A local woman's life took a turn for the worse when she encountered an escort service.
The couple who ran the escort service took her in, and the man became her pimp.
At first, he offered protection and fed her drug habit. He groomed her with a dream of money and security. She sold sex at ritzy parties and rode in flashy cars around the Puget Sound region.
Eventually, the pimp brainwashed her into submission and ruled every aspect of her life. He collected all of her earnings and kept track of her whereabouts at all times via cellphone.
If she failed to earn a daily quota of $1,500, she was beaten and humiliated. He would urinate on her. He whipped her with an electrical cord.
"That was his way of showing me this is just the beginning of what will happen," said the woman, who requested anonymity for this story out of fear the pimp could retaliate. "I was more afraid of the pimp than the johns."
The pimp found customers (known as johns) through the internet, Craigslist and alt-weekly papers. Her earnings paid for a house in SeaTac for the pimp and his wife. Thousands of dollars in tricks paid for hotel rooms around the Puget Sound region, including Federal Way and the infamous Aurora Avenue in Seattle. She also worked to pay back the cost of those ads, or pay back bail money if she went to jail.
The johns hailed from all walks of life. Some johns reviewed her services online. Johns would ask for particular kind of girls, which was useful information for pimps.
"I had wigs," she said. "Sometimes they'd say, 'I want a blonde.'"
In a typical transaction, the prostitute took care of business with a john while the pimp waited in an adjacent hotel room to collect the money and monitor the time.
The lifestyle left the woman with no choice but to hustle for more money, or face the wrath of her pimp. She recruited other women into the lifestyle to shoulder some of the workload when johns were seeking services at the same time. Several sessions with johns doubled as drug deals. Pimps pressured women to exploit naive customers with blackmail, for example, such as threatening to tell a john's wife unless he paid hush money.
In total, she had eight prostitution arrests on her record, including an undercover bust in Federal Way. Abused as a child, she was walking Pacific Highway in search of paying customers by age 15. Drugs like heroin became a way to numb herself and cope with the streets, where she had sex to survive.
"I had to be high," she said. "I had to feel nothing."
In a twist of fate, a heroin overdose inadvertently marked the turning point in reclaiming her life. While she was hospitalized, the pimp was jailed after a violent spree in search of her.
She formed relationships with people who empowered her. Now in her mid-thirties, she is no longer a victim, but a survivor. She is married. She lives clean and sober with a career in the mental health field. She regained custody of her three children from foster care, and now helps other mothers in similar situations. She hopes to see more reforms in the child welfare system to ensure that youth avoid these abusive relationships.
"My thanks goes to God for sending a man who was a defender of women," she said, referring to Nick Lembo, who with his wife, Jo, provided a support outlet through Overcomer Covenant Church in Auburn.
"The more eyes and ears on the ground," said Jo Lembo, "the smaller a pimp's world gets."
A grass-roots movement is under way to end the demand for prostitution, which is tangled in a web of pornography and cultural attitudes.
Prostitution has shifted away from the typical streetwalkers. Nowadays, johns arrange meetings online. Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson said officers can put an ad on Craigslist, meet with a potential john and make an arrest, all in a span of two hours.
In 2012, there were 12 prostitution-related investigations in Federal Way, Wilson said, with nine of those initiated by police and one involving a 15-year-old girl.
"It's much more underground now," Wilson said during a forum on human trafficking Jan. 9 at City Hall. "This is not a Federal Way issue. It's a regional issue."
According to the former prostitute whose story was told above, the deck is stacked against police. An officer must witness a transaction before making an arrest. When police arrest one prostitute, her pimp will find a replacement and take business to another part of the region.
"There's not much the police can do," said the woman, suggesting a solution for ending demand: spread awareness among youth.
One place to start is by reshaping the perceptions young men have toward women. Some argue the negative influence of pornography on the male sexual identity, including the accompanying message of objectifying women leads to the creation of unrealistic expectations from sex.
While there is nothing wrong with sex, young men need to be educated on how to use and understand it, according to Nick Lembo from Defenders and Shared Hope International.
