Having accepted a counseling assignment for two years in a South American country, I met an interesting man. In his broken English, he confessed, "I like dirty women."
This man was a gynecologist, very educated and finally coming to the realization that he had a terrible problem. In English, dirty can mean several things. However, in Spanish, he was very clear. He used the word, "sucia." "Sucia" means physically dirty, unwashed. He continued with other clear words, "Indigenas, indias, mujeres sucias..." Translated, those words mean, "indigenous, indians, dirty women..." He was talking about a people group that were indigenous in that area: women from the Quechua people. These people are typically considered lower class by those who don't have indian blood.
Being educated and of Spanish descent, he considered himself to be superior to these people. That was his quandary. "Why do I like dirty women? I'm not attracted to pure blood women." He went on to explain that he would sexually use some of his patients, but only the Quechua women. He felt an attraction to women that he was not supposed to be attracted to, kinda like forbidden fruit. He soothed his conscience by believing that he was only having sex with women who were beneath his station in life. These people were essentially worthless in his mind.
He would trade his gynecological services for sexual favors with his patients. He found that many times, he would not be refused because these women were poor and did not feel good about themselves. "They couldn't say no because no one thinks they are attractive. I flatter them..."
So, you can see this man has a terrible sin problem. Actually, more than one. Just to name a few: 1) prejudice, 2) sexism, 3) racism, 4) elitism, 5) compulsions, 6) fornication, etc... Just plain sinfulness.
As his story unfolded, he also revealed that he was addicted to marijuana, alcohol and painkillers. Being a physician, he had no difficulty affording and obtaining these substances, especially when he would trade his gynecological services for these substances.
He was raised in an environment with a very strong mother and a father who had abandoned him. As we delved further into his upbringing, he noted that he was brought into sex early when his mother paid for a prostitute "to teach him how to be a man" as his father wasn't doing a good job at raising him. He recalled his first sexual encounter at age eight with repeated exposure, at his mother's insistence, until he left for college at age sixteen.
In spite of his medical and financial success, this man knew that he was doomed. "My soul is on the way to hell..." Fortunately, this gentleman was receptive to God's working in his life. He came for help because he had heard that hell was a place that he did not want to go. As I was unable to follow this man due to not being around long enough to help him, I was able to hand him off to a pastor. This pastor told him about God's redemptive power and discipled him. He became very much like Zaccheus. He repented of his sinful behavior and attempted to make restitution as best he could.
This man's story teaches us that we are not doomed by the sins of our parents, doomed because we had a bad upbringing or doomed because we have abused people. There is always room for God's offer of salvation. It is never too late to do the right thing.
Is your life like this man's? Or do you think that he is beneath you?
In what kind of sin do you find yourself involved?
It is never too late to do the right thing.
If God can change this man, he can change you.
How bout it?
BE A MAN.
If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
It is easy to judge other people. Judgmentalism and blame come naturally to us. Other people's faults and failures are not difficult to identify. Many of us can remember a time in our lives when throwing the first stone was not just easy - it was what we thought good Christians were supposed to do.
One of the most dramatic changes which takes place early in the recovery process is an increase in self-awareness. We begin to see patterns in our own lives that need changing. We see our own self destructive tendencies. We see how we have brought pain to others. As these insights dawn on us, we begin to lay down our stones.
Of course, as our self-awareness increases, many of us attempt to refocus the blame and judgmentalism from others onto ourselves. We can blame and judge ourselves as ruthlessly as we may once have blamed and judged others. But it's not really progress in recovery to give up throwing stones. . and then start banging our heads against a stone wall.
Judgmentalism and blame are not helpful in recovery. What makes recovery possible is when increased self-awareness leads to an increased capacity to experience forgiveness. Gradually we learn to accept forgiveness from God and others. We receive mercy. As a result, we begin to treat ourselves and others with mercy.
It is increased self-awareness and the humility which self-awareness makes possible that are the soil in which true community can grow. When we accept ourselves as humans even though we struggle and sometimes fail, we can become far more gentle with ourselves and with others.
