That Newsweek cover COULD have been either myself, or another REAL survivor or someone who runs a REAL GROUP. Which would have happened if not for her. So that cover went to her instead of us - that's my problem.
But rather than an article about the "real" us - they will publish a whole cover story on the fraud? That's more news worthy than writing about the founder of the movement - and maybe even a quote from me about how I feel about all this?
They came to me asking me to say that ALL sex work was trafficking - not that the reality is that like any industry there is an element of the labor force who are being trafficked. Now I do agree that all sex work in a minor child is rape just as all sex with a minor is statutory rape. But when it comes to adults - you can't convince me that a woman who just got dumped by her husband that has rent coming due, no food in the fridge, and three kids and a dog to feed who puts up an ad on Backpage to survive is a trafficking victim.
They just aren't the same as someone I've seen where the pimp is saying "if you don't come back with $1500 I'm cutting your little girl's arm off" as I've seen done by pimps or someone who is sold like a horse or cow by a trafficker to disappear overseas to some drug dealer. They just are apples and oranges. These people promised me a job making $120,000 a year, my own center, and all the fame I wanted because the reality is that I am the modern day founder of the movement itself to have sex trafficking in the USA today currently recognized as reality.
When I refused - they tried to "catfish" America at first with Stella Marr. Only people saw through it. Then they tried to use Chong Kim - people saw through it because when they checked out her story it didn't wash. Which I'll be honest with you. The reason why we have a movement today and the reason why we have a Trafficking Act of 2000, and why we have a Polaris is because I saw what happened to people who stepped up before me trying to tell the world trafficking was still happening and real. The media would find a way to discount them. If they lied about one little thing - the media would discount them. If they hid anything - the media would discount them. If they were trying to sell a book or make a movie - the media would discount them. So for me to be believed - I put everything out there. I made sure everything I said was the absolute truth of what I witnessed and experienced. Plus I refused all book and movie offers. That way when I went onto a talk show - everything I said was my 100 percent truth and experience. In other words, I couldn't be discounted. Just as we also saw with Samoly Mam because she lied - people did check her story out and then exposed her in the end because that's what they do.
So I wouldn't cooperate with these people. So they tried catfishing. The people saw through that. They tried a fake here in the USA and when that fell apart they realized they needed to find a poster child who was from outside of the USA. Then they found Samoly Mam. I can see why they choose her. She's attractive number one. She photographs well and she knows how to spin a good story. So yes of course the media will eat her up.
One of the major reasons why the media doesn't "eat us up" is because we're not like that. While our members may have been Playboy bunnies, and Hustler regulars, and head liners at major strip clubs, and known porn stars that are house hold names at one time, or even well known madams like myself - the sex industry is a short lived career for most. That's for the ones who aren't trafficked. For those who are trafficked - there's a lot of physical wreckage.
By the time we get to a victim - they're screwed up, damaged, sick, disabled, messed up. Do you have any idea what the stress of living with that kind of stress and danger 24/7 does to you? We have a member who was shot 9 times in the back by her pimp and she is in a wheelchair now. We have a transgender member who is HIV positive who goes in and out of the hospital every other week. We have a member who used to be literally nailed to the wall starting when she was four years old who is now covered with scars. We have a member who has been trafficked to 1,000's of men starting at her rape when she was 12 years old by her pimp's father who was "teaching him the ropes" of how to "turn out a bitch". She's now 24 years old and has fibromyalgia because her whole body's nervous system is just on overload. She has PTSD so badly she is constantly having accidents because she'll "space out" while she's driving. We have one male member whose social anxiety is so bad he can't make phone calls for himself nor can he work around people. He pays his rent by cleaning churches that he can go in at night and clean by himself without social contact. I mean trust me we have a fellowship full of very damaged men and women.
There's not just physical damage - there's emotional. Just to cope - you have to build all kinds of defenses. I was having fainting spells at the end of my time in the sex industry. I was going to psychiatrists who were giving me anti-anxiety medication. They were telling me that I wouldn't be fainting if I could just stop what was causing the stress - that wasn't happening. I couldn't stop what was happening to cause the stress WAS THE PROBLEM.
