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, December 30, 2012

Next support group for ex-sex workers and their families meets January 3, 2013

Meet us as we welcome in the New Year this Thursday, January 3, at 7:30 p.m., at 6060 N. 7th Avenue in the Activites Center on the SW corner of the Bethany Bible Church campus.

Exiting may mean a sharp left turn.
Even if you are still in the sex industry but considering exiting, this meeting is for you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Next support group for ex-sex workers and their families meets December 6

Because She Matters meets again December 6, 2012, at 6060 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ, at 7:30 p.m. in the Activities Center on the southwest corner of Bethany Bible Church campus. This month we'll be talking about what it takes to help exit the sex industry.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This Month's Meeting for Recovering Sex Workers and their FamiliesCancelled

Due to an impending death in my family, we are canceling this month's Because She Matters meeting ordinarily held on the first Thursday of each month. We will meet again in December. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New White Paper on Exiting the Sex Industry Available Soon

While at the Human Trafficking, Sex Work and Prostitution Conference in Toledo, Ohio, this September, I presented a seminar entitled: How a Catholic Girl From the Suburbs Hits the Stroll / Beyond the Life: The Importance of Role Exit in Leaving Sex Work. Over 80 men and women who devote their lives helping this important group of survivors attended. The positive responses from these attendees was overwhelming. So often, well-meaning social workers and therapists simply do not know how to help this population.

Because of the importance of providing support to sex workers who choose the leave the industry (or receive a "nudge from the judge"), I am providing this presentation via a White Paper which will be available soon. If you'd like to receive a copy, simply email us at becauseshematters at gmail.com
We'll ensure you receive a copy.

I am also available to present this important topic to your organization. The presentation with a question-and-answer period takes about an hour.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Just returned from the Human Trafficking, Prostitution & Sex Work Conference

What an amazing two days with men and women so committed to helping sex workers and victims of trafficking. More when I've had a chance to unpack.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

UK Offers Program to Track Abusive Johns

We know firsthand the physical dangers sex workers face and how little police agencies will normally do to assist them when they are injured or sexually assaulted. As UK officials seem to understand, rapists do not solely prey on sex workers and abusers exhibit "a pattern of escalating behavior," which can impact both sex workers and those who do not work in the industry.

UK officials are trying to stop the abuse. Called the Ugly Mug database, information about abusive clients provided by sex workers is shared with sex workers throughout England. 

Watch the short video here. Imagine if US police agencies were so forward thinking.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work Conference

I will be presenting at the Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work Conference September 27 and 28 in Toledo, Ohio. I wil be discussing the importance of exit roles in helping women leave prostitution as well as how to help families deal with their loved ones' choices.

For more information about the conference, visit this link. I hope to see you there.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Recovery group for sex workers and their families tonight at 7:30

We are meeting tonight at 7:30 at 6060 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, in the Activities Center. We will discuss exiting the industry and the challenges facing our lives once we do try to leave the sex industry. Join us if you can.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Escort killed in Scottsdale

Last month an escort was murdered in Scottsdale. Details are sketchy. As usual, when a woman who sells her body is murdered, it attracted little media attention.

Here is the one article I could find. Other than that and some one-liner local news coverage on television, nada. Don't you think this type of event deserves more media attention?

I guess they're pretty busy covering the Tom Cruise split.

Click here to read more

Support group meets this Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our support group for families of sex workers and those trying or contemplating leaving the sex industry meets Thursday, July 5, at 6060 N. 7th Ave., in the Activities Center. Watch for the sign once you get inside.

We'll be talking this month about what helps women exit the industry and how families can support that exit. It isn't easy to leave the industry, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Loved One is Working in the Sex Industry!

What can I do? How can I live a balanced life while my loved one's life seems to be spinning out of control?
There is little support in the United States for the loved ones of sex workers. At Because She Matters, we are often contacted by the loved ones of sex workers who feel they have nowhere to turn for help. It's true--if you can't afford private therapy, there may be few resources for you to turn to.

After talking over the particulars of these situations with many family  members, here is what I usually recommend. Alanon or Naranon meetings focus on helping you establish appropriate "boundaries" with your loved one and take care of your own emotional needs.

