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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NEVADA DECLARED MOST "DANGEROUS AND LETHAL STATE FOR THE SEX INDUSTRY" BY SEX WORKERS ANONYMOUS

https://soundcloud.com/brian-shapiro-2/domestic-violence-in-the-mma-and-sex-crimes-discussion-with-jody-williams

Dear Review Journal:

In 1988, when Joe Conforte, then owner of the Mustang Ranch brothel, wanted to expand the brothels into California - he embarked upon a media campaign, armed with a medical report he'd paid for which was rigged to make it appear that brothel prostitutes didn't have any HIV, in the state in 1988.  The only person who would oppose him at this time was myself.

After taping a Sally Jesse Raphael show where Joe appeared with four of his employees touting the "joys" of legal prostitution - one of those women ran up to me in the dressing room begging for me to help her 'escape" a nightmare.  A nightmare where she told me she had been drugged, then loaded onto a private charter plane at gunpoint being told to say what she'd just said on that stage "or else".  I helped those women get out of that studio that day - and then word spread that I could help others.

That led me to relocating to Nevada in 1995 specifically because none of the programs set up in the state for things like domestic violence would not transport women from these brothels sometimes 800 miles away from the nearest shelter to them to get help to escape their pimp.   Since there were no cabs that would operate in these tiny towns, and it was illegal for them to simply walk away on foot - someone had to come and get them to safety and that someone has been our program, Sex Workers Anonymous (More on laws on how women can't leave on foot to walk down the street, can't be outside after certain hours, etc. so how can they find their way to help to leave their pimp without actually violating the law talked about more here - all making it sometimes almost impossible for them to just get up and leave -  https://prezi.com/varjrlli4q_g/prostitution/ and https://www.storeycounty.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/03172015-587)

(A brief side note here - please be advised that the legal age of sexual consent is 16 years of age in Nevada.  Please also note the Nevada brothel licensing law that states the licensing board "may" issue a license to someone UNDER the age of 18 years of age - just so long as they don't have a criminal record, or diseases such as HIV.  I don't know if I'm reading this correctly but I'm pretty sure this means in legal terms that a 16 year old may be able to obtain a license to work in a Nevada legal brothel.  So one has to be 21 years old to drink, 18 years old to smoke a cigarette, but can be 16 years old and get a work permit in a Nevada brothel.  Now until this language is clarified do people understand why I'm against the expansion of the brothels anywhere - yet this has nothing to do with me disapproving of the sex industry itself.  There are some very serious issues that the Nevada brothels have not clarified with respect to working conditions for these women.  Including the fact that it's now state law to post signs with the National Trafficking Hotline phone number in adult and sex industry establishments in California - but Nevada has no such law.  That to date, Dennis Hof refuses to allow Sex Workers Anonymous to post any flyers or leave any cards out for the women who have decided to leave the industry, or who may be trying to get away from a pimp - with our phone number for help voluntarily.)

Despite a brief blip on the radar of the Review Journal when we gave a press conference about the report showing that sex trafficking did in fact exist within the legal sex industry of Nevada in 2007  - the Review Journal has made a very clear omission within the news about any information about the services we offer those trying to escape not only the sex industry in Nevada, legal or illegal - but also in the help we offer sex trafficking victims who are almost universally also victims of rape and domestic violence.  So much so that when it was only our program that went up to oppose George Flynt's request to expand the brothels into Las Vegas in 2013,.  When we won - our presence wasn't even noted by your publication as to why the legislators might have voted against that bid.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-legislature/prostitution-bill-not-nevada-legislatures-agenda

As a result of your publications intentional omission about any news about what our program offers - people within the sex industry, legal or illegal, male or female - are not made aware of the services we can offer them.  Services very much needed in a town that didn't even get a sex trafficking program funded at all until 2007 with the ATLAS program, and then because of it's very poor performance because of a refusal to partner with us in any way - didn't even get funding re-instated until 2013 to work with these victims.  

A town which didn't even have an Internal Affairs office for many years to which we could report law enforcement's involvement with trafficking and/or even abuse of prostitutes until we forced the issue a few years ago by shouting loudly about our problems with ex-Chief Gillespie who has since stepped down because of corruption allegations.  https://nevadastatepersonnelwatch.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/fifteen-members-of-las-vegas-sheriff-douglas-gillespies-organization-have-been-served-with-a-federal-complaint/

I did a radio interview today with Brian Shapiro about the violence, abuse, and even murder of sex workers in Nevada.  During this interview, I kept thinking of all of the cases I've been hearing about over the years in Nevada.  The likes of which I'm not hearing about in other states where I hear about prostitutes like Heather in West Virginia actually being a hero for shooting a man who tried to kill her there.  

No - I live in a state where a politician has to call me "on the down low" about Snoop's involvement in a sex trafficking case that no one wanted to touch it  "because it was a public relations nightmare" - while at the same time as its turning to me when someone needs help in this state while also acting like I don't even exist within the media's eye.  www.boycottsnoop.com

No - in Las Vegas I'm hearing about cases like http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ex-vegas-performer-guilty-murder-dancer-girlfriend-article-1.1802858 where Jason Omar Griffith murdered and dismembered Deborah Flores Narvaez in 2010 - a "fantasy dancer".  

