Tag Archives: Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction

Accomplishments in 2014

What we accomplished in 2014

  1. Held official meetings about once monthly.
  2. Held several unofficial, often impromptu meetings throughout the year.
  3. Offered our input via our responses to an Amnesty International-distributed questionnaire about experiences of sex workers. This questionnaire was part of an attempt by Amnesty International to listen to sex workers themselves before making an official decision regarding their position on the decriminalization of sex work.
  4. Sponsored a FREE film screening for International Sex Workers Rights Day 2014
  5. Participated in the NOLA Pride Parade (see June update)
  6. Started on list of Legal resources for sex workers
  7. Added to the existing list of Sex Worker-friendly healthcare providers/counselors
  8. Provided a FREE Sex-workers-only self-defense workshop at NOLA Shaolin-Do
  9. Co-sponsored (with Patois New Orleans International Human Rights Film Fest) screening of Lizzie Borden’s “Working Girls” at the Zeitgeist
  10. Supported (via donation, promotion, and attendance) BreakOut’s TDOR Kiki for a Cause – Benefit Show for BreakOut! at Lucky Pierre’s
  11. Held IDEVASW (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers) 2014 event in NOLA. Marched through French Quarter, engaged with the public, distributed ~600 promo packs of safer sex materials, instructions for use, and SWOP-NOLA promo flyers
  12. Updated and reorganized general info related to the safety of sex workers.
  13. Maintained various info and resources about safety issues specific to NOLA and the places local sex workers work, made that info available to verified sex workers. Facilitated exchange of safety info among local sex workers.
  14. Overdose prevention (can’t get too specific with this, but look up “opioid overdose prevention”): distributed supplies and instructions
  15. Helped local sex workers (at their request) transition from criminalized to non-criminalized form of sex work
  16. Social support of local sex workers
  17. Public outreach through flyering, social media, etc.
  18. Recruitment of local sex workers through word-of-mouth
  19. Educated local sex workers about lesser-known aspects of Louisiana law as it relates to sex workers.
  20. Assisted local sex worker in choosing and enrolling in inpatient rehab program.
  21. Directed local current and former sex workers seeking help we don’t/can’t provide to other organizations or programs that could provide the help they needed.
  22. Whorecast!
  23. Drove over and hand-delivered condoms and lube to sex workers taking last-minute appointments 😉

Sex Worker-Friendly Healthcare Resources Survey




Are you a Sex Worker-friendly healthcare provider or counselor? We want to hear from you!

If you’re having trouble with the survey on this page, you can also fill it out here: SWOP-NOLA Sex Worker-Friendly Healthcare Resources

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.


Thursday, April 17 meeting notes

Feel free to add anything I forgot (just post in the comments section).

This is an abbreviated version of a more detailed record available to members of the SWOP-NOLA Google Group.  That version contains some sensitive information (email addresses, first names, etc.).  The SWOP-NOLA Google Group contains detailed updates including specific meeting locations, information on current projects, etc.  If you’d like to access the group, please request membership here.

  1. NSWP

  2. Amnesty International

  3. Smoke and Apple Films Documentary

  4. Big Ol’ Sex-Worker-Friendly Healthcare Resources Project

  5. Legal Resources

  6. Monica Jones

  1. NSWP

    I applied for membership to NSWP, we were approved, and as of April 17th 2014, we are full members.  Nifty pdf saying so here:  CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP – Global Network of Sex Work Projects

  2. Amnesty International

    Decriminalization of sex work was a topic at Amnesty International’s 2014 Human Rights Conference a few days ago.  In a document they sent out (which is no longer available for distribution), they said:

    “While the organization does not currently have a policy on sex work, it decided to initiate this consultation after considering evidence which suggests that the criminalisation of sex work leads to social marginalisation and an increased risk of human rights abuses against sex workers. The evidence also suggests that decriminalisation could be the best means to protect the rights of sex workers and to ensure that individuals involved in sex work receive adequate medical care, legal assistance, and police protection.”

    They are requesting that sex workers fill out a questionnaire/survey so that they can better understand our experience in this type of work and our priorities regarding sex workers’ rights.  However, in order for the answers to be useful, and in order to assure it doesn’t fall into the hands of prohibitionist groups, they’ve asked that we only distribute the survey to absolutely, positively, for-real sex workers.  Contact us at swop.nola@gmail.com if you’re interested in submitting your responses.