While sex workers often turn to a substance such as drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress of their lives, or may turn to the sex industry to earn money to support their drug habits, this is not always the case. If you feel you are not a candidate for these 12-Step programs, Families Anonymous may be a better fit for you.

Sometimes we can help you persuade your loved one to seek help and support to exit the sex industry. Quite often, though, sex workers must hit their own particular bottom before they seek help. And in some cases, those working in the industry are content right where they are and we cannot persuade them to change. We can only learn to live comfortably despite their decisions.

You do not have to sacrifice your mental health because of the behavior of another. If you are worn out and stressed over struggling with a loved one's choices, it may be time for you to get help. These programs can help.

Our next support group for family members and women seeking to exit the industry or who have exited and need support is on Thursday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m. at 6060 N. 7th St. in Phoenix, AZ. We meet at the Activities Center at that church campus.

We are not affiliated with any religious organization and seek only to support family and sex workers. Join us if you can.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Tonight we will meet at 6060 N. 7th St., Phoenix, Activities Center, at 7:30 p.m. We're concentrating on an informal "chat" of women who have left the industry and the challenges they face. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Support Group for Families and Former Sex Workers Meets Again in June

I've received some calls and emails from women who either are exiting the sex industry or have exited and need to be able to frame their experience. Please feel free to attend our next meeting on June 7 at 7:30 p.m. at 6060 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix.


We'll have a speaker next month who exited the industry and we'll be able to talk about our experiences in the "real world." 


Hope to see you there. Feel free to call us for more information or to simply talk at 480 297-5810. If no one answers, leave your number and I'll return your call.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Support Group for Families of Prostitutes/Sex Workers Meets This Thursday!

Because She Matters meets this Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. at 6060 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ. We meet in the Activities Center on the SW part of the Bethany Bible Church campus. Come out for support if your loved one is in the sex industry. We'll have some gals there who have successfully exited and can share their thoughts with you. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ecuadorian Refugees Turn to Prositution to Survive

About a decade ago, I spent two weeks in Ecuador. Back then, American Airlines offered getaway packages that included hotel and flights. My traveling companion, Claudia, who spoke excellent Spanish, and I stayed in a hotel near the red-light district in Quito.

Each night at dusk she and I walked from our hotel to the nearby restaurants and directly through the red-light district. As young men in small cars circled the block, honking their horns and yelling out car windows at the women, the gals who worked the streets would greet us politely as we strolled by.

One night a little later than usual we walked by and the parade was thick and decidedly fever-pitched. One carload of men began yelling at Claudia and me. Several of the sex workers yelled to the men in that car in Spanish, "You leave the senoritas alone!" Claudia and I felt such a strong allegiance and bond with these nameless women who were watching out for their U.S. "sisters." 

Today, I read that prostitution is getting worse in Ecuador. Read the link to learn how Colombian women fleeing violence in their homeland are forced into sex work to survive.

So often we look at sex work as a choice that women make. I can tell you this, no little girl wakes up one morning and says, "I think I'll sell my body." 

We must remember that for the majority of the millions of women engaged in the industry worldwide, they have few choices. We have a voice and it is our responsibility to use it for social justice for all.

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/04/24/ecuador-refugee-women-and-girls-turning-to-sex-work/

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Because She Matters Joins Facebook

We joined Facebook today to further carry our message that family members can find support despite the circumstances in their lives.

LIKE us on Facebook and post a comment!

Next Support Group for Families of Sex Workers or Prostitutes Meets May 3, 2012

Our support group for families of sex workers or those who have lost loved ones to the sex industry meets the first Thursday in May at 6060 N. 7th Ave., Activities Center, Phoenix, AZ. For more information call (480) 297-5810 or email becauseshematters(at)gmail.com

We are still finalizing a speaker who will briefly address our participants, followed by talk and support. We look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Need a Speaker on the Topic of Sex Trafficking?

While we focus on helping the families of sex workers, if you would like a speaker to address the important issue of the sex industry or sex trafficking and resources that can help both the workers and their families, feel free to contact me at becauseshematters(at)gmail.com

We're happy to work with you on a presentation.

Friday, April 6, 2012

First Support Group Meeting for Families of Sex Workers a Success!