Cases about pimps like Kenneth Cherry, Jr.  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/02/21/aspiring-oakland-rapper-alleged-pimp-killed-in-las-vegas-shooting/ which resulted in his death.  But where a manhunt had to ensue to get Amar Harris brought into custody.

Porn stars like Christy Mack are not safe when she's brutally attacked by War Machine - who also was able to flee the state before being caught.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/12/porn-star-christy-mack-speaks-out_n_5672346.html

How about another porn star, Cytherea's,  raped in her own home during a home invasion by three males?  http://downtrend.com/vsaxena/cytherea-raped-by-gang-of-teen-thugs

These aren't just pimps and maniacs when even musicians get involved in the violence.  http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/69696/brothel-incident-nets-neil-an-assault-charge  Not when Vince Neil attacks a prostitute in a legal brothel.  Showing this is not just something that only happens to street prostitutes, or even a domestic violence issue.  Not when it's even dangerous to be inside of a legal brothel where security is supposed to be protecting you from this kind of attack.

Lesser known cases like where Chantell Hollowell is murdered by her boyfriend/pip http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/crime-courts/pimp-charged-2006-death-las-vegas-prostitute-initially-ruled-suicide

This recent case with "Heather" where a reporter has shown us photos of four other missing prostitutes possibly murdered in Nevada, including possibly Jessie Foster (who was more likely murdered by Peter Todd - but that's also just an allegation at this time). http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/27/us/woman-kills-attacker-serial-killer/

While West Virginia may be getting more press at this time - it's getting press for a prostitute in their state defending herself and stopping her attacker.  However, in reviewing these cases state by state over all for the last ten years, and during today's interview with Brian bringing these cases together in my mind  - I can't help but officially declare Nevada as the most "dangerous state for sex workers and victims of rape and domestic violence" at this time.  

I can state this confidently because I answer a hotline I've since 1987 where sex workers call me for help from all over the USA, Canada, and even in other countries.  I can assure you I'm not getting anywhere near this type of volume, number, and severity of calls, or hearing about cases like this, from any other state but Nevada.  

I also hold that the press has been a part of this, and downright negligent, in that you are reporting about these rapes, murders, home invasions, etc. of these women who live and work in Nevada - but you have not been telling them where they can also find help to escape these issues.  While I've seen groups like SWOP hold fund raisers to help victims who have been attacked and survived  - I have NOT seen Nevada step up and do anything about this.  

One look at the Nevada Attorney General's website for resources is a tragedy - and only shows a complete ignorance of the needs of these potential victims whose very lives are in danger.  Especially when they're listing shelters that don't provide transportation to them, don't have security, and don't admit adults and/or prostitutes who may NOT be trafficking victims by a legal definition.  http://ag.nv.gov/Human_Trafficking/HT_Help/  Shared Hope for one doesn't even provide any "direct services" for trafficking victims in the USA - let alone Nevada.  They also don't help sex workers who say they are "not" trafficking victims.  I could go on down the list - but you get my point.  

Yet at the same time - I can't even get so much as an article, or even a public service announcement about a program like www.sexworkersanonymous.com that offers help to these women to escape such situations before it's too late in some cases that covers the whole state, isn't dependent upon transportation, AND is available to transgenders and men as well as women unlike any other program in the state.  We also are available for diversion and alternative sentencing - yet I'm hearing about women who are driving down to San Diego, California for diversion because no one told them about our program?  

I certainly haven't received any support from the media to embark upon ANY type of campaign to provide help to women who may be in a life threatening situation where a homeless shelters in Las Vegas is not a solution for them.  Especially in a state where an ex-mayor, Oscar Goodman, informed Metro officers, as well as probation officers and social workers that if they so much as even spoke to us after we released the "Trafficking in Nevada" report in 2007 they would be fired.  Maybe if he hadn't of put that ban out there - maybe Andrea Swanson's daughter, whose father is an FBI agent, might have had some forewarning to protect that daughter if not for this ban.

A ban that's killing women and this is now officially out of control.  The number and severity of these cases of pimps and abusers against women, especially sex workers can no longer continue to be ignored by your publication while only embracing publicity for churches trying to raise funds for "safe houses" that never open because they file bankruptcy first (as was the case with Pastor Benny Perez and Annie Lobert).   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIg_viilqac

You need to embrace offering publicity to programs like ours who offer training on how to work with this community, escape trafficking, prevention of trafficking, recovery from the sex industry and trafficking, and a hotline where potential victims can call without fear of self-incrimination like they might fear if calling the police, and if they don't consider themselves a "trafficking victim" so as not to be able to call the National Trafficking Hotline for help.

Our program, Sex Workers Anonymous, has a hotline answered 24/7 by another recovering sex worker and survivor of domestic violence, rape, and even child abuse.  SWA also offers support and help to anyone anywhere in the state - male, female and/or transgender over the age of 18 years old.  Anyone under 18 years old can go to any bus station or airport to receive free confidential help through www.childrenofthenight.org or by calling their hotline 24/7.  A program we are not affiliated with but that we refer minors to for assistance as their hotline and program have existed for both females, males and transgenders also since 1979.

It's time to do something about this.  Please contact me to discuss an article, public service announcements, ads, something to help people of Nevada turn this disturbing state of danger around.  Until then - the alert that Nevada is the most "dangerous and lethal state for the sex industry" stays in effect.  Thank you.  

Sincerely,

Jody Williams
www.sexworkersanonymous.com


CC: The FCC

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