Lord, you know how quick I have been to throw stones.
Thank you for the self awareness that has allowed me to see more clearly that
I am not without sin.
I know that I am in need of forgiveness.
Give me the courage to accept your forgiveness and mercy
and in this way begin to live in true community
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery
Boys who see pornography regularly are more likely to have sexual relations and harass girls in school, a 2010 study has found. Michael Flood, a researcher with the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, said that exposure of children to pornography results in “a range of notable and often troubling effects.”
“Exposure to pornography,” Flood wrote, “helps to sustain young people's adherence to sexist and unhealthy notions of sex and relationships.”
Flood, an Australian sociologist at the University of Wollongong, said this applies especially among boys and men who use pornography frequently. With more violent materials, “consumption intensifies attitudes supportive of sexual coercion and increases their likelihood of perpetrating assault.”
“While children and young people are sexual beings and deserve age-appropriate materials on sex and sexuality, pornography is a poor, and indeed dangerous, sex educator,” he said.
In October 2012, the Australian government’s Institute of Criminology published a study that said the probability that a young person will be exposed to pornography before legal age “is very high.”
“Concern exists, among both parents and policymakers, that widespread, premature exposure to pornography is changing the nature of sexual attitudes, behaviours, and intimate relationships and potentially contributing to sexual violence in society,” wrote Judy Putt, the Institute’s general manager of research.
“The proliferation of pornographic materials and their ease of access are such that it is not a matter of whether a young person will be exposed to pornography but when.” Young people are being “inundated” with “sexual information,” Putt wrote, “before they are developmentally capable of integrating it into a healthy sexual identity.”
A 2003 telephone survey of 200 Australian young people aged 16 to 17 found that 73 per cent of males were exposed to pornographic videos, with 5 per cent exposed weekly and 16 per cent exposed every three to four weeks. The survey found that 84 per cent of males were inadvertently exposed to pornography on the internet, with 38 per cent using internet pornography deliberately. This was compared with two per cent of females who use the internet to view porn. This post was written by H. White. The original post can be found at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive//ldn/2010/feb/10020301
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Pornography and depictions of sexuality have turned more than 4,500 British children – some of them as young as five – into sexual offenders, according to a UK-based child welfare charity.
A Freedom of Information Act request showed that 4,562 minors – 98 percent of them boys – committed 5,028 sexual offenses over a three year period, from 2009-2012.
Three separate police forces reported five-year-olds committing sexual offenses.
However, the London Telegraph reports, “the true figure” of total offenders “could be even higher as nine forces, including the three largest – the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police – could not provide the relevant figures.”
Twenty percent of cases reported involved a family member. In another third, a family friend was victimized.
“We know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people’s views of what is ‘normal’ or acceptable behavior,” said Claire Lilley, policy adviser at The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
The report's content, though specific to Great Britain, contains universal truths.
“Child-on-child sex abuse and rape is a growing problem in every culture where pornography flourishes,” Patrick Trueman, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan administration and president of Morality In Media, told LifeSiteNews.com.
“Children act out what they see. If they see acts of love and charity, they will mimic those,” Trueman said. “But when they see sexual violence, domination, rape, and other similar acts so commonly depicted in modern-day pornography, as today's children do, they will act out those, as well.”
The British report joins an accumulating mound of heartwrenching stories showing how pornography has permanently scarred children around the world – both the victims and the perpetrators.
In the Australian state of Victoria alone, 414 minors were referred for sexual offenses to the Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) last year. Just more than half could be placed in rehabilitation programs.
Therapists continually cite the role access to pornography and sexually explicit television scenarios play in sexualizing children and, in some cases, triggering them to exploit others.
Child therapist John Woods of London reported a case of a 13-year-old boy who raped his five-year-old sister after developing a “complex fantasy world” warped by “two years of constant porn use.”
Similar reports come from North America.