Because She Matters held our first meeting Thursday, April 5. We had a wonderful speaker, Tracy C., a former sex worker who exited the industry with the help of the Dignity program's year long residential treatment for sex workers here in Phoenix.

Tracy focused on the importance of the support she received in her recovery from her family and from those helping her with her substance abuse issue. Tracy has almost three years out of the industry and now attends college (she's a straight-A student!). She plans to become a speech therapist. Tracy proves that there is a full life after the sex industry.

Channel 12 came and shot some footage (and was very respectful of our "no face" request!). A big shout out to Channel 12 for their support and for understanding the gravity of this problem in the Phoenix area.

We meet the 1st Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm at 6060 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, in the Activities Center on the southwest corner of the Bethany Bible Church campus. We are not affiliated with any religious organization, but do thank Bethany Bible Church's staff for supporting us with meeting space.

Next month we will have another speaker followed by introductions of attendees and talk. Please join us for this important event. If you or someone you love is or was in the sex industry, this is an important event for you.

Your life can improve with support. We hope to see you there on May 3rd, 2012.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Support Group Starts for Families/Loved Ones of Those in the Sex Industry

Because She Matters
P.O. Box 9704
Phoenix, AZ   85068

CONTACT:  Nancy Todd
       Phone (480) 297-5810
       becauseshematters(at)gmail.com

March 26, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Support Group Forms for Loved Ones of Phoenix Sex Workers

PHOENIX, AZ – With pornography and child prostitution growing rapidly here in the Phoenix metro area and across the United States, a local organization has launched a support group to help families of sex workers.
Because She Matters will meet the first Thursday of each month from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 6060 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix.  Each meeting will feature a brief presentation, discussion and networking. The speaker on April 5 will be Tracy C., a recovering addict who exited the sex industry with the help of the Dignity Program, a Catholic Charities-supported group that specializes in helping women exploited into prostitution. Dignity's year-long program allowed Tracy to help rebuild her life. Listen to her inspiring story as she talks about how her family helped to support her emotionally. With almost three years out of the sex trade, Tracy now attends college and works with others who struggle to leave the sex industry.

Prostitution is a violent occupation. The average age of death for a prostitute is 34, according to industry statistics, and the Journal of Epidemiology reports that prostitutes suffer a workplace homicide rate 51 times higher than the next most dangerous job—working in a liquor store. The Phoenix Police Department reports the Phoenix metro area has become a major hub for young prostitutes. Detectives believe cash is the main motivation behind the recruitment of younger girls, as they command higher payments from sex buyers.

Relatives and friends of porn actors, strippers and prostitutes face many difficulties as they struggle to understand their loved ones’ choices. Until now, there have been no organized support groups for these secondary victims of a lucrative business that exists mainly in the shadows. Because She Matters will offer support and resources for the families of those caught in the sex industry, no matter in which segment of the sex industry they work. 

About Us
Because She Matters was founded in 2009 by Nancy Todd to help sex workers who wanted to exit the sex industry and to offer support for their families.  Ms. Todd holds a Masters in sociology and has decades of experience working with this at-risk group.  Because She Matters is not associated with any religious organization and has no political affiliations or opinions regarding the legality of sex work. For more information please call (602) 480-297-5810  or visit www.becauseshematters.blogspot.com
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

April 5 Begins Our Support Group for Families of Sex Workers

We have a date and a place for the first support group meeting in Phoenix (and perhaps in the country) for families and friends of sex workers. We meet the 1st Thursday of each month beginning April, 5, 2012, at a church at 6060 N. 7th St. Join us at 7 p.m. for this informative meeting.

This month's speaker is Tracy C., a recovering addict who exited the sex industry with the help of the Dignity Program, funded by Catholic Charities. Dignity's year-long program allowed Tracy to help rebuild her life. Listen to her inspiring story as she shares about how her family helped support her through her exit from the industry. With almost three years out of the industry, Tracy attends college and works with others who struggle to exit the industry.

Join us for this free and informative program followed by introductions, refreshments and chat.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Support Group for Loved Ones of Sex Workers Begins Soon!