  3. Smoke and Apple Films Documentary

    Katie Green of Smoke and Apple Films contacted us requesting participants for a documentary they’re making.  They intend to portray sex work in a positive light.  If I’m understanding her correctly, they’re getting around the whole anonymity thing by making it animated (with audio from the interviews).  We talked on the phone and she seemed legit, so I asked her to write up a brief informative pitch for y’all, and I told her that anyone who was interested in participating would contact her.  Here it is:  Call for Interviewees for a documentary film: The Sex Workers Project (working title)

  4. Big ol’ healthcare project

    • The easiest way for you to help with this project is to either:
      1. Share a link to our SWOP-NOLA Sex Worker-Friendly Healthcare Resources Survey ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZP7CLH ) on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or in a post on your website or blog, or
      2. Send the link ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZP7CLH ) to any healthcare professionals or resources you know who might be interested in participating (being listed in our directory of Sex Wroker-Friendly Healthcare Resources)

    • One of our members, who has access to the world of everything medical (well, way more than most of us do), has the opportunity to work with the director of community health at Tulane in June.  We talked about the possibility of her going to clinics on a sort of educational crusade re: how to be nonjudgmental, respectful of sex workers, understanding of some of our concerns, etc.
    • Another member has experience doing stuff like this and creating materials.  She has contacts at Breakout! and WWAV and other orgs that may want to collaborate, and she may have access to materials that might be helpful/useful.
    • Everyone interested in this should familiarize themselves with the PERSIST Health Project in NY, which is basically what I envisioned this being (sooner or later) in like 2012 when I first realized there was a need for it.  If you’d like to be put in contact with the members working on this project, contact us.
    • Z suggested that we pin down what we’re looking for from this project, etc. because that might help guide us in the development of it.
    • Here’s mine:  I’ve been a full-service sex worker for a few years.   A couple years back, I noticed that, at least in online spaces for local clients and escorts/fbsm providers, there’s a general naivete and lack of knowledge (re: medical stuff like safe sex, signs and symptoms–or lack thereof–of STIs, myths about how HIV and other STIs are spread, etc.,) and a general distrust of healthcare providers.  Some clients took advantage of providers’ lack of knowledge by convincing them to engage in high-risk behavior.

      So, I wanted to have a list of healthcare providers with whom full-service sex workers could speak frankly and visit for medical concerns without the fear of being sold out to the cops, judged, lectured, shamed, etc.  Later I thought about how it would be cool to have a counselor who wouldn’t blame all my problems on my work.  And then I saw Louisiana Trans Advocates’ list of medical resources.  Once we started working on the list of sex worker-friendly healthcare providers, and we realized that most people we contacted had no idea what “harm reduction” or “sex worker” or even “non judgemental” meant, we realized that this was a beast and we’d have to inform/educate/etc. before we expected healthcare providers to decide whether they were cool with treating us without judgement.  Then I met Sarah from PERSIST last year and I was like, holy hell, that’s exactly what we need!

      The more people who have gotten involved, the more complicated this project has become, which is actually good–this project seemed simple at first, but there’s a ton of shit I was overloooking.  Then we lost some people, and others no longer had the time/energy (everyone assures me this is normal with SW-led orgs, but it still sucks).  Then a good friend of mine (full-service sw) in NY had a terrible experience a few months ago with a doctor, and when she told me the story of the whole ordeal and how she was treated, this project became a priority in my mind again.  So here we are.

    • Here’s the list we have so far. Feel free to add to it! All of you should be able to edit it. If you can’t, let me know. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhkPsuOfq6wDdDZYd3RwOXprZ3ZiUWZYRWJZYXVaWnc&usp=sharing 

      They have all been sent this info flyer:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxkPsuOfq6wDNTZGcWU4UzBtdlU/edit?usp=sharing

  5. Legal Resources

    • G suggested we do a similar project for legal resources (specifically, a directory of sex-worker-friendly attorneys and other law-ish stuff.).  I wanted this to exist, but I only know of like one lawyer who is sw-friendly. This would be awesome, and according to G it’s entirely possible, as she has some connections she can talk to about it.
    • Also, Z will contact people he knows at Resurrection After Exoneration (I think?), which looks pretty badass.
  6. Monica Jones

    What can we do for Monica? Fundraising?  Publicity?  On the individual level, we can each donate to SWOP-PHOENIX because (if I understand correctly), they’re paying her legal fees, etc.  Z will print out flyers and hand them out during the anti-Easter Easter Parade (sorry, I forgot what it’s called). 

    More about Monica Jones:

Judgment Free Health Care Providers

Judgment Free Health Care Providers

Welcome to the Judgment Free Health Care Directory!

People within the LGBTQI and alternative sexuality and relationship communities face great difficulty accessing affordable, comprehensive health care. Systemic discrimination and lack of basic cultural competency prevents many people from accessing medically necessary and appropriate health care and social services.

