline goes.
Our meetings got shut out and replaced by counselors. Counselors who take records. Counselors who don't get paid unless the person they're working with identifies as a "victim". Counselors who keep records that can be accessed by law enforcement without even so much as a warrant. Counselors who can be slapped with a subpena to testify as to what they were told by their client vs. us who can not be forced to testify as to what we heard someone say in a court against their wishes.
Counselors who have no training in how to properly work with this community but do know how to keep notes. Notes which are transferred into data which is then turned into research. I can show you how survivors are being put into essentially a system of information and data collection that has no thought as to the effectiveness of what they're offering in the way of helping these go through the exit and adjustment from leaving the sex industry.
I can have you talk for example to a woman in Virginia who goes in weekly to receive a B12 shot from her "trafficking counselor" who then gives her a prescription she hasn't even been tested for to see if she needs, who collects more data on her for his files when she comes in for his research, and then after the session he hits on her for sex for money he offers her knowing she doesn't make very much money working in the fast food job the trafficking program she's in got her. This is a woman by the way with a BA degree the trafficking program put into a job at a fast food restaurant and a subsidized apartment and called that "success". A woman who calls me daily because her traffickers keep coming to order food from her at this restaurant and then threatening her about what will happen to her if she doesn't come back.
You say you "don't know where to start" looking over the notes I sent you. Of course not. I only sent those over to you in order to establish how long we've been doing this. I was hoping you'd call me so we could discuss what story you'd like to do and then I can provide you with more specific information. If for example, you'd like to tie this into what's happening with Planned Parenthood - I'd be happy to.
Because I am not alone. PETA, Planned Parenthood, ACORN, Anonymous, are all saying the same thing as me who founded the trafficking movement - that we're under attack by the right wing Christians.
A movement that was hijacked when President Bush came in at the same time as the TVRA of 2003 and said very plainly that no "government money would be issued to any group that wasn't faith based". I don't know about you but doesn't that sound a little unconstitutional? Aren't we supposed to be a country that separates church and state?
Again, what if NA were taken out of the drug courts, and the same rule applied of only "faith based" groups could help the addict. Further, that those faith based groups had to HATE all drug use. Legal or not. Meaning again that churches who wanted all drugs, legal or not, to be prohibited would then be the only ones allowed access to work with the addict. Meaning that all the groups trying to stop medical marijuana from being approved to be used would be the only groups allowed to work with the addict through the drug courts. I ask you to think about what would happen to the addict who was denied all access and information even about Narcotics Anonymous in the drug court system and instead only given assistance through churches who were trying to get any doctor who prescribed medical marijuana or pain medication, or any medication they didn't deem "acceptable", locked up in jail? Because that was another part of it - this whole thing said that any group who didn't want to not only outlaw all sex work, but further they had to be a group that would actively seek the arrest of anyone who worked in certain jobs in the industry,so this would be the same as if the drug court would only work with groups who were trying to get any doctor who prescribed certain medications arrested also as part of their mission. Again since NA doesn't run around trying to tell doctors what to prescribe, nor lock up doctors who do prescribe certain medications - than this would be their reasoning.
We've won the lawsuits. We won the ACLU vs. Catholic Bishops and the Supreme Court has decided it was unconstitutional. Okay now I need help getting the word out what these people are doing now is just that - unconstitutional. Why do you think they're putting so much pressure on the media right now NOT to talk to us Prachi? Because we are the only group right now nationally who acknowledges that while some of our members may be trafficking victims - we have others who are simply to get help to quit their JOB and transition into something else. That's it. We have interviews with members up at www.leavingtheliferadio.com where we have a Jewish madam who wanted to quit after her daughter's death - not trafficking. We have an ex-Playboy Bunny and an ex-Hustler model - all who got older and wanted to retire into other work. No trafficking going on with them - they just wanted help to change careers. Because we acknowledge that and don't deny services to them - for that we got kicked out of our very own movement.
Will you help us? Will you call me so we can talk about it? I'd love to bombard you with calls from our other members to show you how important this is - but they're all busy protecting themselves from death threats right now. If you want - I can show you how members of SWA who used to be open about that fact online were systematically identified, approached, and then started being threatened. Threatened to get fired, threatened to have their identity "outted", even to the point of actual death threats. People who had their funding threatened, they got blocked out of trafficking groups, and some of it extended beyond the internet. I have members who had their homes broken into, gas cans left on their porch, their cars vandalized - I could go on. But the war was declared on our members so now they have to be especially "anonymous" right now for the same reasons the Anonymous group has to wear masks.
So we have a lot more going on than a few people going to a hotel for a few days. The woman running our alternative sentencing program in northern Nevada was literally set up with a completely bogus theft charge that got her locked up in jail for five years. Further, without benefit of a sentencing hearing she went into what was supposed to be her hearing only to be carted off for those five years without benefit of time to prepare for sentencing as what is supposed to happen on a charge like hers - especially on a 1st offense. We didn't even have time to get the computer codes or the keys to the meeting hall before she was carted off from the courtroom to the prison.
Meaning yes war was declared on us. We won that war in a court of law. Now I need to get that news out in the media. Will you help us get some kind of story out there about us. Because the reason why these people threatening us are so cocky about it is because they know no one will report on it. I was able to get this movement federally recognized in the 80's and 90's because I had the press around me protecting me. Anything happen to me back then and people knew it was foul play. That was my protection.
Right now it's open season on SWA members and we need your help. Will you call me please? Right now California is considering legalizing prostitution. I've seen them gather up their numbers in the press to prepare for this. People who don't even know that Amsterdam closed down it's windows district because of the way legalized prostitution attracted trafficking.
The only people I see out here talking about the fact that trafficking is increased where it's legal is our group. Now if I can't get some kind of blurb out of you, or someone in major press - then we're going to be looking at legal brothels all over California, and then the rest of the country. Brothels where a woman won't even be able to call for help because the media campaign has already started to "stop arresting prostitutes". Leaving them with what to get help when they're being blocked from getting help otherwise by their trafficker?
So can we talk - please?