|Posted by sexworkrecovery on February 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM|
Dear Marilyn and Mo:
I read today that you said you were "against" legalizing prostition in Clark County. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/feb/12/democratic-leaders-give-thumbs-down-legalizing-pro/ I don't know if you got my letter that we had a survivor of trafficking within the so called "legal" brothesl in Nevada present to the Legislature on Monday so I'm attaching it here just to make sure.
We wrote the letter because there's been services that do exist for trafficking victims, and sex workers trying to go through the transition out of the sex industry, that are only not being given out as referrals to those who need these services (Children of the Night for child victims and Sex Workers Anonymous for adult victims) since 1987, but that ever since there's been these "groups" on the scene the last couple of years basically no different than pimps in that they're exploiting the situation to try and raise money for their groups while not only NOT providing services to ALL victims of trafficking, but in order to accomplish their fund raising projects they're getting up and claiming that people have to donate "because nothing exists" to help these victims. Which might just be considered a case that they don't know how to use Google and can look up that services do exist - if not for the fact that both CON and SWA have been notifying these various people and programs that we do exist and then they're STILL going in front of the microphones and claiming that "nothing exists" and that "we need money".
Then what happens? The RJ and John Hambrick and Nevada's Attorney General - right after receiving our letter handed to them by this trafficking victim who bravely ventured onto the legislature floor (completely without asking for money and without payment I should add) with a lettter written on behalf of Nevada trafficking victims go on to not only not mention our group's name again - but then report that "there's no existing services" and that "money needs to be raised" all while also claiming they're going to "protect the identity of donors" who have donated to fund work to help trafficking victims.
This is fraud. If you're taking money under the pretext to the donors that "nothing exists" and then to help trafficking victims - yet none of this money is going to projects that are providing services to Nevada trafficking victims for years now - that's fraud. For all we know, the money they're receiving is from the brothels who have a clear objective to expand into Clark County for years now.
I know that because I had arranged to receive a $30,000 grant to open up a "drop in crisis center" in downtown Las Vegas in 1999. Then Mayor Oscar Goodman then stepped in and had my grant transferred to the Salvation Army's shelter. When I confronted him about this act - he told me that we would open up a "drop in crisis center over his dead body" because not only his plan to open up brothels in Clark County - but also because he said that "he didn't want images of burned out hookers on the streets of Las Vegas with track marks on their arms in desperate need of help" coming to such a center because they "are spending millions of dollars in advertising to promote sex and Las Vegas to attract in business men who want to think these beautiful women are waiting to greet them". He was then quoted as saying that he "wanted to build magnificient brothels in Las Vegas" and proceeded to dress up showgirls to promote the image of "sex and sin" in Las Vegas to attract in such business.
Of course this worked against him when President Obama slammed men using "convention meetings" as an excuse to just come party here - and there's been many well reported cases of large corporations who have stated in the media that they have not had their business, conference and convention meetings here in Vegas specifically because of the image of prostitution and Vegas.
Further, I have tried speaking to the economics department at Nevada to get an "official" study done to show that the existing brothels - while paying a certain amount of money in taxes to Nye County - are costing the state of Nevada a tremendous amount of money through things like foster care, Medicaid, SSI, welfare, disability, unemployment, etc. when these women are so burned out by working there that they wind up on these services for the rest of their lives in some cases because they are not being referred to programs like ours which do get them through the recovery process and working again. Our average member goes from being on drugs, unemployed, and suffering from severe PTSD (as well as other issues), to usually being employed full-time within one to two years (depending on their health and education). However, when we've come across members coming out of sex work and trafficking who have not had access to our program or gone through something like Children of the Night - we've found these men and women on the dole for the rest of their lives in most cases.
When I tried explaining to Oscar Goodman that once word got out that another brothel was opening in Vegas - not only would there be an increase in trafficking because it's a proven statistic that anywhere there's legal prostitution, trafficking increases as evidenced by countries such as Amsterdamn, Australia and the UK, as well as the report we did with Melissa Farley in 2007 here in Nevada - but that there would also be a significant increase in women who would be needing services provided through things like Medicaid, SSI, welfare, shelters, the Mental Health Dept., as well as an increase in the diseases these women spread. I'm not talking things like HIV (which the test claiming that no brothel workers have contracted HIV was a fake test paid for by Joe Conforte by the way and I can prove it), but also things like TB, Hep C, HPV, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia which is the diseases we're seeing our members having developed after years of sexual contact with strangers - condom or no condom.
While the brothels have said they want to pay a sales tax to increase revenues to the state in exchange for operating, and while that may sound enticing at the gate - they've refused to address that if they're going to be attracting in women from all over the USA to come and work for them (which they do actively recruit), that the women who don't make the cut, and the women who work there and then quit, or get too sick to keep working, are all going to be winding up in this state and needing exit support and medical services. There's also going to be a related demand for funding for trafficking rescue services for all of the pimps who are going to be dragging women into this state to be working at such new brothels if allowed to open as well. The only thing slowing down some of these traffickers is the fact that Nye County is a far drive out of the major city. You open a brothel in Vegas - and you'll have every pimp in the country dragging women here kicking and screaming. Women who are going to need rescue services not only for themselves - but for their children as well.
