Remember, the term "sex trafficking" wasn't even INVENTED as of 1987. I want you to think back to the 1950's. Back in the 1950's if you were trying to report mob activity to the police they had no idea what you were talking about. OFFICIALLY the very idea of the "mob" didn't even exist back then.
It didn't exist "officially" until Joe Valachi came forward with his book validating it was real. It was THEN that recognition was given federally, laws were written, and then Rudolph Guiliani formed one of the first task forces to go after mob figures who would otherwise have gone without prosecution.
All of which was then introduced to the American public with the film "The Godfather" to basically announce to us that the mob was in fact "real".
In other words, the "mob" didn't exist back in the 1950's. Nor did the term even. There were government agencies who would even say to you back then "there's no such thing as the mob". We accept the mob now as a real thing in our society, but back in the 1950's they did not.
Sex trafficking is the same thing. I invite you to watch again this opening sequence of "Enter the Dragon". I believe had Bruce Lee lived, I think he was trying to tell us something. Please note the victims in his film were AMERICAN women being held by CHINESE women. If you watch the whole film you'll see that Bruce "mistook" the Chinese women for the victims but instead they were the daughter's of the head trafficker. This distinction was not an accident. I believe it was trying to illustrate a point.
Every single thing was true in that film as of 1973 - there WERE NO LAWS against tricking a American adult woman onto a plane, drugging her, and then selling her as a sexual object to someone in another country. Not if she was an American over the age of 18 years old - there was NOTHING you could do legally to stop it unless you could maybe prove something under existing laws like kidnapping. Were the victims in this film being "pimped"? No. They were being SOLD. There is a difference in many ways.
The SAME difference between the "mob" and a "criminal". Let's say you're being abused by an abusive husband. You have him arrested and problem solved right?
The same with "pimps". Get him arrested and your problem is solved.
HOWEVER, with an organized sex trafficking ring if you get one person arrested IT DOES NOTHING TO STOP THE MACHINE. Meaning you could be killed in jail. You could be killed by a bad cop on your way to testify. You could be killed in another state entirely like in the Margo Compton case as an example. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/When-Jailbirds-Sing-It-was-the-pure-savagery-of-3018647.php
Which her case beautifully illustrates the distinction between the two and why I started pushing for laws about this sort of thing back in the 1980's. For those of you who don't know what I mean - here's a news clip on her story. Her specific traffickers connected to the Hell's Angeles were already in jail - but the others came and murdered her and her twins in another state.
This is what I mean about there's not enough protection for the witnesses yet either because the laws aren't clearly understanding the difference in needs between a "pimping victim" and a "trafficking victim". If you think this was resolved by the way - think again: http://www.lamag.com/longform/downfall/
Which is WHY I make such a distinction as I do between PIMPING and SEX TRAFFICKING. Back in the 1980's if I had a pimp I wanted to get away from all I had to do was call 911. That's it. There were laws on the books existing back then which not only allowed for me to get this guy arrested, but also to classify me as a victim for the things he made me do. It would also be easy to keep me safe from him - just arrest him. Problem solved. However, it's not so easy when you're dealing with trying to protect yourself from traffickers.
So laws DID NOT exist back for me, and others like me like Margo, was when we were being victimized by an organized crime ring. SPECIFICALLY AS I WAS. In my personal story, I had Beverly Hills police officers forcing me to engage in the sex industry at their beck and call, including serving them sexually personally, i.e., rape, under threat that not only I would be arrested, but so would everyone in my family if I didn't do what they wanted.
A threat which was carried out in 1984 when my mother and I were arrested under the false allegation I was "running a brothel". You can see the clips at www.hightechmadam.com
When I was arrested, and my mother was also, I didn't think it was right that I couldn't defend myself legally against the charges.
Why? For one thing the press you see on that site. I was held on a $50,000 bail which then wouldn't take 10 %. Meaning I had to have a friend of mine put up his house to get me out of jail. That took two weeks to get the paperwork together.
The purpose of me being held wasn't I was a flight risk - it was to create the media against me "tainting" the pool first of all. It's kind of hard to prove you weren't "running a brothel" when the 11 o'clock news has been blasting the story you were for two weeks all over the world. Including your judge and jury pool.
Then how am I supposed to defend myself? I'm supposed to get on the stand and say "cops made me do it?" But the cops weren't acting alone. They were acting in unison to men from the FBI, CIA and Colombian drugs lords.