In Canada, a 13-year-old boy said his gay porn consumption led to his repeated rape of a four-year-old boy who lived in his foster home.
The omnipresent flickers of porn have caused alarm at the highest levels of European government.
A cross-party report from the British parliament found most boys learned about sex by watching pornography, an influence that “negated the primacy of relationships whilst promoting a self-centered focus of sex.”
That influence magnifies anti-social behavior. A 2010 study from Australia's La Trobe University found boys who watch porn are more likely to harass girls. Nearly one-third of British girls aged 16-18 said they experienced unwanted sexual touching in a 2010 YouGov poll.
“We must do more to shield young people from an increasingly sexualized society,” Lilley said.
As a result of cases such as these, Iceland is considering banning pornography because of the harm it inflicts on women and children.
The move touched off fierce debate in the UK. This report elevates that discussion to a new importance.
“The world is suffering an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography and children are suffering the most,” Trueman told LifeSiteNews.This post was written by Ben Johnson. For the original post, click hereBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Pornography has long held a controversial place in society, and its relationship with a number of behaviors and attitudes has been highly debated.
But the concern remains: How does viewing pornography affect our attitudes towards women? A recent paper published in the Journal of Communication found that exposure to pornography was related to and increased sexist attitudes, but only among a subgroup of users.
Gert Martin Hald, Theis Lange, University of Copenhagen, and Neil Malamuth, University of California, Los Angeles, asked 200 Danish adults aged 18-30 about their past pornography consumption; assessed a central part of their personality (the trait of agreeableness i.e., individual low in agreeableness typically holder higher levels of antagonism, coldness, hostility, suspiciousness, disagreeability, unfriendliness, and self-interest); and exposed them to hardcore pornography in the laboratory. They then evaluated how participants’ personality and the exposure to pornography affected a variety of sexist attitudes.
Among women increased past pornography consumption was not found to be associated with any of the sexist attitudes investigated. Among men increased past pornography consumption was initially found to be associated with more negative attitudes toward women including more hostility, negative prejudices, and stereotypes.
However, when the researchers actually exposed participants to pornography, personality (agreeableness) was found to influence the relationship between pornography and sexist attitudes so that it was only among participants low in agreeableness that pornography was found to increase sexist attitudes. Among this group it was found that laboratory exposure to pornography modestly increased hostile sexist attitudes. Further, this increase was found to be brought about by increases in sexual arousal to the pornographic exposure material. For all other participants, pornography exposure was found not to influence sexist attitudes.
“The study is important because it may help nuance the view of effects of porn and enable us to better understand for whom adverse effects of porn are most likely and the mechanisms by which such effects occur. This could be used in prevention, education, or clinical interventions,” said Hald, the lead author. “The study shows the importance of individual differences in research on pornography and underscores that effects of pornography on attitudes may not be the same for everyone”.
This post was taken from PSYPOST. The original post can be found at: http://www.psypost.org/2013/09/pornography-reinforces-sexist-attitudes-among-a-subgroup-of-heterosexuals-20077
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When Jesus came onto the scene he turned misogyny (hatred of women) on its head. A rabbi at that time wouldn’t speak to a woman in public, not even his own wife (this is still true for orthodox rabbis). Even today, an orthodox Jewish man is forbidden to touch or be touched by any woman who is not his wife or a close family relation. Jesus didn’t abide by those rules. During his ministry Jesus engaged with women many times. He spoke to them. He touched them. He taught them. He esteemed them. He had women minister to him physically, touching him, washing his feet, anointing him with oil and with their tears. He had women disciples traveling with him, supporting him, learning from him, and “sitting at his feet.” If we, the church, the body of Christ, had followed the example that Jesus had set instead of the traditions of men held captive to sin and the fall, we would have a much higher history here.This post is an excerpt from the book, BECOMING MYSELF by Stasi Eldredge
Every year, federal and state governments pour millions of dollars into combatting sex trafficking through local and federal law enforcement agencies. But the emerging link between the child welfare system and child sex trafficking in the United States underscores the need for a new tactic, one that addresses the social origins of child sex trafficking.