"Sex is the most powerful stimulant and bonding agent on the planet," he said at the Federal Way forum. "We need to teach men to respect, honor and understand women and build wholesome relationships."
Peter Qualliotine, co-founder of Organization for Prostitution Survivors, said a boy's average age of exposure to pornography is 9. Prostitution and pornography are inseparable, he said at the Federal Way forum, and "one does not exist without the other."
The key to overcoming this obstacle, he said, is to teach young men to eroticize the mutual and consensual parts of sex, instead of the objectified images found in porn.
This post was written by Andy Hobbs. For the original article, go to: http://www.federalwaymirror.com/news/187019821.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
We were visiting Amsterdam, exploring shops and the canals. At one shop on the canal there were the most beautiful flowers you have ever seen. It was a wonderful day. Everything was perfect. We were walking hand-in-hand enjoying Amsterdam. Kinda like two kids at a zoo. Excitement. Fun. Happiness.
The next thing I know, Karyn says, "don't look right." So, I put my right hand up to block my view. Then she said, "don't look left." So, I put up my left hand to block my view. So, now, I am walking down this street on this beautiful day looking like a horse with blinders. I said, "what's going on?" Karyn said, "we've stumbled into the Red Light District." I dropped my hands and looked around and yep, she was right. There were some windows with scantily clad women beckoning us to come in. We promptly turned around and left that street.
You ask, "how in the world didn't you know that you were entering the most famous Red Light District in the world?" Well, it was still bright out, even though we didn't realize the sun was starting to descend. If it had been dark, we would have seen the red lights warning us that we had wandered into "adult" territory.
So, what does this story tell us about temptation?
Well, I was certainly glad that I had my wife with me. She saw things up ahead that I hadn't noticed. She loves me and wants to protect our marriage. So, if you are doing something new, something you have never done before, it would be good to not be alone. Because you never know what is on that street.
The person you take with you needs to be committed to holiness and purity. S/he needs to be able to stop you when you start to go somewhere you shouldn't be going. Because you never know what is on that street.
Temptation sneaks up on you when you least suspect. We were having a great time. Exploring Amsterdam, enjoying the sunshine and building memories. Then, boom! There it is. Right in front of you. Sometimes, we are lulled into complacency or feeling really good and then we are blindsided. Temptation can come from anywhere. You know why?
Because you never know what is on that street.
BE A MAN.
On Monday I sat in on a class up at UNR (University of Nevada at Reno). The topics for this class were pornography and prostitution. The speaker was a local sex worker in one of Nevada’s legal brothels. The class was composed of students who spoke in very positive ways about prostitution and stripping and just overall sex. I was heartbroken at the deceitfulness of the world and how they look for pleasure in the name of “freedom” to do whatever you want to whomever you want, whenever you like.
Often times when I speak to groups of people I share with them research that was conducted in UNR. This research investigated the impact of Nevada legal prostitution on the attitudes and behaviors of college-aged men towards women. In these findings the Reno students significantly more often endorsed beliefs that prostitution is normal and they felt it would be appropriate for their sons to go to prostitutes and brothels and that it would be acceptable if their daughters grew up to be a prostitute. The students in this class and their attitude around prostitution and pornography showed me the living example of the how true this research is. The legalization of prostitution in Nevada has led to a corruption of thinking that is beyond the repair of human hands.
I heard it stated in a mocking way that people actually believe that abstinence talks are still going to work. They spoke about how pornography is becoming the new way of sex education for kids in schools. Porn was completely normalized in conversations.
An hour later the guest speaker arrived and shared her experiences of being a sex worker for over 20 years. She glamorized her life and experiences while the students sat amazed asking as many positive scenario questions as they could. What the students likely didn’t pick up on was how she also commented on needing to know self-defense, have a panic button, protection, constantly checking for STD’s, tips on safety that she and the other girls discuss, how quickly she can dissociate, etc.