In an attempt to ensure access to safe, respectful and non-discriminatory health care for the LGBTQI and Sex-Positive communities (and the diverse sub-communities within them), the Judgment Free Health Care Provider Directory is a compiled listing of health care providers willing and able to provide quality, culturally competent care to gender and sexual minorities. Unlike existing lists serving the various communities separately, this list allows health care professionals to designate areas of gender and sexuality experience and competence so that patients can select the providers that meet their individual needs!

Advanced Search feature is pretty awesome.


Meeting 10/6/13 – What happened (and more!)

Here’s what we covered in the meeting today. I’m posting a shortened, less-specific (minus personal info and details, etc.) version of this to the website and sending it out to the main email list. There is a more detailed version available on the Google Group. If you have attended at least one meeting or spoken to us one-on-one, you may request access to the Google Group by sending an email to swop.nola@gmail.com.

  1. December 17th – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

  2. Reviving the Super-Awesome-Fun-SexWorker-Themed-Fundraiser-Party Idea??!!??!

  3. Shreveport SlutWalk Oct 12

  4. 2013 Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference

  5. WWAV

  6. SWOP-USA Constitution draft

  7. Tulane Student creating LGBTQIA Resource Guide

  8. BreakOUT!

  9. re: Merch, logos, etc.

  10. New meeting space

  11. Google Group:

  12. Next Meeting: October 24th (3rd Thursday) at 6pm.

  1. December 17th – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

    • We brainstormed plans re: what we’re going to do for December 17th (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers) by November 1 because Slixa.com will contribute funds for whatever event we put on, as long as we submit our plans by November 1st.
    • This is what we did last year: 2012 – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers – SWOP-NOLA
    • Some of the ideas we came up with:
      • Have it outside so that it’s more visible and open to the public and whoever’s curious. Probably Washington Square Park b/c it’s centrally located and it’s next to a bunch of bars and coffee shops we can hide in if the weather gets bad.
      • Potluck!
      • Lots of red umbrellas? We could find them cheap online or just spraypaint a bunch of used ones red
      • Costumes? I f-ing love costumes, yall. Wear animal prints/fake fur stuff? Wear red?
      • Info table w/ educational/informative materials (What’s a Sex Worker, How to be an Ally, How to Date a Sex Worker, etc.)

        Actually, you can just refer to the list I posted on the list of tabling materials from the 8/22/13 meeting (scroll down).
      • Sex Worker-themed art, etc. for sale? We could put out a call for submissions/donations of pieces.
      • Performances? Music?
      • We could contact Dynamo, the new independent, female-run, female-friendly sex toy boutique in NOLA to see if they’d like to help out or participate in any capacity (BTW: it turns out they ARE that same pop-up sex shop some of us have seen, and they do not yet have a brick and mortar store, so that solves the mystery).
      • Sex workers are individuals, and some of us are artists, crafters, writers, musicians, etc. Maybe we should bring some of our stuff along so that people can see that? It’s probably not ok to set up a formal sale table or whatever, but if someone just so happens to want to buy something on the spot, they could make a donation to SWOP-NOLA…
      • Party favors? Sexy kits! (I’m totally stealing this idea from an Endless Gaycation event from last year, but I contacted her and she said I could totally steal it. She had little bags containing condoms, poly gloves, maybe other things, and a little info sheet on why to use a glove, how to make a condom into a dental dam, how to use a condom, and safety with dildos. I figure we could do something like this and throw in info on SWOP. People love free shit, and they’re more likely to take a cute bag of sex supplies that just so happens to contain a flyer than they are to take a flyer on its own.)
      • While the reason we observe December 17th is a somber one, some of us wonder if there’s any harm in making the event fun, even while being respectful to those we’ve lost. One of our primary goals is to challenge and ultimately eradicate the stigma attached to sex work (since that stigma contributes to a culture that condones violence against us), right? And the first step to doing that is to educate the public. And people are more willing to approach us if we seem open and…well, fun. So? If anyone thinks this is inappropriate, let’s discuss it further.

    • If any of those ideas end up getting jettisoned for December 17th, there’s always International Sex Workers’ Rights Day on March 3rd. Here’s what we did last year for that:
      International Sex Workers’ Rights Day in New Orleans: 2pm Sunday, March 3rd 2013 at Washington Square Park!
      and the Facebook Event page: Facebook event: International Sex Workers’ Rights Day in NOLA 2013
      It was a lot of fun and we ended up with some really awesome new members that day 🙂

  2. Reviving the Super-Awesome-Fun-SexWorker-Themed-Fundraiser-Party Idea??!!??!

    This is something a few of us were brainstorming last year, but it never came to fruition because people get busy and people leave town and people have daily bs to deal with. BUT it’s something worth thinking about again, if you’re so inclined. Here’s a link to the post about it in the Google Group: Sex-work Themed Fundraiser Party OMGGG!!!!!!