At the end of July, the FBI’s Innocence Lost initiative, the wing of the agency tasked with addressing domestic child sex trafficking, conducted its annual three-day Operation Cross Country. During these 72 hours, federal agents across the country “recover” juvenile victims from sexual exploitation and arrest their exploiters. This year, the agency boasts that it saved 105 children and arrested 152 pimps. According to U.S. law, anyone under 18 and involved in the sex trade is considered sexually trafficked.
However, what happens to those who are “rescued” is unclear. Whether the children are placed in juvenile justice proceedings or the Department of Social Services, the story of the rescue mission as the FBI tells it ends when the handcuffs go on—often both on the exploited young person as well as his or her exploiter. (A video montage of Operation Cross Country VII accompanies the FBI’s press release.)
Julianne Sohn, spokesperson for the San Francisco division of the FBI, explained to AlterNet that the agency couldn’t account for what happens to the youth after they are “recovered” because local law enforcement agencies have varying policies on how to handle teens.
“If you’re 17 years old and sex-trafficked in New York you are literally a victim and a criminal at the same time,” Chrystal DeBoise told AlterNet. DeBoise is the co-director of the New York-based Sex Workers Project, an organization advocates for both sex workers and trafficking victims.
The Sex Workers Project has helped to decriminalize individuals who have been sex trafficked and charged with prostitution by successfully lobbying for the Vacating Convictions Law, passed in 2010 in New York, which allows a trafficked individual to have her record cleared.
But DeBoise notes there is still a long way to go: “Over 50 percent of our clients are trafficked and they tell us that the arrests were some of the most traumatizing parts of their trafficking experience.”
“It’s shocking to believe that you could be trafficked and for the rest of your life you have a prostitution record,” DeBoise said. “It is shocking.”
These FBI sweeps also result in the netting of adult sex workers. The data for Operation Cross Country in the Bay Area reveals that while its ostensible focus is to rescue child victims, the program results in a markedly higher arrest rate for adult sex workers: for the 12 children rescued, 65 sex workers were arrested in the Bay Area alone. During Operation Cross Country in 2008, the FBI recovered 47 juveniles while arresting 518 prostitutes.
Prioritizing criminal justice proceedings to combat child sex-trafficking has resulted in a paucity of services devoted to helping children most vulnerable to sexual exploitation: those in foster care. Depending on the city, 50 to 80 percent of child victims are or have been involved in this part of the child welfare system. The correlation has led many advocates to argue that funding needs to be redirected away from law enforcement and toward social services that are designed to work with traumatized children.
“People are beginning to realize that juvenile justice is not appropriate to serve sexually exploited children. People are frustrated that those kids are going to the criminal justice system rather than the foster care system, which is designed to help kids,” Kate Walker, from the National Center for Youth Law, told AlterNet. Earlier this year, Walker authored a publication for the California Child Welfare Council examining the needs of victimized children and how the welfare system should address them.
Southern California Congresswoman Karen Bass has proposed legislation to the House of Representatives that she hopes will address the cyclical relationship between foster care and child sexual exploitation. In April she reintroduced Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act (SCWRHT) that had died in committee last year. (After being elected to Congress in 2010, Bass co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth and has since been a strong advocate for extending services to foster youth.)
SCWRHT would establish training programs so child welfare agencies could better detect children at risk of becoming victims and respond to those who have already been traumatized and victimized. The legislation would also extend services to trafficking victims up to the age of 21.
Bass has distinguished herself by focusing on the social roots of sex trafficking, rather than investing in law enforcement and tougher penalties. Explaining why she voted against last November’s Proposition 35, which increases fines and penalties for convicted human traffickers, she said: “I worry that just like with Three Strikes, when there is a horrific crime we come up with an extreme response and the net gets cast too wide.”
