Tag Archives: Email Announcements

Email Announcements, Updates, News, etc.

January 2015 Update!

Hello all!  Hope 2015’s treating you well.  Here’s a brief update on some of the things going on with us right now:

  • There’s a SWOP chapter in Shreveport/Bossier City now!  Their FB page is more active than their website at this point.  So, if you’re based in North Louisiana, or if you occasionally visit, you should reach out!
  • SexWorker Writing Group:   One of our members would like to start a writing group specifically for local sex workers.  Anyone interested?  Email us and we’ll connect you with the person in charge of that.
  • We finally have a way to accept tax-deductible donations!  The donation goes to SWOP-USA, but it’s labeled SWOP-NOLA, and the funds come to us   That way, SWOP-USA’s 501c3 status applies.   Here’s a direct link, or there’s a Paypal button on the “How You Can Help” page of our website.
  • Eros discount:  Eros is offering SWOP members a 20% discount for 2015.  If you use EROS, contact us for the coupon code!
  • T Shirts:  We know they’re awesome.  We know you want ’em! WE want ’em!  Unfortunately, they were in limited supply (I think there were 10 total).  But we have more on the way, and we’ll have a selection of sizes to fit as many people as possible.   So stay tuned!  We’re all volunteers, and getting the resources, time, and talent together in the right combination all at once can take some time, so we appreciate your patience.  We promise that as soon as we have new ones, we’ll let y’all know.
  • Check out the pics of IDEVASW 2014 in NOLA and our rundown of what we did in 2014.
  • March 3rd is International Sex Workers Rights Day.  We’re still tossing around ideas about what we’ll be doing for that, but we’ll (hopefully) know within the next week or so.  If you have a great idea, let us know about it.
  • Support Group? We’re currently gauging interest in a sex-worker support group.  If you think this is something you’d want to participate in, let us know.  We’ve had a lot of people ask us if we offer one, and we haven’t so far, but if there’s enough interest…
  • Scheduled Meetings: We’re working out some details re: the meeting schedule and format for this year.  Ideally, we’d like to make meetings more comfortable and welcoming for people who are currently working locally, and this means we need to re-think how we go about meeting up.  Stay tuned, and we’ll hopefully have the details worked out within the next few days.  Thanks for your patience on this!
  • VICE journalist seeking interview: If anyone’s interested, here’s his info:
    Hi, my name is Mason Miller and i’m the New Orleans correspondent for VICE. I’m working on a story about how the recent spikes of violence in the French Quarter may be affecting sex workers. I’m really looking for statistics or some kind of log that chronicles issues of violence against workers in the quarter. If you have a moment to talk today, you can reach me through this email (masonmiller1@gmail.com) or at 985-320-6361, Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
  • SWOP-USA has a snazzy new website!

Update 10/22/14 – Self Defense, Legal Resources, Events

This is a follow-up of the stuff we talked about at the meeting on Saturday–see previous update from Oct 14th

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  • Self Defense class on November 14th

    The free, providers-only self-defense class will be held on Friday, November 14, 2014 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm at NOLA Shaolin-Do (4210 St. Claude Ave).

    Friday, November 14
    12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
    at NOLA Shaolin-Do

    4210 St. Claude Ave
    New Orleans, 70117

    (St. Claude at France St.)

    Please let us know if you can make it!

  • Legal Resources

    On the website, under “Resources” ­­­­—> “Legal” (swop­nola.org/category/legal), we’re putting together a list of relevant legal resources. This includes:

    • Louisiana Lawyers & Legal Resources Relevant to Sex Work: This is mostly Louisiana criminal defense lawyers who represent people with prostitution and prostitution­-related charges, plus lawyers who have experience representing people in the biz (escorts, strippers, etc.) in Family court, civil court, etc.: Louisiana Lawyers, Legal Resources Relevant to Sex Work
    • Free & Low­-Cost Legal Resources and Attorneys in Louisiana (not necessarily related to sex work): Lots of free and/or low­-cost legal resources, attys, resources for representing yourself, where to find forms for civil/family court, etc.: Free & Low-Cost Legal Resources and Attorneys in Louisiana
    • General info on Louisiana laws, your rights, etc.: laws regarding prostitution, what to do if arrested, etc. etc.: General info on Louisiana laws, your rights, etc.

    So please add to these lists if you know of anything.

  • Upcoming Events

    We have lots of stuff coming up, so we made an event calendar.  Enjoy!