If you listen to my radio show http://stoptraffictalk.webs.com/apps/podcast/ you'll hear three of these victims had children related to sex work. One woman had a baby by a rape by a client, another had a baby by her pimp, and the male even had a child by a female client of his. Our studies done over the years show that the average prostitute has at least two children. When these women are put on things like SSI - so are the children. When they're caught engaging in illegal prostitution should they not be able to work at the legal brothels because they've contracted a disease and are fired but still need to pay their rent and placed in jail - those children do not just wind up in the foster care system - many of those male and female children go on to engage in prostitution themselves - if not given the proper intervention and treatment services groups like Sex Workers Anonymous has been providing successfully for decades now.
If you get any future discussions going about legalizing prostitution - I'd like to be included in those talks please. I've tried talking to George Flint about doing something where those who aren't in the brothels, and that those leaving the brothel employ, receive cards or flyers about how to reach our program, as well as Children of the Night's, and he's refused to even discuss the issue with me despite calling himself a minister and a christian.
I was pretty shocked (well not really as this has been going on for a few years now and the RJ even told me to my face that they have "banned" their reporters from writing anything about our group because their publisher wants to support the expansion of the brothels into Vegas because it means more ad dollars for them - and they don't care if "someone dies because of not finding the phone number to a program that would save their life), that our member who bravely came onto the legislature floor to deliver our letter and feelings as well as our suggestions about what could be done to help these victims was not mentioned yet again in the news reports.
Also before you make any future decisions about legalizing the brothels - I could suggest you read Melissa Farley's "Trafficking in Nevada" as well as my book "Diary of a Sex Trafficking Crusader" which has detailed about our trafficking work here in Nevada as well as since we started doing this type of work nationally.
Unlike John Hambrick who plays documenataries about trafficking in Africa such as he did for Congo Justice - our work and efforts go to help domestic trafficking victims - and specifically Nevada trafficking victims. Also unlike any other state - Nevada is the only one who will not print stories about trafficking programs that allow access and services to ALL victims whether they be gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgender, or of a religion other than fundamentalist Christian. Also unlike John Hambrick - when we're speaking to you on behalf of trafficking victims - we speak on behalf of Nevada victims - and taxpayers and residents of this state - not another country. Again, we would have no problem about him offering support to Congo Justice - but when he's not even mentioning the actual Nevada trafficking victim who came up to him and asked if he had read "our" letter about trafficking here in Nevada - and so far has lent us not one dollar nor one minute of support to our group - even refusing to help me to get up to the legislature floor to speak personally on Monday when I asked him for help now, and in the past, because I don't have money to buy airfare, nor do I have a car to drive up there myself.
I mean is it me - or doesn't it seem logical that if you're going to be putting together a bill to help trafficking victims in Nevada - don't you think you should at least be speaking to Nevada trafficking victims? Yet when our member/survivor spoke to the legislature on Monday and told about her own trafficking witnessed in the legal brothels - and asked a direct question about what was going to be done about it - she was completely blown off. Then her being there isn't even mentioned in the media? Was the reporters even there - or was this a delibate omission about her presence?
Since Nevada press can't seem to print their own news because they're obviously too worried about their ad dollars - I've gone ahead and notified the Huffington Post and the Advocate Magazine, as well as Rosie O'Donnell and Chaz Bono about how this trafficking movement has been descrimating against gays, lesbians, bi's and transgenders as well as the B'Nai B'rith organization about their descrimination against Jews and other religions. I've attached below a copy of the letter I sent to them for your review as well.
I'm also contacting various other agencies about the fact that the RJ, the Sun, and other publications who are worried about ad dollars more than printing the news are clearly manipulating the truth, lying by omission, and otherwise defrauding the readers by not printing news like our group, and our member, and a survivor of trafficking there on the floor Monday speaking out on behalf of all victims here.
If I can be of any assistance in the future, please keep me in mind. If there's any way you can help us get the word out about our program, and Children of the Night's program, to the victims here in Nevada that need services NOW and not maybe in the future when these fund raisers get done doing their "dog and pony" show to raise funds that is not going to fund victim services (I haven't seen a dollar from any of them and I doubt either has Lois Lee), please just let me know.
(702) 498-6211 Telephone
PS - don't just listen to me that when a woman now leaves the brothel without being given our number, or has an "exit" strategy set up in place right now - they leave with no money, a drug problem and wind up putting a burden on the state's taxpayers money that costs us as much money as they make for us - listen to Airforce Amy's own words, a current brothel employee, who just returned to work for Dennis last month. Attached is a link to her page - copies of screen shots are also attached in case they've taken down her page. Please note that she says "government assistance" when she left the brothel with no money and a drug problem!
Multiple that by the majority of women leaving this brothel now times all the other legal brothels and times all the women who leave there each month. Now if you expand this business into Clark County and add even more employees working even more clients because they will have more clients in Vegas than Nye County - and you have a system that is NOT going to be increasing revenues for the state like they're claiming if you allow them to expand into Clark County - but instead costing us money out the back door!