So then they said that if I "talked about it" that I could reduce the stress. Only when I "talked about it" either I'd have the psychiatrist jacking off under the desk while I was talking because it sexually excited him, or I'd have him offer to take out our sessions "in trade", or I'd get some woman asking me questions because she was thinking about becoming a hooker herself because it "sounds so glamourous", or I'd get the guy who wanted to "help me manage my money" or the ever classic one who would think I was "hallucinating because these things aren't real" and wanting to lock me up for observation. So "talking about it" was causing me more stress.
Then I read that stress was all a matter of "perception". So I decided I was going to make myself think very "positive" about the whole thing I was stuck in. I met Margo St. James who had founded COYOTE and I started lobbying for "sex workers' rights" and totally promoting the sex industry as a way of convincing myself I was in the right "career". Then LAPD came in and took everything I owned, arrested my mother for pimping me, and then threatened to arrest my 70 year old grandmother if I didn't take a plea bargain. Sorry but "thinking positive" wasn't going to make it so.
Now comes all the physical wreckage of that time. My adrenal system was blown out the doctors told me - which has thrown off my whole hormonal system. Meaning I have a thyroid problem - which by the way mimics almost identically bipolar disorder. Which they didn't discover until I had blown up to 460 pounds and I'm having horrible mood swings - that's when the doctors finally discovered it was my thyroid. Now I'm on the right medications I'm losing about 10 pounds a month and I'm much smaller but still not skinny like Samoly Mam. But that doesn't alter the years I was gaining weight rapidly, mood swinging right and left, and completely dysfunctional until the doctors discovered it was my thyroid that had just crapped out because my body couldn't take the stress.
I gave so many blowjobs the doctors say I have calcification of my neck and back. I'm in constant pain. Because of the pain - I often can't sleep or work. The procedure to fix my pain they say isn't covered by insurance and costs $10,000. Which by the way everything I'm saying for me is extremely typical of ex-hookers. You want to "scare straight" an active hooker? Take her to a Sex Workers Anonymous meeting. Everyone in that meeting practically is over weight, on SSI disability, living in a section 8 apartment, and on state health insurance. We're missing teeth because insurance doesn't pay dental and if we're lucky we're on paratransit.
Oh sure - many do just great when they leave sex work. They start a successful business and then can't risk being "known" as a prostitute so they don't come to meetings anymore. They might marry a rich guy they can't risk him "finding out" so they stop coming to meetings. So what happens is for those who do move on to great new things - we're the ER. Think about it - even though the ER or ICU saved their life - who goes back? Who even so much as sends a "thank you" card to the staff at the ER who saved their life or the paramedics in the ambulance. I've talked to them and no one remembers them either. They get the hell up and out of there as soon as they can - and don't look back because they don't want to think about it. We're no different. We patch them up and then those who can leave - do. Those who can't - stay for ongoing support. We do not have a "disease" like alcoholics where their members stay for life. Our members get what they need - and move on.
The reason why Samoly Mam was doing all those fund raisers? Because she could. Me? I can't hardly walk through an airport because my back is so messed up. I need scooters if I have to walk farther than 1/2 a block. I also just can't. I can't go through an airport to have a fund raiser thrown for me by Diane Von Furstenberg like Mam did because I can't leave my daughter who I'm caring for who has a brain tumor. We're in Los Angeles right now getting her into see the best neurologists in the world here. Which I can do now I've recovered from a stroke I had in 2000 that laid me up in bed and in and out of ICU for two years. I also have members who I'm sponsoring who talk to me at least a few times a week - if not daily - so I can't abandon them either to trot off to put together a fund raiser in NY. So no I can't go running all over the world being a part of these fund raisers, and dinners, and events, and being photographed for the cover of Newsweek.
So honestly for a while when she first came out I thought to myself "you know what? She can do what you can't - so let her spread the word. Maybe this is a good thing." So I stepped back at first thinking that maybe this was a good thing she was doing for us. I thought "she's pretty, she can talk well, she can travel, she can do things I can't do so maybe this is God's way of spreading the truth in ways I can't do physically right now." Which is why I didn't say anything about her at first when I began to suspect her. Why? Look at her. What did I just say? Everyone in our program is older, overweight, has bad teeth, sick, disabled, screwed up - I mean she's just too pretty and healthy I'm sorry for me to believe she's "real". What did I say about the "pretty healthy ones"? They move on and then act like they never were. They don't go out crusading for us. So she didn't compute to me.