  • SAVE Act

    Have you heard of the SAVE (Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation) Act? Basically, now they’re going after ad sites like Backpage, Eros, etc. AND social networking sites under the guise of “saving the children” (they’re saying that “street gangs” use Backpage to “sell children” for sex). If this passes, we will be required to submit personal identification info not only to the sites we use for advertising, but to other sites that aren’t necessarily advertising sites, but are used by escorts for networking with clients, etc. And, as we saw earlier this year, the FBI can easily take over any damn website they please and access any and all info the company is saving on its servers (a few months ago, ad sites in California were seized by the FBI recently (indictment here) and it escalated from there with arrests, raids of the site owner’s home and prostitution charges (video)Official press release here.

Self Defense, NSWP, Working Girls – Update 10/14/2014

SWOP-NOLA Update 10/14/2014

  1. Self Defense Workshop for Providers Only!

  2. NSWP Rep

  3. Safe Sex Kits Yay!

  4. New Orleans Family Justice Center Tours

  5. Screening of Lizzie Borden’s Working Girls

  6. Donate to Funeral Expenses for Tjhisha Ball and Angela Mangum

  7. News & Important Stuff that’s Happening in the World of SexyJobs

  8. Upcoming Events:  TDOR and IDEVASW

  9. Meeting this Saturday

  10. Providers-Only Get-together


  1. Self Defense Workshop for Providers Only!

  2. The owner of NOLA Shaolin Do has offered to do a private self-defense workshop for us.  This will be completely FREEEEE!!! Woohoo!  But I need to give him an estimate of how many of us will be there, and we need to pick a date.  The best days for him are Mon/Wed/Fri before 5pm.  Please reply to this email ASAP with your preferred day/date if you’re interested.

  3. NSWP Rep

  4. NSWP is holding elections for sub-regional representatives.  Sex worker-led member organizations are allowed to vote for a representative for their sub-region.  The candidates for North America were Andrew Sorfleet (Triple-X Workers’ Solidarity Association of British Columbia, Canada): Nominated by Triple-X (Canada) and seconded byProviding Alternatives Counseling and Education Society (Canada), and Serpent Libertine (Sex Workers Outreach Project-Chicago, USA): Nominated by PONY (USA) and seconded by HOOK (USA).There hasn’t been a rep from the US in about 10 years.  We’re a member organization with voting rights in NSWP.  A couple of us know Serpent, who is/was the directer of SWOP-Chicago, a pretty successful SWOP chapter.  Our vote went to Serpent, because duh.  If anyone has an objection to that, let us know and we’ll review that decision.

  5. Safe Sex Kits Yay!

  6. We’ve acquired a bunch of safer sex kits (containing unlubricated condoms, non-latex gloves, instructions re: condom use w/toys, etc.) from Dykeadance.  We have some lube packets and SWOP printed materials and stickers and stuff left over from last year.  Anybody want to assemble these?  Anyone want to distribute them?  If you want some, they’re yours.

  7. New Orleans Family Justice Center Tours

  8. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so the New Orleans Family Justice Center is giving tours to orgs who serve survivors of domestic violence.  I guess we’re tangentially related to that…Here’s the email:

    The New Orleans Family Justice Center, an umbrella organization serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking would like to invite you to tour our office to learn more about our services and resources for LGBTQ survivors. We want to get the word out there that we offer completely free counseling, legal, and educational services to all people affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. As organizations and individuals in direct contact with LGBTQ survivors, you are a key party in getting people through our doors and to the help they need.  The tour will be held at our office at 701 Loyola on Friday, October 24th at 11:00 AM, directly after the New Orleans Sexual Assault Response Team meeting at 9:30, which all are also welcome to attend. There is ample parking outside the building.  The NOFJC Website  The NOLA SART Website

  9. Screening of Lizzie Borden’s Working Girls

  10. Jessica Callahan, the directer of PATOIS: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival contacted us to ask if we would be a community partner for the November 15th screening of Lizzie Borden’s Working Girls at the Zeitgeist.  We’re not necessarily endorsing the movie, but promoting a viewing of the film and encouraging discussion afterwards.  I told her we’re on board.  All it entails is that we help promote the event via social media, etc., and allow our name to be listed on all advertisements as a community partner.  She also said that we can be part of the planning of the event as much as we’d like, and that “if there are specific measures that you’d like to be taken in order to ensure that this event is a safe space, please don’t hesitate to talk to me about anything.”  Anyone have any input on this?

