We have a new volunteer training scheduled for Sunday, July 31st 12 p.m.-2:30 p.m. at Galaei (149 W. Susquehanna Ave 19122)
Food will be provided.
If you are interested in participating in this training please e-mail: Christina.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Provide information:There are several things a survivor may want to think about: seeking support, speaking with law enforcement, accessing social services. It is important to provide information but to allow the survivor the agency to make their own choices. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center has a hotline available at 1-888-373-7888 or via SMS at 23337333 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)
- Be respectful of privacy and confidentiality: It may be hurtful or dangerous to disclose the survivor’s situation to others – including law enforcement.Don’t disclose personal information without the survivor’s knowledge or clear permission.
- Let the survivor make their own decisions:You can provide information and options for the survivor, but always let the survivor make their own decisions. Many survivors feel a deep sense of disempowerment as a result of being violated. Therefore it is important to help the survivor feel empowered. Instead of taking charge, ask how you can help. Offer to accompany the survivor to seek medical attention or to law enforcement – if they so choose. Support the decisions the survivor makes, even if you might not agree with them.
- Remind the survivor that you care:The survivor may worry that their friends, loved ones and their community won’t think of them in the same way. Let the survivor know you don’t see them differently, and that you are here to support them.
- Trust the survivor: Let the survivor know that you believe them and you honor the decisions they make.
- Be aware of your own reactions:You will likely feel many emotions such as confusion, hurt or anger in the event you may learn about human trafficking or suspect someone is being trafficked. No matter how helpful you are, you may not be able to change the situation. The best you can do is help the survivor find ways to help themselves. Your respectful support is much more helpful to the survivor than your anger and frustration.
- Recognize the difference between what you want and what the survivor wants: Try to distinguish between what you are doing to make yourself feel better from what you are doing to help the survivor. You may be tempted to do things that make you feel better which are not helpful to the survivor, such pushing them to make changes before they are ready. Instead, ask the survivor what would be most helpful.
- Know your limitations:Every individual has a limit to how much they can give. This does not make you a failure. It is important to know your own limitations of support and to share these clearly with the survivor. Provide the survivor with other support options; for example, provide them with National Human Trafficking Resource Center number and other local organizations (included in this packet). Let the survivor know you will not feel hurt if they choose to talk with someone else.
- Seek support for yourself:Your support plays a critical role in the survivor’s transition to safety. Talking with someone who can help you work through your own feelings will better enable you to support the survivor. Remember to respect the survivor’s privacy when seeking support from others. Project SAFE is available for you to call: 1-866-509-SAFE in addition to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
- Learn as much as you can about human trafficking:Be as familiar as you can with community resources and patterns of economic exploitation. This will help you better understand the survivor’s experiences and the process of recovery.
Adapted from “Helping a Survivor of Sexual Assault” by Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center at University of Michigan
Download the factsheet How to Support Survivors HT 5_18_16
Come to our Info Session Thursday May 19!
Please join us for an Information + Training Session
Thursday May 19
West Philadelphia – RSVP for address!
Project SAFE is an all-volunteer grassroots organization providing advocacy and support for women working in street economies. SAFE’s mission is to promote human rights-based public health among women working in the sex and drug trades on the streets of Philadelphia.
This event is open to all genders, all education levels, all professions – pretty much anyone who wants to learn more about harm reduction, sex worker rights, and the mission and practice of Project SAFE.
Please RSVP here
We hope to see you there!
We stand in solidarity with SWOP-Bay Area!
DEFEND SEX WORKER RIGHTS!
URGENT ACTION NEEDED!
The California legislature is now considering a bill SB 1110 that establishes a LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program. This program authorizes police to refer sex workers to a treatment program on a first arrest or go to jail.
While those who put forward SB 1110 may be well-meaning, the legislation was written without input from sex workers. It goes against the demands of the sex worker movement internationally which is for decriminalization, because it treats sex work not as a job but as a disease and sex workers not as workers but as offenders in need of treatment and rehabilitation. Amnesty International, Open Society Foundation and other key organizations support decriminalization.
Similar programs to those proposed in SB 1110 have been extremely problematic. For example, in Seattle (which is used as an example of good practice for SB 1110) hundreds of people were swept…
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Conversation with Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee: Stopping the Violence Through Solidarity
Please join us for a transnational organizing video conversation between the Calcutta-based sex workers’ union, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), and Philadelphia sex workers, social workers, and organizers.
Workers from both sides will discuss their experiences as workers and strategies to build solidarity to put an end to violence, discrimination, and stigma against sex workers and drug users. Check out research about how DMSC reduced human trafficking through worker-led interventions here.
When: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Where: 3701 Locust Walk Caster Building Room D28
Hosted by: Institute of Sex Worker Research and Action (ISWRA), Project SAFE, Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)
There will be food and refreshments provided. Please contact Meghna Chandra (603) 921-4331 and Kristen Smith (302) 379-4622 with any questions.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
6:00 p.m. – meet up at 5:45
Calling all communities to unite and take a stand against domestic and sexual violence!