Until the comparisons started coming in to attack us. I started hearing "well Samoly Mam has her face out there on Newsweek so why isn't your face on your website?" I started having people TELL ME TO MY FACE that the reason why they weren't booking us for lectures, or trainings, or events to speak at that were local that I could do was because I did not have a photo of my face up online. It made them wonder "what I was hiding".
Well for one thing - I do rescues when warranted. So yeah I really want the pimps to see me coming when I'm pretending to be a cleaning lady so I can get the keys to the back door to let women out of where they're being held captive. Or when I'm pretending to be a secretary at a lawyer's office where we've called the woman in for an appointment where the pimp is being distracted in the lobby while we're taking her down the stairs out the back door.
Or when I'm pretending I'm opening a new massage parlor or casting a new porn and I'm looking for "new talent" and I'm doing interviews to find out who is being pimped and needs help - yeah I really want that pimp to walk into that interview room and go "oh yeah I know you". THAT'S why I don't have my photo on the website and all over hell and back. Can someone else do it? If someone could - believe me I'd not be doing this. But when you get a call from a mother and the police say they "can't do anything - their hands are tied" or they "don't have the budget" or 100 other excuses I'm supposed to turn this mother away?
They'd even compare me to Lois Lee who does run a fantastic program for teens. However, Lois is not a survivor. She's the founder that runs the place. She also doesn't go out and do undercover rescues like I do. Why? Because the police will move heaven and earth to save a child. But when it comes to an adult they can't. They say the person is "of the age of consent and without proof they're being held against their will" they can't do anything like what we do. So no - she's not going out pretending to be casting a new porn to flush out victims when a mother is looking for her daughter.
She also a job running that program while I am out having to interview for jobs regularly. When she goes home to her neighborhood the neighbors tell her what a fantastic job she's doing "helping those kids". Me? I come home after a TV appearance with an eviction notice on my door and landlords who say "we don't want whores on this property". To find meeting space - I have to tell people I run an "abused woman's group" because if I say it's for hookers - I get turned down flat. People have a WHOLE different attitude when it comes to helping adults trust me. So I need my anonymity to do what I do in other words - and to keep paying my rent.
Even if we had a million dollar budget - I'm not Pink Cross nor Hookers for Jesus. Now let me ask you something - how can they teach their clients to go out in the real world and find a job WHEN THEY HAVEN'T? Annie was selling t-shirts at the AVN when I met her to pay her rent and then got married. Shelley married her drug dealer who paid her bills and then went out fund raising. I don't think those women even know how to interview for a job, write out a resume, or figure out how to find work when there are no jobs in town BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T EVER DONE IT. I have. I even go out and interview for jobs just to see if they ask questions like about your background, or ask for ID so I can find companies that will hire our members without asking a lot of questions. I go on job interviews with new members for emotional support. I can teach our members how to find work BECAUSE I HAVE.
Also realize we are a 12 step group. Our goal isn't to stop drinking or stop doing drugs. Our goal is to be supporting ourselves without sex work. Meaning A JOB. Which means that all the work we do in Sex Workers Anonymous is what - "non-professional". Now the drug and alcohol field can hire "special workers" because there's grant money for one thing that comes through the National Council on Alcoholism. How can I hire a SWA worker when our work is supposed to be "non-professional". So no I can't hand out jobs to people coming into SWA because the POINT of our program is to teach the member how they can find work outside of sex work and support themselves. Making them dependent upon us isn't teaching them that. It's giving them fish instead of teaching them to fish.
Another difference with us vs. AA is they also make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS selling their "Big Book" not just to the alcoholic - but to bookstores, libraries, treatment centers, addictions counselor schools, etc. There's a whole industry that they sell Big Books to - that who am I going to sell our books to? I know one year where the NA Basic Text made $20 million and the year before $15 million. That's a lot of money to hire "special workers". So I should sell more Recovery Guides right?