We are just a few weeks away from hosting our first support group meeting for the loved ones of sex workers here in Phoenix. The model at this point will be like typical health-support group model where we start with introductions, then listen to a brief speaker who shares his or her experience (it may be an "expert" on sex work or a parent whose child is/was in the industry or someone who left the industry). Then we'll open the room for sharing.

We have permission to use the 12 Steps and model the AA concept (like Alanon and Naranon do) but I am waiting until we begin to see how the model should work. Keep checking back for our first meeting. I am still contacting churches and other places for meeting space but hope to have a date set by next week. Until then, keep the faith.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

There are many schools of thought about prostitution. Programs like Veronica’s Voice (see links) in Kansas City helps to enable women to leave the life of prostitution. There are also many first-world and lesser-developed world organizations that struggle for prostitution rights. Organizations like International Sex Worker Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education (ISWFACE), COYOTE (Call off Your Old Tired Ethics) in San Francisco (www.bayswan.org/COYOTE.html) and the International Union of Sex Workers work to decriminalize prostitution and improve sex workers’ lives worldwide.

Feminists, no matter their personal political bents, differ widely in their beliefs regarding the correct approach to prostitution. There is a clear distinction between forced and voluntary prostitution, according to author Jo Doezema, in her article "Global Sex Workers." She asserts that the current focus on eliminating trafficking, with a “woman as victim mentality,” works against the interests of all women. There are many women, she points out, who choose prostitution as a livelihood, or are forced into prostitution by poverty. International efforts to end prostitution make no effort to protect women who must by poverty or who voluntarily choose to remain in prostitution, she maintains. She refers to the “whore/Madonna,” “good/bad” dichotomy that characterizes much of Western civilization.

Laurie Shrage in her keynote address to the “Prostitution in a Global Context — Intertwined Histories, Present Realities,” Conference held at Aalborg University in Denmark in 1999, said this about the current feminist “victim” view of prostitution most widely disseminated. “These oppositions [whore/Madonna] configure the voluntary prostitute (the active, experienced, guilty Western whore) as someone responsible for her own fate and who deserves what she gets.” This, some feminists believe, leaves women who choose to or must prostitute due to poverty sadly at risk for battery, harassment by police and murders that are not only little investigated, but little noted by society at large.

Most feminist sex worker advocates are in agreement that involuntary prostitution and sexual slavery should be abolished; however, Shrage goes further, calling for abandoning the “forced / voluntary prostitution distinction” to allow a more focused view that encompasses the legal, health and financial needs of all peoples. “Those of us not part of these organizations [grassroots organizations of sex workers] would do better to stop wondering why the sex industry exists and to focus instead on the social forces that shape it . . . .”

Prostitution takes a terrible toll on those engaged in it. However, to ignore the often tense controversies surrounding the current climate focused on sexual slavery and its very meaty funding appears to leave unexamined the real causes of sex work ― poverty and women’s worldwide oppression.

There are few studies that analyze people’s attitudes toward prostitution, probably because the typical attitude is so negative. One need only view popular culture’s attitudes toward prostitutes, where each week Jay Leno’s Tonight Show used its bully pulpit to refer to these disenfranchised women as “whores” and “hookers” to realize that prostitutes are a target of derision and hence have translated into a safe dumping ground for violence which is perpetrated against them at staggering rates.

This blog will try to avoid the polemics surrounding the prostitution debate and simply offer solutions, mainly for families of sex workers, who can be instrumental in helping workers leave the industry. We hope that we can rationally discuss varying theories as events arise; however, we take no position on the correct way to limit the systemic abuses in the sex industry. We only know what has worked for us to exit the industry and recover.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inquiries

We have been so busy that this blog and my emails have gone unanswered and for those of you who have written, we apologize. We are just now catching up on correspondence.

The question we keep hearing, from the United Kingdom to the Florida panhandle, is "Where are support groups for us, the parents and friends of those caught in the sex industry?" The answer--there are none right now.

Ours starts in Phoenix April 5, 2012, at 6060 N. 7th Ave, Phoenix, at 7:30 p.m. We will meet once a month and hopefully build a presence. Often, because drugs are involved for sex workers, you may find Alanon or Naranon helpful to you. You can have a life of balance despite the bad choices others make in their lives.

Stay tuned for more frequent updates as we ramp up. We can be contacted at becauseshematters(at)gmail.com.