  11. Donate to Funeral Expenses for Tjhisha Ball and Angela Mangum

  12. If you have a few extra bucks right now, you might consider donating to the funeral expenses of Tjhisha Ball and Angelia Mangum, two teenage girls from Florida who were killed and left on the side of the road last month.  The local media has been really shitty about this, either ignoring their murders or focusing on their criminal records and the fact that at least one of them was working as an exotic dancer.

  13. News & Important Stuff that’s Happening in the World of Sex Work

  14. All kindsa stuff has been happening in the world of sex work–strippers winning multi-million dollar lawsuits against the clubs, Canadian pro-dommes threatening to “out” their politician clients if they support anti-sexwork laws, one of the W Hotels is being accused of allowing and/or encouraging providers to stay there while working (they report it like it’s a bad thing lol), cool comics about sex work, etc. etc. We are pretty good about posting relevant links to the Facebook page.  Check it out sometime.

  15. Upcoming Events:  TDOR and IDEVASW

  16. Transgender Day Of Remembrance is November 20th  There are events planned in a few cities, but nothing in NOLA yet (to my knowledge).  We’re reaching out to Louisiana Trans Advocates, WWAV, and BreakOut to see if they’re doing anything. and International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is December 17th.  Here’s a summary of what we did last here: IDEVASW-2013.  We need to start making plans for this!  Let us know if you’re interested in helping out.

  17. Meeting this Saturday

  18. Meeting this Saturday at 1pm. Contact us for location.

  19. Providers-Only Get-together

  20. We’ll be having a no-business, no-activism, no-structure get-together for providers the week before Thanksgiving.  If you want to help plan this, let us know.

SWOP-NOLA Meeting 8/28/14: What happened

Safer Sex Supplies from Dykeadence

SW-only Self-Defense Class

Submit Your Story for Inclusion in a Report of Human Rights Abuses Experienced by Sex Workers

Desiree Alliance Conference

Website and Facebook Page Access

Questionnaire on SW Working Conditions

Free Human Trafficking Online Course

Maggie Mcneill

Update on Healthcare Project

Safer Sex Supplies from Dykeadence

Last year, the organizers of Dykeadence donated their excess safer sex supplies to us for our December 17th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers event.  We’re going to apply for funds to buy their excess materials (and perhaps more) for the December 17th event this year.

SW-only Self-Defense Class

There was a free self defense course back in July that focused on “hands-on experience learning simple and effective techniques for self-defense.”  From the Facebook event page:

We want to avoid violent situations at almost any cost, but if it is necessary to defend yourself, you need to know how to quickly strike to incapacitate and attacker and break away. We’ll cover situations with both unarmed and armed attackers.  We’ll also learn techniques for de-escalating a situation, when it might be best to feign cooperation, to run away, or when it might be necessary to fight.

After the fact, a few people in the local SW community expressed interest in the course and wanted to know if it would be offered again soon.  We are currently assessing interest in a private, SW-only class.  If there are enough potential attendees, we’ll approach a local self-defense instructor, and depending on the fees, we may seek funding from national.

Submit Your Story for Inclusion in a Report of Human Rights Abuses Experienced by Sex Workers

(This deadline has apparently been extended, but send your submissions in ASAP)

From a Facebook post by Cris Sardina:

The Best Practices Policy Project (BPPP), Desiree Alliance, and SWOP NYC are calling on sex workers rights advocates and allies to join us in reporting the human rights abuses experienced by sex workers, people in the sex trades, people profiled as sex workers or impacted by anti-sex work policing and policies, and related communities.

The U.S. will soon be reviewed by the United Nations (U.N.) Human Rights Council on its human rights record in a process referred to as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). We are submitting a report to the U.N. and the U.N. needs to hear from you. Through this process, we create awareness before the international community, media outlets, other government officials, U.N. Human Rights Council members, and other stakeholders on the pressing issues facing the community.

This is an important tool for pressuring the government to make changes. To write this report, we need to hear from those who have directly experienced human rights violations and we are reaching out to folks until August 25th 2014. We hope to collect testimony and data from sex workers and related communities that we can include in our report. If there are specific instances of rights violations, you wish to share with us, we will incorporate these into the report. First-hand accounts of violations people have experienced are what the UN needs to hear most. Also know that these accounts can be anonymous in the report and that we will share a draft of the report with you so you can check that no identifying details are included.