Tell me - who am I going to sell our books to? Our members when they come into the door are always broke. So I have to give away out book about nine out of 10 times to the member walking into the door as a newcomer. If they can squeeze out five bucks - then we sell them the book on Lulu - but that's rare. Then when the members get working - they are busy paying their rent and back bills and they are always telling me they don't have money to donate either. Once in a blue moon a member will have a wind fall and donate maybe $20. But most of the time they can barely make ends meet because working a "legit" job is something very foreign to us. I don't demand money for our services because our steps dictate that I "only keep what I have by giving it away". So what works for us is that all of what we do is volunteer. So if I can't charge for the services - that leaves selling books to raise money like AA and NA does.
So to who? Sell the books to the jails? They claim they "don't have a budget for it" which is true. Buying a SWA book is not in their budget. Meaning I have to create it like the National Council on Alcoholism did for the Big Book. They passed laws that said that a jail or a treatment center can't operate without an AA or NA book on hand. So I would have to modify that law so these places would then put our book into that budget.
How many treatment centers are there for sex workers that will buy books for their staff and clients? Most of them that do exist for the sex worker think this is either a substance abuse problem or sexual addiction. They don't want to hear that it's not either - let alone buy our book about how it's not either. No - they treat sex workers coming into their treatment centers as drug addicts, or sex addicts, or as someone mentally ill who needs to be placed on medication - and voila! They just assume the sex work will disappear. Didn't we just watch this same exact thing with Dr. Drew? How did that work? Is Mary Carey out of the sex industry yet? Is any other sex worker out of sex work and sober where he treated them as "just" a drug or sex addict? No. Does that mean he is wrong about his theory and maybe he should come talk to me who has turned out many from sex work and sobriety successfully long term? I'm not hearing my phone ring and he's never bought a Recovery Guide from us.
Counselors? The only things they want to learn are what they're required to learn for their license. Hand them a book they've never seen to educate them about this and ask them to pay for it - and it's not happening. They're working on their BA or PhD and the last thing they want to do is read another book they don't have to read. They're also "starving students" and can't afford to buy even our $4.95 ebook - so no not them. I've asked. They want to read it and have said if given to them free they would - but unless I find a sponsor - they're not reading it. They're not even paying for continuing education or school - everything is financed, sponsored, granted, etc.
Police? They don't care about us why would they read our Recovery Guide let alone buy it for the prostitutes. What cop would buy a Recovery Guide for a hooker? Oh sure they'll give them away if I give them to them and have when I've given them free copies - but they wouldn't buy one if their life depended upon it. Do you have any idea how many people call me up and tell me "I want to start a program to help hookers can you send me a Recovery Guide?"
Okay sure that will be $24.95 and they hear that and hang up the phone. Go and get an AA book they've downloaded for free or some other class they downloaded off the internet and they call that a program. I'm not kidding you. I've probably had 1,000's of people tell me "we want to start a program" but when I ask them to buy one book to know how to start an effective one - it's not worth $24.95 to them. They go and get something for free - and then they push that onto the prostitute and then a year or two later scratch their head wondering why it didn't work!
The drug and alcohol treatment centers think that's our program. There's an old saying that "all problems look like a nail to a man who only has a hammer for a tool". Social Services thinks our only problem is we need a degree or a job. These people do not want to hear that for our kind - you can get us away from the pimp, get us sober, get us working a job - and WE WILL GO BACK. They don't want to hear it's not something they can solve knowing what they already know.
The MINUTE I say it's "not what you think" and that they have to learn something about us before they can "help" us - they're out of there. They want to help - but they don't want to learn how to do it. I'm not alone either. I remember once Lois Lee from Children of the Night told me she has a constant parade of young interns who all go on for hours about how they "want to help kids" but when they have to comb lice out of a kid's hair who just came in off the streets - they run. That's with offering them a salary. So for free - people run when they realize the work.
