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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Resource in Vancouver, BC for survivors

If you are in the Pacific Northwest, I've found a new resource, the WISH Drop In Centre Society. Visit the link here.


  1. I have to ask "resource for what"? The sex industry is created by many layers. There are those who do it voluntarily - and those forced into it by pimps and traffickers. One who wants to quit is going to need different tools and support to gain recovery than one would who needs help to escape, find a new safe ground, and get treatment for the trauma of being held captive and forced into sex work. Out of those two layers - you have the street walker layer of sex work that is only about 7 % according to the latest study of sex workers. There are huge numbers of sex workers in porn, the internet, telephone sex, stripping, hostess clubs, brothels, and the list goes on. Then you have the children who are in sex work, and the adults. The children have different needs because they are either usually runaways or they are forced into it by their parents or caregivers. Out of the adults - you have male and female sex workers, and then the transgenders. Out of these factions - you may or may not have a person who is experiencing drug and/or alcohol and/or sex addiction as well as an addiction to the sex industry itself or not. Some people in sex work have never touched a drug or drink, they do not have sex with their clients or act out sexually, and they are solely addicted to the sex industry itself. Again, each faction needs a different type of support and tools to gain recovery just as you would not put someone with a gambling addiction into a sexual addiction treatment center and expect that "one size fits all". It doesn't.

    1. And your thinking we don't know the "many layers" that you refer to? We are totally non partisan and support no causes; we are simply here to help those who want to exit and their families, who are often grief stricken as they attempt to deal with their loved ones difficulties. We all know that whether workers choose the profession or they are trafficked, it's tough out there for a working gal or guy.

  2. One of the main reasons Sex Workers Anonymous and Trafficking & Prostitution Directory Services started is because existing programs and tools do not work for everyone. You can't offer someone treatment for drug addiction and expect it to help them get out of the sex industry when in fact they may not be using drugs or an addict at all. If they are in it for drugs = then yes drug treatment will usually stop them using sex work to buy their drugs. We found the other models did not fit "all" sex workers and this is why we had to find what did work for us just as long ago the alcoholics had to find what worked for them. And it's different. The sad part is when sex workers are offered one size fits all recovery options and when it doesn't work for them they will get even more depressed thinking they are truly hopeless. That's what I went through when every program I tried to reach out to for help when I was in the sex trade was telling me either they were a correctional program (I had never been arrested yet), or a drug program (I never used drugs) or even a sexual addiction program (when I didn't have sex with my clients or anyone for that matter back then). If you're going to search out and find resources for sex workers - you should consider who they are offering options for and note that. This is what we're doing in the directory we are currently working on at www.sexworkrecovery.com - we are going to note which faction of sex worker this program is offering help for - and has a track record of success at. When Bill Wilson achieved a record length of sobriety - he assumed that meant he knew how to get other people sober also when he started Alcoholics Anonymous. If one studies their history - you'll see Bill failed miserably in his attempts to help others in the early days of AA. It was not until he realized that helping others is truly another process - that he found out what really did work to help others achieve sobriety and he made those changes in his approach in order to be more effective. We've also seen ex-sex workers think because they are out now - they know how to help everyone else get out too. We've seen the history of how this is not the case. What may work for you may not work as a program to help others. We've also seen sadly many programs over the years who are not what they represent themselves to be. This is why we always "check out" a program before giving anyone a referral to them. We don't want to find out after someone got victimized or did not receive the services promised that this program was not what they say they are. For example, right now there is a national program that is raising millions of dollars per year to help US sex trafficking victims. However, when a victim calls them or another program calls them for help with a victim - they are told this program does "not offer direct services to victims". I've also personally had this program literally rip off research I've done with other groups and hold press conferences claiming it's research they did. They've also quoted people I know in this field who tell me they never said this to these people. So I would never refer anyone to this program obviously despite how "recognized" they are or how many awards they get because they are not actually providing help to victims they say they are. As for finding "interventionists" I only know of a handful of people who have successfully done interventions with sex workers that hasn't turned into a big disaster. This is not the same as an invention done for addicts or alcoholics - not when there is the element of violence and criminals in sex work as there is. One wrong move and people can get killed out there - so an intervention must be planned by someone who truly understands how to do such a thing for someone in sex work. I applaud your work - but just wanted to add my two cents here in the comment section.