To understand what I was in the middle of - you need to understand Iran Contra. You need to understand that Los Angeles was a war zone between drug lords and our own CIA who were battling to supply the town with cocaine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_involvement_in_Contra_cocaine_trafficking
Meaning I knew the minute I started "blowing the whistle" some guy was going to come swooping down on me talking about "national security". That is IF I LIVED THAT LONG TO TALK. Jeane Palfrey being my case in point here. https://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/may2008/050308_overwhelming_evidence.htm
Which left me with no choice but to keep my mouth and my head down and then try to outrun people who were shooting at me for the next year trying to shut me up. Which looking at the Celeste Guap case - nothing's changed! This woman tried to come forward to the press about what police were doing to her. What happened? Same thing that happened to me. She was taken to Florida, framed on a charge where she was held on a $300,000 bail. Now you don't hear her giving anymore interviews do you?
Which is why I have a such a problem with the fact women like Elle Snow from "Game Over" gets to testify against her PIMP but Celeste is being left out on her own entirely with the whole legal viewing HER as the "enemy". http://abc7news.com/news/woman-at-center-of-opd-sex-scandal-offered-deal-in-florida-attack/1508429/
I ask you why are these two women still being treated so differently? Do you see Celeste being asked to train police cadets about sex trafficking as Elle Snow was? No you don't because the voices of victims like myself, and her are being silenced that's why.
Now how are people supposed to call my hotline I started in 1987 when some of the things that are being done to them aren't even against the law? Especially when it appears the only one who IS a criminal is THEM?
Again, take a look at the Margo Compton case. She was being forced to engage in prostitution. If a cop had come by - guess who would have been arrested for prostitution and thus be a "criminal"? Margo.
Then look at what happened to her when she "blew the whistle" on who was behind her. Our hotline would have afforded her an ability to get out of the situation entirely and I honestly think if she had she'd still be alive today.
Which is why I have some serious issues about the National Trafficking Hotline and the way they're going about generating calls. First of all, I chose to be a hotline connected to a 12 step program. Why? Was it because I thought "prostitution was an addiction"?
That's why when you see people accusing me of such - these are people who not only don't know me, they don't know anything about our work either. I started our hotline connected to a 12 step program for a few reasons, but not that one. One being that because of laws already on the books because of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous - all calls to our hotline were considered "confidential". As "confidential" as talking to a priest, doctor or lawyer from a legal standpoint.
Meaning that if someone called me in the middle of a case, as Jeane Palfrey was involved in for an example, then I couldn't be subpoenaed to testify as to what she was told on the phone.
Oh and by the way - no you can't just slap the title "12 step" on something and have that be guaranteed the same level of confidentiality our hotline is. First, you have to be a "separate recognized 12 step program". Meaning you have to ACTUALLY BE a 12 step program to take advantage of that legal protection.
WHICH MEANS you have to first get legal consent to adapt the 12 steps by Alcoholics Anonymous. To do this, you have to develop a program - meaning you have to have literature, an explanation of what your program is "powerless" over, what materials you will use for your meetings using the 12 step intellectual property, etc.
You also have to "take steps" to ensure conversations are in fact "confidential". Meaning you can't for example have meetings which are listed online by address, date and time, nor on flyers, nor ads - nor listed in any public fashion. To list a meeting in a public way is no different than making something a public street - meaning you're giving legal consent to be recorded UNLESS YOU TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE that conversations between the members won't be overheard.
Why do I bring this up? Because some group in Las Vegas is calling itself "SWOP 12 step" and listing their meetings as being "every Saturday" listing the time, address, and calling for "sex workers" to attend the meeting. I'm sorry but ESPECIALLY in Nevada which is a ONE PARTY CONSENT state to record - that is NOT guaranteeing any right of confidentiality for anyone attending that meeting.
If ANYTHING - READ the NV AB67 law regarding sex trafficking. They have the right to "tape record oral conversations anywhere they suspect sex trafficking". Meaning you have a twitter account calling for sex workers to come to an SWOP 12 step meeting - and you're just sending an engraved invitation to law enforcement to have the legal right to tape record anyone at that meeting and the sex workers would have no recourse to stop that type of surveillance and recording under the law of NV merely because someone says "oh this is a 12 step meeting". A "meeting" is not a "program" which one has to be in order to even begin to take advantage of the confidentiality protection afforded those who call the SWA hotline, or go to SWA meetings - none of which you'll find a meeting listed openly online for THESE REASONS.