So who exactly is going to buy our Recovery Guide? So I give it to the members free on ebook and have yet to sell one copy to someone who works in the field of supposedly helping us. Polaris, Shared Hope, Veronica's Voice, etc. have never bought one copy of our Recovery Guide, training manual, or step working guides. Not one. Because in their minds they know it all already without any input from me despite successfully working in this field for three decades now.
Lois Lee? Read the book I gave her when we first published it because I wanted her review. She told me straight up it didn't apply to kids in her home because it doesn't. In most cases of sex trafficking of children and teens there is an adult behind them forcing them. There's pedophiles involved who are very organized. It is different for adults then kids. So I respect that she says it doesn't really apply to her kids when we're talking about "relapse" because for her kids - once they get out of their situation they're fine . They don't go running back for more abuse. But she READ the book and then said it didn't apply. I respect that. What I don't respect is someone who says they want to help an alcoholic who won't at least read the Big Book. That tells me their main goal is NOT to help us - but something else and so far I've been right.
Samoly Mam didn't ask for even a free copy of our book either. She wasn't interested in a program - because again her goal wasn't a program - it was fund raising. Fund raisers don't read our book or learn how our program works because they don't care about helping us - it's that simple. Mam didn't have to think about her neighbors rejecting her because of her past, nor the ladies at church rejecting her, nor about a boss who might not hire her because of her past because she doesn't even live in this country and because with the money she was bringing in - she didn't have to worry about getting a job down the road like I do.
Do you have any idea how many good jobs I LOST when I went on TV in the 1980's and 1990's? I remember one job where I didn't have to show up until noon, I made $20 an hour (in 1988 was great money), I have a 401k, health insurance, and a lunch room with unlimited snacks and coffee. It was a beautiful law firm in Tarzana with covered parking. But when I went on TV to let people know about our hotline - I got called into their office and told "we're an old respected law firm and we just can't associate ourselves with this" and I got fired. They gave me a nice severance bonus because they didn't want to be sued for wrongful termination - but the job was over. So no - now unless I have something worth losing what I have now no I'm not going to go onto TV and wreck my life just to go on TV. It has to be something worth my life being torn to shreds which is what happens when I go on TV talking about this subject. .
People started attacking me going "you're not positive like Samoly Mam". Sure she was positive BECAUSE SHE HAD HER HAND IN YOUR POCKET. She was a con artist. Con artists are charming, and caring, and they make you feel special and they talk to you for hours and after they get you to like them and trust them THEY GET A CHECK FROM YOU. Everything she's going to say is designed to lure you in and to get you to write a check - so no she's not going to be talking about the things I'm talking about.
Only guess what? What she was doing was not a job. Our program is about having a job. If I wanted to go out conning people for money - then in my world that's a relapse. To smile at someone I can't stand, and pretend to laugh at their stories, all because I'm going to get paid IS A RELAPSE for me.
My sobriety, my program, is that saying what I think, doing what I want, and getting my money from work not from people LIKING ME. Which is what Samoly did. So guess what? I'm NOT going to act like her. I'm not going to spend an hour kissing your ass, telling you how wonderful you are, listening to you talk about yourself because frankly I don't want anything from you. I do my job and I also do my work in SWA. If I like you - I tell you. If I don't - then I don't. But I left prostitution because I don't want to lie to people anymore for money. I don't want to tell people what they want to hear anymore for money. I left that when I left sex work behind. I left because I want to live in reality and truth. Which the reality and truth for sex trafficking victims IS NOT POSITIVE.
But what amazed me was all these people telling me that because I'm not acting like her - they aren't going to give us covers on Newsweek, or fund raisers, or fat checks - why? Because you have to smooze for those things for one. For another - you have to spend your time going after it and doing it. I just don't have that kind of time because I'm doing the work. She didn't just land on Newsweek. There was the introduction stage. Then there was the "getting to know you stage". Then there were meetings and the photo session and the interview - and ALL THINGS THAT TOOK TIME.
