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Friday, April 9, 2010

BFA OutREACHes, Events, Needs, Requests & More

FORT MYERS STRIP CLUB OUTREACH: Saturday, April 10th 7-10pm. BFA will be delivering a home cooked meal of lasagna, baked vegetables, salad, bread & Sugar Momma cupcakes and giving away gift bags with beauty supplies, Bibles, CD's and inspirational books.

BFA on KJSL RADIO: Tuesday, April 13th 8-9pm CST. BFA Founder, Julie Shematz, will be a guest on Mike Dunn's Quest for Character. KJSL 630 AM

MIAMI PORN SHOW OUTREACH: Thursday, May 14 - Saturday, May 16 After 4 years of supporting & serving other ministries going into porn shows, BFA will be debuting our very own booth, Real Orange, in our region, at the South East's largest porn show. We'll be distributing Bibles, Magdalena: Through Her Eyes DVD's, Ian McCormick's DVD testimony and lotsa beauty supplies. We are in need of Bibles, volunteers to help with labeling beauty supplies, assembling gift bags and a Miami area church to host the Diverse Gathering, pre-porn expo evening of praise, worship and prayer open to anyone on Wednesday May 13th. For more information click here

OTHER EVENTS: Tampa Heal Me Crusade, May 6-8, St. Petersburg Gay Pride June 26, team meetings, porn prep meetings, weekly global prayer, theCALL2XXX & more, click here

OUR CURRENT NEEDS: Become a slavery abolitionist. Simple ways you can get involved. For more information click here

PRAYER REQUESTS: We have a team that prays over every request. To submit, click here. To join our prayer team, click here.

NEW WEBSITE: We launched our new website by FaithNetwork April 1st and we are adding daily to it daily. Check it out for the latest in domestic human trafficking news, trainings, etc., click here.

BFA E-NEWSLETTER: Sign up, click here

Thank you for your continued support. Together we are better and are making a difference!

In His passionate love & consuming fire,
Julie Shematz & the FREEdom™ Team

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries
Where Victims Become Over-Comers
239.939.9218
877.4BFA SOS (423.2767) International Toll Free Help Line

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's Wrong with Legalizing Prostitution?

Our culture markets the Pretty Woman myth of the glamorous prostitute earning big money from handsome johns. That works occasionally -- as long as the girl is young, beautiful, and lucky. Even then, the ravages of prostitution over time are not pretty. Street prostitutes often service as many as ten to fifteen men a night; little wonder that they age rapidly and get tired out and used up. Often they end up drug-addicted, bruised, and battered, often at the hands of their pimps, who take most of their earnings and get rich. Prostitutes call their work "paid rape" and note the friends who "didn't make it out alive." Nearly half of the women in prostitution attempt suicide.

Most (90%) desperately want out.

Any discussion of prostitution must center on a basic fact: Control and exploitation of another person is slavery. Pimps control 80%-95% of all forms of prostitution. Nearly 70% of those in prostitution entered before age 16. In the U.S., the average age of entry is 12. Twelve!

In Amsterdam, 80% of prostituted women reported that they were there by force. In Germany, over 60% of the prostitutes are foreigners; in Spain, it's 80%, many coerced by gangs. In Germany, legalizing prostitution hasn't improved conditions for prostitutes. The women do not want (or are not allowed by their pimps) to register, get health checks, pay taxes, or adhere to rules that might affect business. For example, johns are willing to pay extra for sex without a condom. Further, Germany found that legalization did not increase tax revenues like expected -- mafias don't pay taxes.

One study found that 80% of prostitutes were assaulted by their pimps, and over one-third receive death threats for themselves or their families. Nor does legalization end corruption -- laissez-faire Amsterdam closed one-third of their legal brothels because of ties to organized crime while acknowledging that the illegal brothels are thriving outside the official zone. Neighboring countries call the Netherlands a "failed experiment."

Legalizing prostitution increases sex-trafficking because demand exceeds supply. So traffickers fill the demand with girls and women from other countries -- lured, tricked, or sold, they end up without their passports, assaulted and forced into sex slavery. After legalization in Australia, illegal brothels increased 300%, pulling thousands more vulnerable women into prostitution.

Yet there are those who want to make prostitution legal. What other job requires working naked, subject to the whims another person, with no protection against abuse? Pimps, traffickers, and madams are dictators, usually brutal ones. Even in the legal brothels in Nevada, some prostituted women are there because pimps dumped them for the referral fee, working with no right to refuse any customer. And though some rooms have panic buttons for situations that get out of control, one john explained, "Look, men pay to get what they want. Lots of men go to prostitutes to do things to them that 'real women' would not put up with."

