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Saturday, January 2, 2016

MARIN COUNTY SHERIFF AND MAYOR

In September of 2015, I sent the Marin County Sheriff's Association a flyer about Sex Workers Anonymous.  I've been getting complaints from our members about the way the police have been treating them up there so I wanted to try and open up a line of communication.  The county is not using us for alternative sentencing for some reason either.  Then today I came across this article - http://m.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-city-council-takes-stand-against-sex-workers/Content?oid=4563294&showFullText=true I went to reach out to them to find out how they expect this woman to look for work if they took her computer - and found that the Association had blocked me.  I don't think they're blocking Alcoholics Anonymous and find this quite discriminatory to be honest.  Our community is just as entitled to alternative sentencing as the alcoholic and addict if not in fact more.  We're not out robbing old ladies or selling our children for drug money like addicts do so if anything I think sex workers should get just the same amount of consideration at least.

I went into our other account for TAPS and then sent them the following post:

I'm contacting you after reading this article http://m.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-city-council-takes-stand-against-sex-workers/Content?oid=4563294&showFullText=true to ask what happened to alternative sentencing? Sex Workers Anonymous was founded in 1987 and from day one we were having judges court order those convicted of prostitution to our meetings instead of jail. In our program we work towards finding them alternative means of employment so they aren't dependent upon the sex industry for their income - thus are not "endangered". You leave someone without an alternative however and then yes you are endangering them as prostitutes are the most murdered, the most raped, and account for about 3 out of every 4 domestic violence cases going into the ER according to one study. If the only support they're being offered is other sex workers who are active, and not sex workers who have left the industry - again how are you helping them? What happened?  

We worked very very hard to have law enforcement stop using condoms as "evidence" of a crime so that sex workers would start using condoms. We you've criminalized them again and guess what? We have another HIV/AIDS epidemic going so great job guys! Then let me get this straight Marin County - you took her computer away and then expect her to be able to find a job? Who's bright idea was this? She can't even LOOK for a job without a computer? See this is the problem with all these "trafficking" trainings INSTEAD of the trainings our members used to give officers in how to HELP this community. Little things like LET THEM HAVE A COMPUTER TO LOOK FOR WORK might be a good idea.  

Clearly your department needs to consider the idea of consulting with us and to start considering going back to a system that worked. By the way, Professor Sharon Oselin has completed a 10 year study into programs that help prostitutes exit the industry and OURS came out on top. Her report was published in "Leaving Prostitution" if you'd like to check it out. I don't even know Sharon or the women she studied - so it wasn't biased either. I think we need to talk. Please contact me at www.sexworkersanonymous.com



I just went to send a copy of this to the Mayor - and found out she's blocked me too!



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