Time I don't have. In 2006, I got a call from the Dr. Phil show. They wanted me to come to Los Angeles to be on the show. This meant leaving my mother who was in ICU dying of MRSA, and my daughter who we thought was bipolar also at the time (it turned out to be a tumor on her ovary pumping her full of hormones - but we didn't know that at the time). I was literally taking her to school in the morning, then I was doing SWA calls to work with our members, then picking my daughter up, going to the ICU until 8 pm visiting hours were over, and then back home to do her homework and doing it over again the next day. How am I going to go do Dr. Phil? I asked if they could televise me on the satellite - and they said they couldn't do a whole hour that way. So I had to turn it down. If I had the money to hire a caretaker that's one thing. I asked the show if they could cover the cost of someone to replace me and they said no. So I couldn't do the show. But then again I didn't have backers behind me like Samoly Mam who had an agenda to present their images of sex trafficking to the world. Which again is why at first I thought maybe it was a good thing she was out there doing what she was doing - until I started getting these attacks.
Which was really highlighted by a case that came in a couple of days ago. This woman calls me up screaming about what a "fraud the Cupcake Girls are". She tells me how she can't get work because she doesn't have an ID. She doesn't have an ID because her birth certificate is from another country and her country can't find it. Without it, she can't get an ID and without an ID she can't work a job is what she's telling me.
So if that's the only problem - I figure I'll help her get an ID card. As we're talking, I know 100 places where she can get work, good work, without the company hassling about ID. For one - I know of a company that hires attractive people to do presentations for time share companies. They pay $25 an hour and could care less about an ID. I went and interviewed with them for another woman and they never once asked for an ID. So I told her about this job and all I heard was "oh that's too far for me to go because I don't have a car".
As I went through some jobs she could do working from home - she snaps at me "what is this insistence on me quitting the sex industry about?" I explain to her that I run Sex Workers Anonymous and we're about helping people quit. Isn't that what she told me when she called? She had said she "wanted to quit but couldn't because she didn't have an ID card".
Okay if that's all that's holding her back - then let's get her working at jobs that don't require an ID. Because right now there are millions of illegal aliens who are in this country who are NOT prostituting who are making a living who don't have an ID card. But see we know that in SWA - we know that all those excuses are just that - excuses.
That's why when I hear the Cupcake Girls say that "these women can't get jobs because of their record" is bullshit. That's the excuse they tell everyone, even themselves. Because there are many many employers in Las Vegas who do not care about a prostitution arrest. Some companies even actively prefer that type of worker. Like marketing for example where you go out onto the casino floor and you sign people up for Players cards. I know people making $300 a day doing that and that's with a prostitution record.
But when I offered the Cupcake Girls the list - they refused. Now that's when I got suspicious of them. If they're about "helping these women" then if they want to quit and want to find work but their record is holding them back - then they would jump at this list of employers. But they didn't because clearly they're not what they're representing they are.
Which then this woman throws up at me. She says "they held a fund raiser for Kamylla so why can't you throw one for me?" I then have to explain to her why would I do that? Okay let's say I raise her $5000. How long would that pay her bills? A month? Two? Then what? What happens when the money runs out? We're right back where we started which is getting her an ID card and getting her a job outside of sex work.
So then she confesses "no I'm not ready to quit" which is what I thought. So I suggested she contact Red Umbrella, Desiree Alliance, or SWOP. They're three programs I'm aware of set up to help women in active sex work. I don't believe in harm reduction. To me, it's like the heroin addict who puts vitamin B12 in his shot. I don't see the point. It's a short lived career at best - and one is going to have to think about quitting one day. In the meantime, it's going to be full of violence, danger, disease, rape, kidnapping, being arrested and even possibly a high rate of murder and that's just the nature of the game just as football players get a lot of head injuries and dancers screw up their feet. So I'm not hear to listen to the problems of a sex worker as I've been there and frankly that's why I quit. I don't want to hear it.
Now over the years - I've seen a pattern in my life. A pattern where I come into someone's life to give them another path. I offered to help her quit - and she didn't want to quit. So I left. Before I left she asked me why I'm not out fund raising like the Cupcake Girls. She told me they even get cash donations in the club.