And what I am certain they didn’t hear was what she told me after the class when I walked her to her car. What they didn’t hear in class was her real name. Julie. They didn’t hear that Julie at age 8 (now 48) was molested as a kid. They didn’t hear that after a 15 year abusive marriage Julie realized her husband was also her pimp. They didn’t hear how much therapy she has gone through or about her battles with drug addiction. They only heard what Julie wants to believe herself just to get through the day…. deceit.
I will be speaking to this same class next week. I ask for your prayers that as we bring Truth to them their hearts will be open to hear it.
MelissaPlease take some time to pray for this young lady as she represents Jesus to her university.
For the original post, go to: http://awakenreno.org/a-letter-from-melissa-holland/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Last week was anti-porn week here at Ironstrikes. I hope that you were able to read about the five topics:1. Porn and sexual satisfaction2. Porn and fake relationships3. Porn and women4. Porn and cruelty5. Porn is insidious
Readers have asked about the Zillman-Bryant study from which these five posts were taken. In the early 1980s, Dr. Doll Zillmann of Indiana University and Dr. Jennings Bryant of the University of Alabama wondered whether continued exposure to video pornography had any impact on people's sexual beliefs and their attitudes towards women. For their experiment, 80 male and 80 female college-age participants were divided into three subgroups, and each group was shown 4 hours and 48 minutes of media.
1. The first group, the “Massive Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-violent pornographic films over a six-week period.
2. The second group, the “Intermediate Exposure Group,” was exposed to 18 pornographic films and 18 regular films over a six-week period.
3. The third (control) group, the “No Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-pornographic movies over a six--week periodYou may be saying, "that is an old study, what relevance does it have to today?"
At a 2011 conference, Dr. Mary Anne Layden commented about Zillmann and Bryant’s 25-year-old research. “When this study was done, what was called the ‘Massive Exposure Group" -- seeing five hours of porn over a six-week period -- "I now call that the Friday Afternoon Group."
Her statement is far from an exaggeration. A recent survey of 29,000 people at North American universities, shows 51% of men and 16% of women spend up to five hours per week
online for sexual purposes, and another 11% of men spend anywhere from five to twenty hours per week. What used to be “massive” exposure is now common practice.
Furthermore, the Internet has not only increased the public’s exposure to porn, but has also changed the way it is consumed. Dr. Jill Manning believes Zillmann and Bryant’s findings have greater
applicability in the modern age because Internet porn tends to be more interactive and consumer-driven. Viewers can select exactly who and what they want to see, custom-tailored to their greatest specifications.This week, I will be giving four solid tips in helping to curb your vulnerability to porn.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN
by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said C.S. Lewis’ Aslan. “And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth." The Scriptures tell us both men and women are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26- 28). The implications of this doctrine are far-reaching. As image-bearers we “reflect” God in a way no other creature on earth does. As far as God is concerned, to assault someone made in His image is a great crime (Gen. 9:6; James 3:9). Knowing we are made in God’s image should impact how we see ourselves and one another.
It is not only men who bear this image, but women as well. In human history the failure to appreciate this fact has led to all manner of abuses to women. And in our increasingly sexualized culture, it is women who are often the most dehumanized as they are constantly rated for the size, shape, and harmony of their body parts. Often pornography, and even mainstream media, portrays women as people who are glad
to be used and objectified. It isn’t surprising to find women increasingly devalued in our porn-saturated culture.
In the Zillman- Bryant
experiment, the Massive Exposure Group was far more likely to believe women in society really fit the stereotype of the women they saw in pornographic films. They were more likely to believe all women are really “as hysterically euphoric in response to just about any sexual or pseudosexual stimulation, and as eager to accommodate seemingly any and every sexual request” as the porn girls.
Participants in the experiment were asked to rate their overall support for women’s rights. Men in the Massive Exposure Group showed a 46% drop in support compared to the No Exposure Group. And among women participants, this drop was an alarming 30%.
“Free porn” is a misnomer. Pornography always costs somebody something. And it’s the women and girls in our culture, surrounded by boys and men with porn expectations, who often end up paying the highest price.