• March to take back the streets starting at one of four locations heading to the First Unitarian Church.
* Participate in the “Bust the Myths” Street Action.
• Speak out and breaking the silence; storytelling and sharing about living with and surviving violence, abuse, and oppression.
* A candlelight vigil to remember those still fighting, those lost to violence, and those surviving.
* Tabling to provide networking and resources for survivors and their family and friends from a coalition of beautiful, badass organizations and people
Project SAFE + SWOP-Philly will be Marching from the SOUTH Point (21st and Washington)
THE PHILADELPHIA COALITION OF LABOR UNION WOMEN ANNUAL BENEFIT FOR WOMEN AGAINST ABUSE
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – 5:30 p.m.
22 S. 22nd Street, 2nd floor, Joint Board Room, Philadelphia, PA 19103
(Some parking available in building garage after 5:00 p.m.)
In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we are hosting our 18th Annual Benefit for Women Against Abuse, which is a UAW-staffed shelter for women and children in crisis. It is the only union shelter in Philadelphia. This year we are hosting a panel on the Fight For $15 And A Union. Workers in the fast food industry, retail, homecare givers, nursing homes, adjunct professors and all minimum wage jobs are suffering because they are unable to survive on such low wages. In 2015 the average age for a minimum wage job was 36 years old; 56% were women and 28% of the workforce have children. Many of these workers do not receive raises in pay, sick leave, pension, and health care. They work in poor working conditions, deal with discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and more because they are not protected by collective bargaining and a union. Come join us in a panel discussion on these issues and more.
Women Against Abuse has space limitations, only these items can be accepted by the agency – all items must be NEW! Financial donations are especially needed as public funding continues to drop. Please consider running a donation drive at your union or workplace.
Colder weather clothing for all sizes, adults & kids, all genders – sweat pants/yoga pants/leggings & long-sleeve t-shirts; Basic Women’s Clothing, such as bras & underwear (all sizes); baby carriers (front pouch type, for hands-free baby transport); Muslim garb for women; Gift cards (No Wal-Mart!); Diapers (all sizes), pull-ups, wipes, formula; baby pacifiers; Toddlers Clothing for ages 1-5; Tea; Hand Lotion; Nail Polish; USB drives, portfolios, blank cards, journals, stress balls; pajamas for all ages & sizes.
Checks should be made payable to Women Against Abuse, and mailed to CLUW, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO ATTN: Philly CLUW, 22 South 22nd Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or brought to the event. Please ask your Union to donate too! If you would like to donate but cannot come to the event, you may bring your items, prior to the event, to the address above.
Refreshments will be served. 50/50 Raffle. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP or for more information, call Laura at 215-588-5026 or e-mail CLUW, email@example.com.
SWOP Behind Bars is up and running and has a newsletter for sex workers in jail or prison. If you know of a sex worker who is in jail or prison ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES you can sign up here to ensure they get a newsletter from the Sex Workers Outreach Project.
From SWOP Behind Bars:
There are more than one million women currently behind bars in the U.S., and that number is on the rise. In fact, women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population in the country, and the rate of incarceration for women has been growing nearly twice as fast as that of men since 1985, according to theACLU, and account for about 7% of the total prison population in the U.S. The fastest growing population behind bars is black women. Prostitution is one of the few crimes where women are arrested more frequently than men, but prostitution alone does not explain the growing numbers of Black, Latino, and trans-women behind bars. If we are going to make reforms to crimes based on morality, we need to consider laws that disproportionately affect women, such as the prohibition of sex work.
Sex workers are often subject to the same “revolving door” punitive approach that people convicted of drug offenses receive; women do time, but never receive the resources, social, economic and, psychological support that would enable them to leave the industry if they choose. We don’t often consider that sex work can be an intentional choice. Whether or not it is a symptom of poor economic conditions or volition it is always considered inherently immoral.
In order to address this we need to widen the discussion to include issues that Black, Latino, and trans women are disproportionately affected by. The illegal purchasing of sex is ultimately what sustains the market and forces sex work underground. The stigma has to be removed around the discussion of sex work in order to protect the human rights and, as recently suggested by Amnesty International, the dignity of the women in it who often need access to housing and, health care. By decriminalizing both the buying and selling of sex we can focus our efforts on those who truly need assistance and making other avenues of employment available, especially for trans women.
Laws prohibiting sex work are based on a moral code that doesn’t fully consider the implications. If we are going to reform non-violent crimes like drug use and selling that are founded on societal beliefs, we also need to consider other non-violent crimes, regardless of stigma and moral objections. The question of decriminalization or legalization cannot be limited to marijuana, but needs to be expanded to encompass sex work. We need to rethink the way we currently differentiate and treat between violent and non-violent persons convicted of offenses and push for decriminalization of sex work and the correlation to decreasing crimes against women; these progressive reforms normalize and regulate sex work rather than further stigmatizing and conflating an underground industry with human trafficking. With these efforts we can reduce sexual violence in the US, ameliorate conditions for a marginalized portion of the population, and destigmatize what is a reality for many women.