  3. Shreveport Slut Walk

    Shreveport Slut Walk is October 12th, this Saturday!

    From their Facebook page: “Our vision is for a community party that would not only allow local survivors of sexual assault but also those who champion equality to celebrate, increase awareness, and create an environment for dialogue between all gender expressions and orientations, all walks of life, levels of employment and education, all races, ages, abilities, and backgrounds, and from throughout our great community. This would not so much be a “walk” as a non-mobile event inspired by the Slut Walk movement with art displays, musical and theatrical components, and easy access to information from support and empowerment organizations. Want to get involved? slutwalksbc@gmail.com “

    Check out their profile pic, especially the 4th line down.

    So it looks like it’s less of a march and more of a party. If you’re in or around Shreveport, you should go. Facebook event page: Sheveport Slut Walk on Oct 12 at MediaStar. If not, show them some support on their facebook page.

  4. 2013 Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference

    The 2013 Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference is being held in NOLA on December 12th and 13th at the HYATT REGENCY NEW ORLEANS, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113. Event Price: $60 via Check, $63 via paypal; scholarships available. You can sign up here.

  5. WWAV

    If you haven’t checked out Women With a Vision yet, you should, because they’re awesome.

  6. SWOP-USA Constitution draft

    We have until Nov 1 to give feedback on the SWOP-USA Constitution draft. They’ve set up a specific website for us to review it and give feedback: swopusaconstitution.wordpress.com

  7. Tulane Student creating LGBTQIA Resource Guide

    A student at Tulane is compiling a comprehensive resource guide for LGBTQIA services in the city:

    “My plan is to spend this current semester compiling the resource guide, and to spend the spring developing it into a website. By May of 2014, I hope to launch a website that would host user-friendly information on all of the organizations, hospitals, clinics and shelters that offer resources for LGBTQIA folks….I am writing to you now, at the very beginning of this project, to ask for your input. What resources would be helpful to you/your organization? What kinds of things would make a website like this most useful to you? Do you think a website like this would be useful to your member base?”

    If you have input, please email us and we’ll pass it along to her, or we’ll give you her email so you can contact her directly.

  8. BreakOUT!

    Wes Ware from BreakOUT! (youthbreakout.org “fighting the criminalization of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans, LA”) left this comment on our post from the 9/19/13 meeting:
    I wanted to let you all know that we are members of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects, which responds to LGBTQ violence nationally- whether it be hate violence or state violence. They routinely include sex worker violence in their reports, alerts, etc. They are good people to know or just generally be aware of, should their resources ever be helpful to you all. BreakOUT! tends to respond to transgender violence in New Orleans and the surrounding areas, too- many of whom are in the sex trade or are assumed to be in the sex trade. So keep us in the loop and of course, we’ll do the same. We’re happy to partner in the unfortunate event that a collective response is needed to an act of violence here locally.

  9. re: Merch, logos, etc.

    So, in addition to T-shirts/buttons/patches/etc., I was thinking…why not underpants?

    Slutwalk NOLA did it last year:
    Panties from 2013 Slutwalk New Orleans
    Slutwalk NOLA Panties – Front – “I decide.”

    Slutwalk NOLA panties - back
    Back – “Slutwalk NOLA – Victims of Assault are Never at Fault”

    St. James Infirmary were selling some for a while as well:

    St. James Infirmary panties
    Front – “Sex Workers’ Rights are Human Rights!”
    St James Infirmary Panties - back
    “St. James Infirmary Saved My Ass”

    Who DOESN’T like underpants with cool messages?!??! Remember those WWJD underpants from back in the day? No? Well, I’m old. But they were all the rage because LOL. So. SWOP-NOLA underpants?!? I bet we could talk to SlutWalk-NOLA and see where they got theirs done…

  10. New meeting space:

    Still need to discuss the particulars with the owner, but it’s an awesome space downtown.

  11. Google Group:

    If you have access to the Google group, talk to each other already (about stuff you’ve expressed interest in working on together)!! If you want access, contact us at swop.nola@gmail.com or go here (SWOP-NOLA Google Group.

  12. And those of you who are artistically talented (or untalented!), let’s work on designs/logos/cool visual stuff!

  13. Next Meeting: October 24th (3rd Thursday) at 6pm.

Questions? Suggestions? Comment below.