If you are interested in participating, please email us at BPPP (bestpracticespolicyproject@gmail.com) or directly to one of our team including J.Kirby, Kat Thomas, Penelope Saunders, Darby Hickey, Cris Sardina and Kate D’Adamo. We are happy to help people and groups understand what the UPR is and how the process works, and we would value learning about your experience working to advocate for rights at the U.N. to increase our collective knowledge. We can also assist with drafting testimony and organizing data. We will draft the report and send it to you or your organization’s representative before submitting to ensure that we correctly documented your experiences.

Cristine Sardina BWS, MSJ
Desiree Alliance Co-director
director@desireealliance.org

Desiree Alliance Conference

We discussed the possibility of holding the 2015 Desiree Alliance Conference in New Orleans and who will play what roles in organizing it.  This group must be representative of sex workers in New Orleans and the overall population of NOLA (i.e., not dominated by middle class white cis female sexworkers).  Those interested in working on this should either discuss it on the (private) SWOP-NOLA google group, or contact each other directly.

Some of the events of the 2013 conference are linked here.

Website and Facebook Page Access

Whoever wants admin/posting privileges to the website and/or the Facebook page needs to speak up so that we can get them set up to do that.

Questionnaire on SW Working Conditions

from a SWOP-NOLA member:

A sex worker comrade from Australia I met recently is making a resource zine detailing working conditions across the world. Attached is a questionnaire for people to use to describe their experiences, and the results will be used to guide people wherever they are working. Her email address is included if you have any further questions. Hope some of us get a chance to fill it out!

I’ll post a link to this if/when I get permission to do so. Until then, if you’re interested in filling this out, contact us at swop.nola@gmail.com.

Free Human Trafficking Online Course

Here’s your chance to see firsthand what they’re teaching well-intentioned students about the sex industry!  I can’t attest to the accuracy/inaccuracy of this course.

This was posted in the FB Group Whorephobia and Transphobia: End the Hate Now! by Bella Robinson:

Coursera is FREE online education so anyone can take this class!  I recommend that anyone who has the time to take this class do so. I am not computer savvy, but withing a few hours, I could see that this wasn’t about human trafficking, and that it was focused on sex trafficking; thus conflating sex work with trafficking, We need to have a good discussion, and call them out on all the incorrect data. Rarely are we given the opportunity to have our voices heard. I think that our community needs to involved in this discussion.  Ohio State University – Human Trafficking Course

Maggie Mcneill

Author/blogger Maggie Mcneill is in town.  If you’d like to meet with her or have her speak at an event, you can contact her through her blog/website or through Twitter.

Update on Healthcare Project

Lots of stuff going on with this!  A more detailed update on this project is coming soon, but for now, here are some of the things that are in the works:

  • Survey (both online and paper) to be distributed to local SWs, which will lead to, among other things:
  • Dr/Clinic reviews compiled into a searchable database
  • “Warmline” that SWs can call for info on healthcare resources
  • Possible partnerships with other local orgs

Other

According to one of our members, St. Thomas Health Clinic is awesome and affordable.
Daughters of Charity, however, just “doesn’t do” birth control, despite the fact that they receive state funding. 

Oh, and BTW:

Sex Workers Outreach Project

Free Self-Defense workshop tomorrow, other FREE stuff

 

Do you like free stuff??  We do.  Here’s some pretty cool free stuff:

 

FREE Self-Defense Workshop

From the Facebook event page:

“Get hands-on experience learning simple and effective techniques for self-defense. We want to avoid violent situations at almost any cost, but if it is necessary to defend yourself, you need to know how to quickly strike to incapacitate and attacker and break away. We’ll cover situations with both unarmed and armed attackers.  We’ll also learn techniques for de-escalating a situation, when it might be best to feign cooperation, to run away, or when it might be necessary to fight.  Wear clothes you can move and sweat in!  You’ll get to try the techniques full-strength on a padded target and drill different attack scenarios with a partner.”

Anonymity and Privacy for Sex Workers

FREE (needle-free, appointment-free, and cost-free!) HIV Testing

TAKE CHARGE Program for FREE Family Planning / Birth Control

  • Got a vagina?  Having piv sex?  Still fertile? If you answered “yes” to these questions, you should know that the state of Louisiana will give you FREE birth control and 4 free gyn visits a year.  It’s called the TAKE CHARGE program, and you should check it out to see if you qualify.  It’s super-easy to apply and totally worth it because…yeah, it’s free.

