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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

THE ISSUE OF AN ID CARD

I hear constantly "oh your program is like the AA program pretty much right?"

In some ways - yes.

In many ways - no.

For one thing - we are not a "disease".  Alcoholism is a disease which can be traced genetically, and is passed down through no fault other than being born to have it.  Because it's a disease  one is born with there is no fault nor anything one can do about it.  You just can't drink - period.

Being in the sex industry is NOT a "disease" however.

Another huge issue is the alcoholic can become sober just by not drinking.  That's it.  Plug in the jug.

Us?

Okay let's take a case I was called about two weeks ago.  This woman has no ID card.   She is exchanging sex for a motel room meaning the room is not in her name.  Being in a man's name, she can't legally receive mail at this address.  The post office won't deliver to a motel except in the registered guest's name.

She can't rent another room, or an apartment, or anything anywhere without an ID.

She can't get a job without an ID.

She can't buy or rent a car without an ID.

If someone gave her a car, she can't drive it legally without a drivers license.  Nor can she get auto insurance without an ID or drivers license either.

Want to work for Uber?  Anyone can work for Uber right?  Only Uber requires a car and a drivers license.

To get an ID or a driver's license requires an address and a fee.

Without her having a legal address where can she have her card mailed?

The UPS store will rent her a box WITH AN ID.

The Post Office can rent her a box WITH AN ID.

She's got food banks until she can get a job right?  Food banks require an ID card.

But she can get counseling while she's going through this right?  Can't get counseling without health insurance.  Can't get health insurance without an ID.

Certainly she can get some kind of low income housing or housing support to get out of this motel right?  But you can't get section 8 or HUD housing help without an ID.

She can get welfare or disability right?  Not without an ID card, a social security card and a rental agreement no.

So she can't get health insurance, welfare, disability, food donated, a car, housing or a job without an ID card.

Now if an alcoholic can become sober just by stopping drinking - then let me ask you - how does our friend her stop prostituting?

Trafficked, pimped, or not - HOW does she get the hell out of there without an ID card?

To get an ID card, one has to get a birth certificate and a social security card.  To get a birth certificate can take four to six weeks.  Only guess what?

Where would you MAIL the birth certificate and social security card without an address which you can't get without an ID card?

Don't even get into how hard it would be if someone wasn't American to get an ID card either.

In other words, it's not that easy right?

So if our woman in question here without an ID card wants to stop prostitution right now today this instant - THEN WHAT?

How does she do anything without that ID card?

Have it sent to one of her "johns" house?  Oh I bet his wife would love that.

If she has it sent to one of her "johns" then he's going to want something for that help isn't he?

Meaning she's going to have to prostitute in order to stop prostituting!

So you see - no it's not that simple for us.  Because she can walk around saying "I'm powerless" all she wants, there's still some real world challenges that have to be addressed here in order for her to actually stop doing what she's doing.

You want to help stop sex trafficking?  Then let's talk about why it's so hard to get an ID card in this country and how you can't do anything without one anymore.

I am 55 years old.  I have rented homes, gotten jobs, even bought cars without an ID card. I grew up being told that we aren't stopped in this country and asked for our papers because we're not "Nazi Germany here".  I've bought air line tickets, rented hotel rooms, leased apartments, etc., all without even showing an ID card.

I keep hearing this is to fight "terrorism".  But aren't we doing worse if we have women who are stuck in prostitution because they can't get an ID card with the way our system is set up right now?

Now we in SWA can help because we have members who will help someone get that ID card by allowing them to have the card, or their birth certificate, or social security card, sent to their house so she doesn't have to rely upon a trick.

But does AA do something like that?  No.

So guess what?   We are not "exactly like AA" because our problem doesn't work the same way nor does the solution.

So please don't jump on me about how we are "not acting like AA does" because we can't.  Not if we're going to accomplish the same goal anyway which is recovery and freedom.





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