Naomi Wolf, writing for New York Magazine
, puts it best: “Today real naked women are just bad porn.” The onslaught of porn doesn’t train men to value women as people made in the image of God, but instead trains people to see fewer and fewer women as porn-worthy.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN
by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The following is a post by Shelley Lubben. Shelley, a former porn actress, is the founder and president of The Pink Cross Foundation
. Through the Pink Cross, Shelley is a missionary to the sex industry, reaching out to adult industry workers offering emotional, financial and transitional support for those who want out of porn. She also helps those struggling with pornography and victims of pornography. Her heart is to share the truth about porn and expose the darkness of it.
Chatsworth, California produces 85% of the world’s adult content. All of the top female talent agencies are located in or within the Chatsworth local radius. Female performers are flown or fly to Chatsworth to work in the adult industry. All of the world’s top male talents live or travel to Chatsworth California for work. Every major and minor adult DVD Company is in the local Chatsworth radius.The California pornography industry is a destructive, drug infested, abusive and sexually diseased industry which causes severe negative secondary effects on female and male adult industry workers as well as the general public.
I am confident of the above because not only was I a stripper, pornographic performer and escort in the California pornography industry from 1986 to 1994, but I have also counseled with or spoken to over 300 female and male workers in the pornography industry as well as those struggling with pornography addiction.
I have been working with adult industry workers since 2002, when I began volunteering as a teacher and counselor at local rescue missions and prisons in the State of California. I have worked at Madera Rescue Mission, Bakersfield Rescue Mission, Central California Women’s Facility Prison, and Valley State Prison for Women and have traveled throughout the United States as a speaker and counselor on the negative effects of pornography at various churches, recovery programs and secular organizations. My team and I currently work with hundreds of people struggling with pornography addiction in the Pink Cross Foundation Help Forums.
In my daily work of assisting women and men recovering from the pornography industry as well as those struggling with pornography addiction and gathering research over a period of several years, I have learned significant facts to prove that indeed the California pornography industry is causing severe secondary negative effects on adult industry workers as well as the general public, which is involuntarily exposed to pornography, especially children, whose average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is eleven years old
- It is estimated that there are 4.2 million porn Web sites—12% of the total amount of sites—allowing access to 72 million worldwide visitors monthly.
- One-quarter of the total daily search engine requests, or 68 million, are for pornographic material, where 40 million Americans are regular visitors.
- According to comScore Media Metrix, 71.9 million people visited adult sites in August 2005, reaching 42.7 percent of the Internet audience.
- The United States adult film industry produces 4,000–11,000 films a year and earns an estimated $9–$13 billion in gross revenues annually.
- An estimated 200 production companies employ 1,200–1,500 performers. Performers typically earn $400–$1,000 per shoot and are not compensated based on distribution or sales.
- Lobbyist Bill Lyon told 60 Minutes that the porn industry employs 12,000 people in California and pays the state $36 million in taxes per year. When 60 Minutes first spoke to Lyon, he was running the free speech coalition, a trade organization that represents 900 companies in the porn business.
Adult film performers engage in prolonged and repeated sexual acts with multiple sexual partners over short periods of time, creating ideal conditions for transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). All the more concerning, high-risk sex acts are on the rise. At the same time, condom use is reportedly low in heterosexual adult films—approximately 17% for adult performers. In 2004, only two of the 200 adult film companies required the use of condoms. Performers report
that they are required to work without condoms to maintain employment.
These practices lead to high transmission rates of STDs and occasionally HIV among performers. After four performers contracted HIV in 1998, Sharon Mitchell, a former adult film performer, founded Adult Industry Medical, a clinic to counsel and screen performers monthly for HIV.
The current practice of periodic HIV and STD testing may detect some disease early, but often fails to prevent transmission. The most recent HIV outbreak occurred when three performers who had been compliant with monthly screening contracted HIV in April of 2004. At that time, a male performer who had tested HIV negative only three days earlier infected three of 14 female performers.