Are there other reasons? Yeah. Take a look for a moment will you on this article about the "Whistle Blower Law" in Florida. https://www.floridabar.org/divcom/jn/jnjournal01.nsf/Author/D03B48A151BF857D852575C5004BECAE
What is this saying? It's saying that if you were to make a complaint about criminal behavior, like sex trafficking, against a boss of yours, then you potentially could be also slapped with criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. That's what it means. Something I'd like to add I don't see Polaris advising callers about before asking them to do just that - spill their guts about what they know and then they report that data to law enforcement!
I invite you to look at a case of a man who tried to blow the whistle against what he saw other guards doing to an inmate in a Florida prison. This man saw a man basically murdered by other guards. When he reported what he saw, and then HE was then subjected to MORE investigations than the murderers. HE was subjected to SIX Internal Affairs investigations while those who killed this inmate were let completely off the hook! http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article1974526.html
I want you to take a look at some of the things Polaris is doing with hotel/motels. https://polarisproject.org/sites/default/files/human-trafficking-hotel-industry-recommendations.pdf They're training the help at these hotels to make a call reporting sex trafficking activity to this hotline.
Let's say the cops come out and find out there IS sex trafficking going on and in the process of doing this they find the owners of that hotel are involved. They convict them of this.
Guess what happens then?
The owners can then sue that person and win. ESPECIALLY if that person was an employee of the company they're blowing the whistle on.
Read that article carefully on whistle blowing I have listed above here. It says that when you are making a statement "as an employee" that this is NOT "free speech" and thus "not protected" under the Constitution.
Now how would the hotel owner know who blew the whistle? The Polaris National Trafficking Hotline is NOT a confidential hotline in the same sense as our hotline here at www.sexworkersanonymous.com. Theoretically, if hit with a subpoena to give up information on who made that call I see no legal ground they can stand upon to refuse. The person who made the call IS NOT A VICTIM and therefore NOT entitled to "confidentiality".
Has this sort of thing happened? Yeah it has. I have a stack of folders sitting on my desk of people telling me stories of how they were slapped with lawsuits, and even had their property taken from them, some being so attacked they had to even relocate, all because of legal retaliation by LAWYERS when they went and tried to report sex trafficking in the manner in which is being promoted right now.
In fact, I'm talking to a man right now who is just part of a pattern I saw developing starting back in 2013 - the traffickers are literally hitting "confidants" of victims with restraining orders and injunctions threatening them with arrest if they speak to the victim again in any way. I've gotten them myself. I've had victims call the hotline and two days later I have an attorney threatening me with a restraining order if I take future calls from said victim.
Only what they don't expect is that I'm exempt from such threats! I've got a list of "confidants" of victims across the country right now who victims have gone to for help only to find themselves being hit with legal action - and Polaris is training people to "go out and talk to victims and ask them these questions"? Seriously?
I dare say if Celeste Guap had come to us before going to the press, she would in a entirely different situation right now than she is. We certainly wouldn't have let those police and the Office of Victim Assistance, ship her off to that program in Florida that has ABSOLUTELY NO TRACK RECORD of effectively helping victims of her kind. They let a guard file charges against her and drag her out of their program? Oh and by the way I'm going to keep the light of the press on her so these people don't think about doing to her what they did to Jeane Palfrey to shut her up - so please keep talking about her case. It's what's keeping her alive.
I'm sure no lawyer was given to Celeste when she was arrested for supposedly assaulting this guard in Florida at the treatment center to consult about filing charges back against the treatment center for their negligence in allowing it to even happen did they? Something which if she'd called our hotline for help she would have had.
So if you want to know some of the reasons I'm having such a problem with this - it's because I'm getting more and more phone calls from people who have tried to report sex trafficking who are winding up with lawsuits, court orders, losing their job, losing their business, and basically having their lives ruined because they tried to follow these "commercials" who are promoting that this is the way you report sex trafficking.
It's not always that simple.
When in doubt, and you would like to report some kind of sex trafficking you're involved in, or know about, PLEASE consider calling our hotline FIRST. We protect you when calling us for help. www.sexworkersanonymous.com
PS - THE above is why the ONLY way we're going to fight sex trafficking is to DECRIMINALIZE prostitution.
NOT LEGALIZE. Why?
Because then the only "whistle blowers" will be EMPLOYEES who can then be slapped with lawsuits like this poor guard in Florida was.