Kitestring FREE text check-in service

  • Another cool free thing someone just reminded me about: Kitestring, a simple, anonymous, FREE check-in service.  It wasn’t developed specifically for providers, but it sounds like it might as well have been–it could be really useful for appointments with clients:  Basically, the service will notify whatever emergency contacts you list if you do not check-in via text when the appointment’s over.  It’s not an app, just a free service, so you can use it with a cheap burn phone.

From the website:

Going out?
Whether you’re meeting up with a stranger or just taking a midnight stroll, give Kitestring a heads up.
Check in via SMS
Kitestring checks up on you with a simple text message. Reply to the message to check in.
Stay connected
If you don’t check in, Kitestring sends your emergency contacts a personalized alert message.
Nothing to download
And you don’t even need a smartphone. Get started below—it’s free.” https://www.kitestring.io/

Publish some research for free?

  • Not really free stuff, but relevant to anyone who might be researching something related to sex work: NSWP‘s annual publication Research for Sex Work is seeking contributions for its 14th edition, themed ‘Sex work is work’.From the call for contributions:

“This theme reflects one of NSWP’s core values: the acceptance of sex work as legitimate work. This value reflects the importance of labour rights as an important step in upholding the human rights of sex workers as individuals and as members of the workforce.  Research for Sex Work is an international journal that incorporates research results, experiences and reports on the subject of sex work within a human rights framework. We welcome three writing formats: research results, project or programme descriptions, and think pieces. The journal aims to cover all geographical regions, and we do give priority to submissions from sex worker individuals and groups. Authors who should consider contributing are sex worker groups, support organisations, HIV prevention projects, NGOs, universities and research institutions. Submissions must be in English, and the text will be edited and peer reviewed before being published. The maximum length for an abstract is 300 words, with articles limited to 1200. To submit an article or ask questions, write to our editor Heather at R4SW.Editor@nswp.org Abstracts are due 31 July 2014 23:59 GMT Finished articles will be due 26th of August. Authors will need to be accessible by email to answer questions and make corrections throughout September and October.”

Have a good weekend!!

End-of-June Update

Quick update:

  • The NOLA Pride parade was this weekend, and we were there to represent. This is one of 4 events (International Sex Workers’ Rights Day in March, Transgender Day of Remembrance in November, and International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in December are the others) we’re required to participate in each year in order to keep the chapter going.  This one was pretty easy and fun, other than the fact that some of us (ok fine, I’m referring to myself) drank like 20 cheap beers and paid for it dearly the next day.
  • Please help us add to our list of Sex Worker – Friendly Healthcare Providers & Counselors in New Orleans (and hell,if you wanna, you can include area, BR, Lafayette, Houma, and anywhere close-ish, since a lot of us live or work in those places as well).
  • One of these days we’ll have a list of Sex Worker – Friendly Legal Resources (lawyers, law clinics, legal-ish services like accountants/CPAs, etc.) but that day is obviously not today.  However, if you want this to happen soonish, you’re welcome to add contact info for sex worker-friendly resources in the comment section, or you can take over this project entirely.  Contact us for info.
  • We have a couple of new providers-only projects (alerts and info exchange-type-things) going right now.  If you are working in the biz right now and you’d like more info on this, contact us.
  • We received this email recently:

    Hello!
    My name is Katie Landry, I am the owner of a small historic walking tour company here in New Orleans, Ella Tours LLC. I am fully licensed and deeply passionate about the true stories of the men and women of New Orleans.
    My most popular tour is a Madam Tour! But it’s not just about Madam’s, brothels and sex work. We talk about economic issues, race issues, and equality issues. It is the walking tour where history and humanity collide! It is fantastic! 🙂  
    I would like to offer my walking tour as a event for your group, because I honestly would love your guys insight and feedback.
    No charge, just tip based. That way people could tip according to their own satisfaction with the tour, and I would get practice and exposure.
    I run the tour on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm. If this sounds like an event your group would enjoy, we could pick a date and reserve that night for just your group. Maximum number of people is 26.
    Here is my contact information:
    Cell – 504-606-6952
    Email – ellatoursnola@gmail.com

    I think it’s cool that she’s asking for feedback, and if this sounds like something you’re into, go for it.

Have a great week!