“It’s not my focus to increase penalty, because I am also worried about the pimps.” According to one case study, approximately 25 percent of pimps come out of the child welfare system.
In 1990—fourteen years before she would make the transition to electoral politics—Bass founded and directed Community Coalition, a grassroots organization based in South Los Angeles dedicated to strengthening black and latino communities ravaged by economic injustice, the War on Drugs, and poor quality schools.
After being elected to Congress in 2010, Bass co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth and has since been a strong advocate for extending services to foster youth.
Like Bass, Kate Walker believes that with reform, the child welfare system has the potential to serve as a support network to child victims. “I think the child welfare system has a ways to go in terms of setting itself up to adequately serve these children, like prevention curriculum that includes teaching about exploitation, healthy relationships and ways to protect yourself.”
But while advocates may agree that improving the child welfare system is essential to addressing child sex trafficking, there is persistent ambivalence among policy advocates on whether locking up sexually exploited children is necessary in order to save them.
“There is a big divide in the field: should we be locking kids up or should we meet them where they’re at and provide them what they need,” says DeBoise.
Bass’ bill would create “specialized, long-term residential facilities or safe havens serving children who are human trafficking victims.”
One such safe house in Florida was forced to shut down within weeks of opening after one girl left the grounds and was raped. This recent tragic incident has led some legislators and social workers in Florida to conclude that it may be necessary to keep the premises of safe houses locked so that inhabitants cannot leave freely.
However, as DeBoise points out, “We don’t consider locking up any other victim the way we do with this population. It wouldn’t occur to us that we should lock up a victim of, say, domestic violence, if she continued to go back to her abuser.”
“When looking at the population of runaway kids involved in prostitution, there’s a tendency to treat them as criminals and force them into care.”
Casting further doubt on the incarceration model, Walker notes that one method of rehabilitating victims of sexual exploitation in California has been to send them out of state, far away from their exploiters. “Some of these places are on top of a mountain so the kids can’t run. But then they are just exploited upon their return to their communities.”
“I want to look at providing more services in the communities from which they come, because those are the communities that need them. When kids run away [from foster care] they are doing so because we are not providing something that someone else is; we’re not adequately meeting their needs,” explains Walker.
Speaking as a psychotherapist, DeBoise argues it is essential that services enable the youths to opt into therapy and shelter of their own volition: “We need shelters that are open and that have a high level of sophistication in the staff. We need to acknowledge that people can leave and they can also come back. When we work with those principles, we are successful. It’s not a problem to keep our clients, they don’t run away.”
DeBoise urges people to look at the phenomenon of domestic sex trafficking as part of a larger picture: “I think the way to end trafficking is to take seriously poverty and its consequences, racism and its consequences, sexism and its consequences. Trafficking is at the intersection of all these things.”
This post was written by C. Silver. For the original post, go to: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/15/far_too_many_kids_move_from_foster_care_into_the_sex_trade_partner/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The other day, I hired a roofer to come and fix some hail damage on my house. I told him that my neighbor may want some roofing done too. I said, "he's from Guadalajara and was telling me that he could get some 'hispanics' to fix my roof and his roof but you might want to see if he needs some work done." My roofer (a white guy) kind of got this sly grin and said, "he's not a roofer?" I said, "no, he's an executive for a large bakery company." My roofer said, "I was joking (still with that sly grin)." I retorted, "yes I know you were. I just didn't think it was funny." The subject was changed and the roofing job was completed. In the area where we live, there are a lot of homes being built. A good portion of the construction crews (including roofers) are hispanic.*
Later, upon reflection of this interaction, I thought to myself, "There I went and did it again. I came off as a racist. Why did it matter that my neighbor is from Guadalajara?" I really like my neighbor. He 's been nothing but friendly and he brings over items from the bakery and his wife makes us the BEST quesadillas. My hispanic neighbor came from California before he brought his family to Indiana and built a home next to mine. I then thought about the number of people who have asked me if my neighbor was here legally. Honestly, that thought never crossed my mind. My neighbors on the other side are from California too but are a white mother and daughter. No one has ever asked me if they were here legally, I have no idea where they lived before California.
