A blog for those walking away from a life of sex work and for
the families of those not fortunate enough to walk away.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Watch this new video about sex trafficking in the US

I've been a bit absent. I'm currently trying to raise funds to head to Thailand with ECPAT-USA's tour of the sex industry there. I'm a bit isolated here in Arizona and want to work with some other advocates to learn all I can about the problems of sex trafficking and the solutions.

I ran across this video that highlights the problems of US sex trafficking still rampant in today. Sex trafficking is a local issue, and in Arizona it's big news since the Super Bowl is only a few months away here.

Where do parents turn for help whose children are in the sex industry? I cover this in several blog articles and the best I can do is suggest that the loved ones of sex workers turn to support groups like Families Anonymous or Alanon for help. There is no one support group for parents of sex workers. 

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. If I had to give one insight from my personal experience, if you have other children, don't allow all your attention to focus on the child with the problems. You risk letting your other loved ones down if you focus too much on the child or loved ones with issues. Everyone in your family matters, not just the one who creates the turmoil.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Leaving the Life Published in Paradigm Magazine

Read my article, Because She Matters: Leaving the Life, in this quarter's edition of Paradigm Magazine, page. 14.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Check back for my upcoming article in Paradigm Magazine

An article on assisting women exiting the sex industry will appear in Paradigm Magazine's summer issue. Watch for it at this link and check back for a link to the article.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman

There has been a lot of media chatter over the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. There are also photos circulating, "memes" that are in terrible taste. There seems to be nothing that is beyond the pale of public decency anymore. It appears we focus on the "star" and forget the children he left behind, the actors he let down who looked up to him, and his many fans, whose hearts are hurting.

Why do I cover this event on Because She Matters? Because the vast majority of those in the sex industry use drugs. Whether they begin stripping or prostituting to pay for their escalating drug use or begin to use to numb the pain of sex work, the fact remains that drug use is epidemic in sex workers.

As I repeatedly respond to angry sex workers who comment about my "anti sex-work stance," I am not anti sex work per se. If you enjoy what you do, that is your business. But if you are using mind-numbing drugs to continue in the sex industry, you may want to ask yourself, "How's that working for me?"

If we can help, please send an email to becauseshematters@gmail.com

Friday, November 22, 2013

Governor Christie, Cindy McCain discuss sex trafficking

I just came from a one-hour talk given by Governor Christie of New Jersey held by the McCain Institute in advance of the Super Bowl. A thinly veiled attempt to cover sex trafficking, it soon became clear it was a bid to conjoin McCain and Christie in their attempts to reorient the Republican Party. It wasn't long before the Obama-bashing started.

I attend these events for a few reasons. First, to network with others who work helping women in the sex industry. Next, I attend to keep my eye on legislation, because this is where I find our sneaky politicians, in the "helping guise" of passing legislation to "protect" victims, often make prostitution a felony. How can it possibly help to further criminalize sex workers? Who in their right mind would put the scarlet F for felony on any sex worker?

However, today Christie made some interesting points. He talked about the sexploitation found on backpage.com, which is home to many women who, many believe, are trafficked. He said that while they have first amendment rights (and New Jersey lost that battle), we have first amendment rights to publicly shame them for their actions. So there's that.

While I stay out of the political fray, we must ensure that we don't let legislators pass more draconian prostitution laws in the guise of "helping." Here is what I walked away with after talking to some of those at today's event who work to prevent sex trafficking.
  1. Until a few years ago when big wigs got involved and politicized trafficking, no one gave a hoot about women in the sex industry. Some seem to use the issue as a great way to get a sound bite. 
  2. The bulk of most trafficking efforts are aimed at victims under the age of 18. One minister I spoke with basically ignored me when I said that women 18 and over are also victims, many now as one law enforcement official opined, "Stockholm survivors." The bulk of resources in Arizona now go to those under 18, it appears. What makes it magically different when you turn 18?
  3. Denominations who work in helping women escape seem not to play well with other denominations. Why does that not surprise me?
  4. Super Bowl? Christie spoke of the problems associated surrounding major sports events and ties to trafficking. Here's a news flash: Women and girls are trafficked year round. The Super Bowl makes no difference in their lives; it's just another location for them to be exploited.
All in all, it was an hour or so well spent.