swan

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Ever since Sex Workers Anonymous was formed in 1987, distraught mothers have called their hotline asking for advice and support.  Up until 2006, those calls used to be referred to J.L. Williams' mother, Diana.  Diana used to be the one to hold their hands, offer support, make suggestions, and help them walk their children through early recovery just like she did with the SWA founder.  Diana ignored much of the advice she heard from groups like "Tough Love" popular in Los Angeles during the 1980's - instead walking brazenly into crack houses and demanding her daughter be returned to her or she'd bring the "wrath of God and the LAPD" on their heads. 



However, when her daughter was arrested in 1984, Diana was also arrested at her daughter's arraignment.  When her daughter refused to testify against her traffickers - the LAPD charged Diana with "pimping" her own daughter.  They took a photo of a $20 bill being traded for a bucket of chicken and called that a case for "receiving earnings from a prostitute" which is a felony.  The purpose for this charge was to try and exert pressure upon her daughter to either testify or take a plea bargain since there was no evidence against her that would stand up in court for anything.  Her daughter had witnessed crimes done by the CIA at the time - but this was before people became aware of the Iran-Contra situation that was going on at the time.  They both knew that if her daughter testified - no one would make it out of this alive.  So she locked arms with her daughter - and they both took a plea bargain. 



It was hard on Diana to be branded a "pimp" in the media because of what her daughter had gotten involved with.  She almost lost her government pension over it.  As it was, she lost many friends and received a few death threats of her own.  The traffickers, and others, threatened to kill her in order to try and coerce her daughter back into the criminal lifestyle - so she had to watch out for her own life as well when leaving the house.  She even found drugs planted in her car by the LAPD when the now famous RAMPART police were doing things like that to try and violate their probation.  To protect herself from being murdered, or having drugs planted on her, and so her daughter would know she was safe so she could stay on the "straight and narrow", Diana had to go back home to live with her mother when she was in her 40's.  But that's what she had to go through in order to not only "save" her daughter, but also save herself.  Diana passed away in January of 2006. 



This is still happening today.  When Heidi Fleiss was arrested - Jody contacted Heidi and warned her that her parents would be the subject of an arrest also.  She said "but my father wasn't involved in anything" - but that didn't stop the police from arresting both her parents, and the IRS auditing all the records also. 



When Jeane Palfrey, the DC Madam, was arrested, Jody called to warn her also that her mother could possibly be arrested also.  Sure enough, thanks to that warning, Jeane's attorney was at her mother's house when the post master and the IRS agent showed up at her 91 year old mother's home talking about pressing charges.  Because the attorney was present - they were able to convince them arresting such an old sick woman as this during such a high profile case might not be the best idea and they left.  


Knowledge is power. 


This kind of thing is still happening today.  Sex Workers Anonymous received a call just a few weeks ago from an Asian woman who had been arrested for prostitution.  Her family knew absolutely nothing about this - until the arrest.  Her brother-in-law was working for the FBI and he was fired from his job because of her arrest.  So now the whole family "knows" - but they also don't know what to do next because they're not a "criminal" family.  They don't even know where to begin to sort this all out legally, emotionally, or spiritually. 



Interventions for a prostitute do not work the same as for an addict.  If you wonder why we say that - watch some seasons for "Intervention" available online, or even "Celebrity Rehab" and you'll see that when they tried "traditional" drug approaches and interventions on prostitutes - it just backfired horribly.  That's because the type of "bottom" an addict will hit is entirely different than one a prostitute will hit.  


You also need to know the law and be prepared.  I mean who knew you could be charged with a felony for buying your daughter a bucket of chicken? 


As the courts are now amping up their "trafficking rescues", i.e., arresting more prostitutes, more and more families are finding themselves in a legal, physical and spiritual battle they weren't prepared for.  Diana has passed on, but another man with a lot of experience in this area has stepped up to the plate to offer support. 


This man was, and still is, very much in love with a woman entangled in the sex industry. It's complicated - but he's trying to save her, and at the same time not go under himself.  As with all 12 step programs, we help ourselves by reaching out to help others - so he will be chairing the SWAN phone meetings now.  He has quality recovery through another 12 step program, plus a lot of time in Alanon. 


If you love someone in the sex industry, or who used to be, and you're a parent, child, spouse, lover, friend, or just care about them and you'd like to sort everything out, get some support, and get a grip on what to do next - then SWAN is the program for you.  We are totally "anonymous" and you can attend our phone meetings using any name you wish.  Please do not tell us the name of the person you're concerned about so that we don't wind up entangled in any potential court cases.  Please just refer to them as "Jane Doe" or "Mr. X". 


Please also be advised there are laws in each state that are different, and changing.  You might be involved yourself in their "case" without even realizing it.  There is a case you can google where a man got a hotel room and some food for a teen who was out on the street in the rain - and the police charged him with "trafficking".  He's looking at 20 years in the federal prison now for taking pity on a cold, wet kid.  So please also consult with an attorney if you're involved with someone in the sex industry as soon as possible in order to protect yourself. 


So to protect everyone, and welcome everyone, we want you to know that whether you are male or female, young or old, black or white, straight or homosexual, religious or not, if you care about someone who is in, or used to be in, some apart of the sex industry, then you are welcome here with us. 


SWAN