I recall I went to lunch with a couple of white men that were a little bit older than me. One of them made a disparaging comment about the race of our current president (POTUS). I didn't laugh. The other one said with a sly grin, "Oh, you didn't get the joke. You will get it later when you get home." I replied, "Yes I got the joke, I just didn't think it was funny."
In thinking of these two interactions, I have come to a couple of observations that sicken me:
1) White men seem to have this way of talking that is elitist. We make comments toward each other that subtly (and not so subtly) put down other races and/or women. However, we do it in such a way that among respectable Christian men it is not considered racist/sexist (if you're a white guy). I'm sure that if a person who wasn't white was observing, s/he would notice the elitism.
2) If you're a white man and you don't appreciate these subtle comments, you are considered to not be as intelligent as the person making these subtle comments. These white guys just can't imagine that you just don't appreciate their elitist comments. They just think that you haven't had enough bad experiences from "those people" to accurately determine that whites are better. However, they would never come out say that they are better than others.
These two observations aren't new to me, I didn't have an epiphany as I was writing this blog. However, to my regret, I did realize that I contribute to the sin of elitism/racism/sexism. By being blind to my white maleness, I inadvertently contribute to subtle white, male put downs of others. Sue (2004) points this out in his excellent article: "Whiteness and Ethnocentric Monoculturalism: Making the Invisible Visible" (see American Psychologist, Nov 2004, pp 761-769). He states, that white men are "trapped in a EuroAmerican worldview that only allows them to see the world from one perspective...little doubt exists that skin color in this society exposes people to different experiences (p. 762)."
Sue's last statement that skin color causes different experiences just makes me feel really, really, awful at an internal level. God's Word makes it clear that elitism/sexism/racism is a sin. Galatians 3:28 points out that we are all ONE in Jesus Christ. James 2 makes it clear that favoritism is sinful. King Solomon warns us in Proverbs 6:12-13 that a man who winks with his eyes and signals with his feet is a "worthless person, a wicked man." I believe that this section of God's Word is talking about those subtle things that people do to create an "us vs them" mentality.
I long for the day when we will be released from the sin of elitism/racism/sexism. Unfortunately, I don't think that is going to happen this side of heaven. However, I'm grateful for times like this when God's Word and God's Holy Spirit speaks to me about my blind elitism. I don't want to treat people any other way than the way that Jesus treated people. Now that you have come to the end of this blog post, I ask you for two things: 1) pray that I will be become more like Jesus, and 2) pray that you will become more like Jesus.*My understanding is that hispanic is a political term. I prefer the term latino/a but I use hispanic in this post because that is the term my neighbor used. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Joe Francis, founder of 'Girls Gone Wild,' was found guilty Monday of misdemeanor counts of assault and false imprisonment stemming from a dispute with three women after a night out at a Hollywood club in 2011.
Officials said after a two-week trial, a jury convicted the 40-year-old man of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness. He faces a maximum of five years in prison. A hearing to schedule his sentencing was set for Wednesday.
Francis met the women at a club in 2011 when they were celebrating a college graduation. Francis led one of them out of the club by the hand into his limo. According to prosecutors, the other two women followed him and their friend thinking he was going to give them a ride to their car.
Prosecutors said Francis took the women to his home, when he tried to separate one from the other two a dispute broke out. Francis grabbed one of the women by the hair and throat and slammed her head into the floor.
After an investigation, the district attorney declined to file felony charges in the case and referred it to the city attorney, who filed the misdemeanor charges.
Francis is the founder of GGW Brands LLC, he filed for bankruptcy in February listing more than $16 million in disputed claims.
Neither Francis nor his attorneys could be reached for comment.For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57583219-504083/joe-francis-founder-of-girls-gone-wild-convicted-of-assault-and-false-imprisonment-report-says/
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
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.