Sunday, May 1, 2016
LETTER TO HAZELDON PUBLISHING
As the country moves to start non-incarceration of non-violent offenders into treatment programs instead of jail – a problem has now arisen suddenly, and on a large scale.
When our program, originally called “Prostitutes Anonymous” was created, many didn’t know what to make out of us. A problems shared by Narcotics Anonymous.
In AA, one knows the problem is alcohol. However, the founders of NA felt they had a “disease” from which they must abstain from all forms of drugs, of which alcohol was but one form, in order to find recovery. Jimmy Kinnon, their founder, hit a “bottom” at 15 years of sobriety in AA. Therefore, he believed that mere abstinence was only the beginning for them. He also believed there was such a thing as a “potential” addict – or one who hadn’t used yet. Further, that this disease could substitute into many forms such as gambling, sex, eating disorders, etc. Meaning not just abstinence from drugs was required – but that one with this disease must work a physical, mental and spiritual program to recover.
Now many people felt that NA was a “drug” program. Others felt it was the only program in the world where one could work on the “disease” in it’s pure and core form. This split created programs such as Marijuana Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Meth Anonymous, etc. who wanted to focus on the drug.
Then came our program in 1987. It was clear our members had the related “jails, institutions and death” for our bottom any addict had. It was also clear many of us couldn’t stop – whether we’d been arrested 50 times, had our children taken away, been beaten, robbed, and even trafficked – once freed we’d return to sex work. We saw this over and over again.
Yet “experts” didn’t know whether we were “addicted” to the program by itself, or whether this was because of drug addiction. However, when 2/3 of our program was turning out to be men and women who were not using drugs – it became clear it was something else.
For years, we had men in the sexual addiction field argue this was a form of sex addiction. However, this didn’t explain our madams, our pimps, nor our strippers and webcam performers who were not having physical sex with their clients. Like all “johns” as sex addicts often are, they wanted to believe we really “loved it” when the reality was sex work has no more to do with sex than rape has to do with sex.
When we started offering our program as an “alternative to sentencing”, we explained that many times that agent of “force” which was forcing them to be in sex work which was the same type of force the addict suffers when he’s committing a crime was the pimp on the surface. We say that because we found you could take the pimp away from having control over them and they would soon return to sex work with either that same pimp, or any replacement they could find. The pimp served as their “excuse” just as the alcoholic could blame alcohol (I couldn’t help what I was doing because I was drunk.)
After spending years working with allowing men such as Patrick Carnes, James Crossen of the National Council on Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, and Roy K., the founder of Sexaholics Anonymous, and SA’s board, to talk to our members as we grew to the 1,000’s, and groups worldwide – they finally agreed with us this problem our members shared was not a form of sexual addiction in itself. Now that doesn’t mean some aren’t sex addicts – just as you also find drug addicts in NA who are also sex addicts. But the fact remains it’s not true across the board.
Patrick Carnes has since retired, and James and Roy have passed away. In the interim, the courts started registering men arrested for prostitution as “sex offenders”, now even “traffickers”. But when these courts did this – they didn’t realize the computers didn’t make a distinction between a male being arrested for prostitution as a “customer” vs. women arrested as prostitutes as providers. This means that now we’re finding women who are being arrested for solicitation are also being registered as sex offenders.
This new push to start releasing non-violent offenders out of jail into treatment is now going to create a huge problem – that of prostitutes then being allowed out early from jail on the provision they go into a halfway house just as the addicts do now. However, those who are sex offenders can only go into certain houses. Those houses then take in child molesters, rapists, and men who frequent prostitutes.
Guess where the female prostitutes are soon going to find themselves being released from jail into for treatment and housing? You got it – the same houses that hold the men who raped them, molested them as kids, and their “regulars”. Currently, the only real training materials provided to probation officers, drug treatment providers, shelters, and halfway houses are those provided by the HHS Dept., who oversees the office of Trafficking in Persons who has only published materials on “trafficking victims”.
There is NO materials currently out there with respect to not only helping a sex worker to leave the sex industry when not being trafficked, but also neither anything for when they are not a drug addict or alcoholic. Is this common? Absolutely. Look to Jeane Palfrey for example who was the DC Madam. Alex Adams, the Beverly Hills Madam. Belle Knox, Christy Mack, Traci Lords – all women who were involved in the sex industry but not trafficking victims, nor drug addicts.
Now we have our “Recovery Guide” and other materials that we have published for our members. We have self-published them because there wasn’t a huge number to be sold through a company like yours before. However, once these programs start coming together – that’s going to change and change quickly. Something we’re not set up to do is mass sales of our Recovery Guide, meeting materials, step working guides, and other training materials. For years we had offered a course for drug counselors through James Crossen’s work at Mission College – but then he became too ill to work and passed away recently.
So I was wondering if we could talk? This field is also undergoing a huge change due to “No Such Thing”. This is a move in our country to put juvenile’s who would otherwise be arrested for prostitution into treatment instead. Creating an overnight need for a 12 step version of our program for juveniles. Hence we created Sexual Exploitation Anonymous which needs to get materials out across the country. Again, being a bigger project than we have the ability to undertake so quickly.
Thanks for listening and I was hoping we could talk more about this!