In statements I have received from females and males working in the pornography industry and those who previously worked in the industry, at least 80% admit to catching an STD while working in the California pornography industry. I personally caught the non-curable disease Genital Herpes in 1994 and was not given any information or help from porn producers or the adult industry. Recently, Jan Meza, a former porn actress who left the pornography industry in October 2007, publicly shared of late that she discovered she has Herpes. She is totally devastated in that she caught a non-curable disease. Belladonna, a well known pornographic performer states: “99% of the porn industry has Herpes.” One male pornographic performer, Rocco, 600 films and 3,000 women later says: “Every professional in the porn-world has herpes, male or female.” Tanya Burleson, formerly known as Jersey Jaxin, caught Chlamydia her first year working. She exclaimed, while speaking with me, “I don’t believe I worked with one person who didn’t at one time have an STD.” Tanya made over 200 movies in her three year career. She also says, “Performers have to pay for their own testing, their medicine and lose at least eight days of work every time they catch a sexually transmitted disease.”
Sexually transmitted diseases are highly prevalent in the pornography industry. Among 825 porn performers screened in 2000–2001, 7.7% of females and 5.5% of males had Chlamydia and 2% overall had gonorrhea. Dr. Sharon Mitchell confirms the STD prevalence in an interview with Court TV, in which she states: “66% of porn performers have Herpes, 12-28% have sexually transmitted diseases and 7% have HIV
.Escort ServicesPornographic performers and adult industry workers also engage in prostitution through escort agencies such as Body Miracle, Dreamgirls, and Porno Star Escorts, where they not only risk sexually transmitted disease but also HIV and hepatitis C infection.
Pornographic performers usually prefer escorting because the pay is much higher and sex acts are not as degrading or physically demanding. They receive approximately $100 an hour for working in pornographic films or $1500 an hour for escorting. Adult industry workers who are also pornographic performers get paid higher than other adult escorts due to their celebrity status and can book 2-3 hour appointments and make approximately $3000 a day. Agents also lie to women in the adult industry and lure them into prostitution. Porn Star Erin Moore says, “some agents lie to the girls and tell them they are shooting a scene when instead they set up prostitution acts for them.”
While I was a pornographic performer in 1993-94 I was flown to different parts of the United States by porn companies where consumers of pornography sometimes paid me thousands of dollars to spend a weekend with them where we engaged in unprotected sex. During one appointment with a man and his wife, we engaged in unprotected sex and I passed the disease to both of them. Pornographic performers and adult industry workers definitely spread sexually transmitted diseases to the general public.(We will continue with part two of Ms. Lubben's post tomorrow)
Though he looked the part, Daniel Walker
was not a typical Western visitor to brothels in Asia. Playing the part of a lonely tourist, Walker was actually an undercover agent investigating the sex trade industry in various locations around the globe. Knowing his life would be in danger if he were exposed, Walker was moved by more than a paycheck. In his book God in a Brothel,
it becomes clear that Walker's overriding motivation to rescue girls and women trapped in this brutal form of slavery was God's great love for each and every one of them.
Human trafficking is a present-day reality about which many of us would prefer not to think. No modern invention, it was the situation in which God's people suffered under the rule of the Egyptians, enslaved to construct Egypt's buildings as forced laborers. In the midst of their suffering -- just as in the midst of our own experiences of suffering -- it would have been tempting to give up hope in the God who had called them His own. And yet, instead of relinquishing trust, the Hebrew people continued to cry out to God for deliverance for four hundred years. The One who loved them heard their cries, saw their misery, and was concerned for their suffering.
In the midst of suffering, it's tempting to believe that God does not care or that God has abandoned us. The truth is that bodies which are used and abused, broken and beaten, matter deeply to God. God does not turn away from the suffering of a young woman being trafficked for profit.
God does not ignore the cries of the needy. Rather, the One who used Moses to deliver His people out of captivity is the One to whom you can turn in the midst of your suffering. God sees your suffering and hears your cries.
This post is taken from Today in the Word,
June 3, 2012.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.