So I asked her "are they talking to you right now?" She said "no". I said "because they're out fund raising right". She says "yes". I said "how do I spend my time? Talking to you, and women like you all over the country right?" She acknowledges. I then explain to her I'm only human. I have so many hours in the day and I can't do both. I can't go out pan handling in a strip club for money and then spend three hours talking to her about if she wants to quit and how to help her. It's just real life. Something I've learned how to do in the 12 step lifestyle. Accepting life on life's terms.
It's now 1:00 a.m. I get a call from her the next morning telling me "it's urgent". She starts telling me how she went into a casino on a Friday night to hook and how she almost got arrested. I start hearing about the mean cops. You know what? If I wanted to get a 1:00 a.m. phone call from someone who almost got arrested, or got arrested, for prostitution in Las Vegas - then honestly I'd go back to hooking. Only I'm not the hookers' girlfriend to get that call anymore. I left that lifestyle. Now I get calls about the first day at work, or the job interview, or getting off probation, or paying off the mortgage, or my kid graduating college, or I got my diploma. I frankly don't want to hear this dumb shit.
So I tell her to call SWOP, Desiree Alliance or Red Umbrella and let them help her. I gave her the option of quitting the very day before and she didn't want to hear it. Fine. Then suck it up. If that's what you want to do - that's what you're going to get. I told her when she's ready to quit - then call me. Until then I am not here to get that kind of emergency phone call. I sleep with the phone by my ear at night so that if I get a 1:00 a. m. phone call from a woman who wants help to escape her pimp or trafficker - I can get her, or him, out of there. That's what my hotline is for. It's for a late night call when you're alone because you've left everyone you know to get out of sex work and you're scared. A few nights ago I talked to a woman who was married, had four kids, and three dogs - and now she's in a house by herself for the first time in her life. She's going out looking for work and life is scary. THAT'S what I'm here for.
But this woman calling me up wanting me to help her put on "a fund raiser just like Kamylla had done for her" is the kind of bullshit I'm now having to deal with because of people like the Cupcake Girls. When Annie Lobert was promising women she was going to help them out but left them hanging - who got the call when they had a 5 day notice that had to be filed by 8:00 a.m. the next morning? I did. I'm the one who had to help them file that Answer or Stay, and then take them looking for work, and take them to the food bank. All because of a crisis caused by Annie. I don't play like that. I have our members figure out an exit plan that's realistic so we don't have a crisis to deal with. Creating crisis is not what people in recovery do. In other words, I'm teaching our members how not to live a life where they're creating constant crisis.
Now what am I going to do about this? Clearly these con artists aren't going to go away. They are creating false expectations and false ideas in the public's mind about what we do, how we do it, who we are even. Which when I think about it - isn't even new.
At least we're on the map now. Back in 1987 people didn't even think we existed. So in reality - this is progress isn't it? At least people know we're real now. Now I guess we just need to clarify the details. So I guess this is a good thing. Maybe Samoly did help progress this movement after all in her own way because frankly I couldn't have gone on that Newsweek cover. I have a sick daughter that I don't want to jeopardize her care by some doctor copping at attitude at me for this work or my past. Especially non-American men who view any woman who used to be a prostitute as a very low thing and they let you know it. No I don't want my daughter's doctors right now to harm her because of their attitudes - so no I'm not going to put my face on Newsweek if they offered it to me. So I'm going to take the damage she's done - and see if I can turn it into something positive.
Now - you've just witnessed what we do in a 12 step lifestyle. We "accept the things we can not change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference". I can't undo these unrealistic perceptions in the public's mind created by the fakes and the shams. That we don't exist is at least established by them now. Now we're just quibbling over the details of "what" is sex trafficking. That I can't change. It's here and a reality.
But I can change how I perceive this. Just as I helped people to see that pimps are exploiting us - maybe I can educate about how pastors are exploiting us like with the "Children of God" cult that was our first big case we got involved with helping women to leave that cult where the pastor was pimping them. Maybe I can teach them how people like Samoly Mam are exploiting us for money while calling themselves "survivors". So maybe this is all part of teaching the world that the street corner pimp is only but a small fraction of the people who exploit us for money - and teaching the 100's of ways it's done to us in today's world and in America.
So how am I going to educate the public about what we really are like? Well we've got plans for that in the works. In the meantime, I'm going back to sleep.