Legalization doesn't mean freedom and dignity; it doesn't eliminate injuries or diseases. In fact, violence is an integral part of the job -- broken bones, burns, vaginal and anal tearing, stabbings, rapes, STDs, HIV/AIDS, sterility, miscarriages, and drug and alcohol addictions. Two years after legalization in Australia, the number of women with HIV infections increased 91%; johns don't undergo medical exams. Prostitutes in regulated brothels may be marginally safer, but the illegal brothels they spawn offer little to no protection.

Many claim that without legalization, prostitutes have no redress for crimes against them, but that's not true. Laws currently exist against battery, assault, coercion, etc. Conventional wisdom argues that police don't take crimes against prostitutes seriously. To the degree that this is true, legalization won't help. Even in countries where prostitution is legal, victims often do not report sex-related crimes because they'd have to register and then live with the prostitution label.

Legalization creates greater demand for younger girls, who the johns think are less likely to have an STD. Those who think that legalizing prostitution ends sex-trafficking are wrong; legalization merely increases demand and throws open the floodgates of child prostitution.

Clamping down on sex slavery, however, does work. In Sweden, clients are fined from $1,000 to $2,000, with possible jail sentences of up to six months. The results? The number of street prostitutes has dropped 70% in some areas. Areas that prostitution made dangerous are now popular areas full of restaurants.

The war against johns, pimps, and traffickers is the slavery issue of our time. The pimp culture corrupts societies around the world and ruins the lives of countless young people.

After working for over a decade on policy efforts to end sex slavery -- helping write America's Trafficking Victims Protection Act and working on anti-trafficking projects with the U.S. State Department -- I went to Mexico City to help train anti-trafficking volunteers. My host took me out one night to observe the street prostitutes. We were surrounded by bodyguards -- former policemen with radios. Seeing them remove the license tags from our vehicles was my first clue about the danger we faced. Things got very quiet as we drove slowly in the john lane through streets lined with girls. Then, over the walkie-talkies, I heard the choked voice of one of our bodyguards, "Those little girls are younger than my daughter." After that, nobody had anything to say.

That experience makes prostitution more than an impersonal, academic, policy issue for me; rather, it is a personal fight for human rights, individual freedom, and dignity.

By Janice Shaw Crouse

Source: American Thinker

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A New Weapon Against Sex Trafficking

Linda Smith, a former Washington lawmaker who has become a prominent opponent of sex-trafficking, recounted a shocking perversion of justice while testifying in Congress last October.

In 2006, a Nevada police officer reported catching a female in a truck “engaging in an act of prostitution” with the truck driver.

As Smith paraphrased the police report, “A 12-year-old girl was handcuffed, placed under arrest and transported to the juvenile detention facility in Las Vegas. The man, nearly 48 years old, was allowed to drive away.”

The sequel: “The child is now turning 15 years old and is again in juvenile detention under prostitution-related charges,” said Smith. “Her pimp reclaimed her after she was released the first time ...”

Twelve-year-old handcuffed; 48-year-old john waved off. It turns the stomach.

Smith, who leads Shared Hope International, an anti-trafficking organization she founded in 1998, helped persuade the 2010 Legislature to pass a bill that should make such travesties less likely, at least in this state. Signed into law last week, the bill dramatically increases the risks for “commercial abuse of a minor,” upping it from a class C to a class B felony.

That could have landed the 48-year-old trucker in prison for as many as 12 years.
“Promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor” will go from a class B to a class A felony. That could have landed the pimp in prison for more than 26 years.

Another provision requires that the suspected john’s vehicle be immediately impounded, which would get a truck driver’s attention. Nor could the john or the pimp get off the hook by claiming not to know the girl’s age.

Under the new law, prostituted minors would not be treated as juvenile offenders when first arrested; they would be “diverted” to social services designed to help them escape the street and the pimps. Heavy fines on the perpetrators would help fund those services.

The law promises to make a small, local dent in a massive, hideous, international industry. This isn’t something that happens only in Bangkok or Manila. Shared Hope International estimates that at least 100,000 children – average age, 13 – are forced into the trade every year in America. They may be raped, exploited in child pornography sold on the street, or all of the above.

The consequences of exploitation don’t automatically evaporate at the age of 18. Those who think that adult prostitutes all got into the trade by choice might want to ask one of them when they first started selling sex
.
In October, a three-day sweep coordinated by the FBI rescued 52 prostituted children from their pimps and arrested nearly 700 suspected traffickers and other predators. One of the children was found in Everett, eight in Seattle. The slavery goes on under our noses.

Common sense suggests that many, many more children have yet to be rescued. Washington’s new sex-trafficking legislation promises to make that a little easier.


Source: The News Tribune