Years ago I rented a lovely house. It was the only way I could bribe myself to move into the city.
The owners were on foreign service. It was full of art and antiques. I do not consider things of beauty like that to be property anyone can truly own, so I felt myself their custodian and took at least as great care of them as the owners did.
The next door neighbour took against me and went to great lengths to try and persuade the owners to evict me. I do not blame her. I am not noisy or inconsiderate. I never bring clients to my home, I never bring ANYONE to my home if I can avoid it. But I do not know how to establish cordial relationships with neighbours and tend to just ignore them, and due to a family crisis (of all the unlikely thing in my life, I think it was only one ever, I am usually estranged from them all with cause) some very weird looking people showed up at my door. I can understand why she was worried, but I paid my rent before the due date, was on a year’s lease and I took far more care of the property than anyone else ever would have, perhaps even to a fault.
The lettings agent was 100% on my side, he even wanted to go to bat to persuade them to sign a second year’s lease. He would not LET me steam clean the light living room carpet as I felt I should. I left when the lease was up, it was their treasured home, they were hundreds of miles away and if they did not want me there I did not want to upset them by being there a moment longer than I had to.
In the legislation they are demanding Ruhama want the following amendment to Section 11 (c) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993:
being the lessor or landlord of any premises or the agent of such lessor or landlord, lets such premises or any part thereof with the knowledge or was reckless that such premises or some part thereof are or is to be used as a brothel, or is wilfully a party to the continued use of such premises or any part thereof as a brothel.
This would mean that, in the situation above, all the neighbour had to do was tell the owners, or the agent that I was a sex worker for them to be liable to serious criminal charges unless they summarily evicted me, out on the street, with nowhere to go, a lot of personal property and special housing needs (which are now acknowledged and documented) that placed hostel, or similar, accommodation out of the question, even for a couple of days.
On 15 July 2013, convicted Pimp and Ruhama puppet Justine Reilly even gloated to the press that women would:
be thrown out on the streets where they could get support.
“When somebody is so destitute and so low they need direction.
“You need to teach these women how to lead a normal life, how to pay their bills, pay their rent.
Says it all really…strangely Reilly has not been encouraged to say anything in the public eye since, though she continues to be touted around “Turn Off the Red Light” events from which all opposition is excluded.
Note to Ruhama:
If you had anything worthwhile or useful to offer you would not have to make people desperate or destitute to force them to engage with you, they would be queuing up.
A lot of women want to be able to leave sex work for a lot of reasons, but never, it seems, quite as badly as they want to avoid you.
Trends are never arbitrary. A lot of people do not keep taking the same action without very good reason, and a lot of sex workers have been avoiding Ruhama for a very long time, with the result that the only “survivors” they could trot out are a pimp, a fraud and a recovering addict who is totally dependent upon them.
Let me tell you why I could not engage with Ruhama, even if the only option remaining to me was suicide. A lot of situations that are still tolerable and hold some hope for most people are too excruciatingly painful for me to be able to live through and absolutely without hope. That is a combination of autism and all the other wonderful factors that ensured I never had a ghost of a chance at life.
I have never met anyone who actively likes being told lies, but for me lies, even quite small ones, are a severe traumatic trigger. I cannot sit and listen to deliberate lies, I start to melt down, with very little control left to play with, that is why I usually leave as fast as I can.
Ruhama tell lies, not “matters of different opinion” but hard core, blatant, factual, lies, all the time and I know it, often from first hand, personal experience. Whether I can prove those lies or not makes no difference to the impact they have on me.
How could I possibly engage with anyone on those terms?
To engage with Ruhama you have to pretend Rachel Moran was really a sex worker and is a fount of wisdom – I spent two years looking at the empty space where she pretends she stood. I cannot erase that. I know how sly vicious, spiteful and manipulative she is, I cannot erase that.
I cannot erase the fact that her “opinions” are irrevocably flawed and illogical. PR constructs, and not even good ones, based on invalid and irrelevant premise.
I cannot erase my ability to see through any of the other frauds being trotted out as “survivor leaders”. They give themselves away. They get the material facts and logistics wrong in ways no sex worker ever would. When Rachel Moran explained to the Justice Committee in Stormont that she knelt on the ground in a car park to give oral sex, almost any woman who ever sold sex on the streets any where in the world knew she was a fraud, while no-one else noticed at all.
Bluntly, you will kneel on tarmacadam once! And however masochistic you are, who could afford so many stockings?
Many other things she says are simple bullshit, easily checked, nobody bothers. The effect is of being “gaslighted” constantly. That is serious mental and emotional abuse, a recognised form of mental torture.
How healthy, exactly, is it to condition vulnerable people to accept and endorse mental and emotional abuse on that scale? Combined with the lies that have always been part and parcel of Ruhama from the day the imposed themselves it is a near identical pattern to pedophile grooming.
Literally the “ONLY” difference is that there is probably (even that is not certain) no sex in the equation. Are we saying now that penetration is the only part of pedophillia or rape that harms the victim?
Is it “anything goes as long as you do not fuck her” now?
Raping someones mind, heart and life for years is much worse than just raping her vagina or even her anus for a short time.
What kind of shape do you think being coerced into dependence on a situation like that is going to leave anyone in? If there is a difference between that and cult conditioning I certainly cannot spot it.
Who is going to “deprogram” all the “survivors” after they have been forcibly rescued?
Because they are certainly not going to be able to function normally or lead healthy fulfilling lives in that state.
I cannot live with enabling harm to others. Ruhama have already, and will continue to aspire, to do serious mental, emotional and material damage to sex workers. I literally could not live with endorsing them through engagement, for selfish reasons even with my life on the line.
…and it isn’t just the lies and the fake survivors…
In less than 10 minutes recently Sarah Benson managed to indirectly exhort faith and praise for at least two people I know need to be locked away so they do no more harm. No, you can’t go locking people away on my say so, but equally you cannot expect me to place faith in them or stand by and let anyone else be lead like a lamb to the slaughter. If I did I would be as bad as they are.
Sex workers are not the dumb animals we are supposed to be. Many of us have been around the block a time or two and it is the covert abuse and corruption we are fully aware of that leaves us not choice, on one level or another, but reject the system and sell sex. I could outline hundreds of very real circumstances that you automatically assume are taken care of by the NGO sector or Social Services when, unless those involved are independently rich, sex work and self funding is far and ahead the best option.
That is reality…and if you know it you cannot sacrifice yourself and your kids to it for a round of applause from the self righteous.
But if you are blind, or deep enough in denial to get past all of that, what do Ruhama really have to offer you?
All a woman needs to get out of sex work is a sufficient income to meet her needs.
Ruhama offer literally years of half baked “personal development courses”, trips to the zoo, hostel accommodation, social housing and welfare followed by CE schemes – total dependence on them to justify their existence and funding because if one of their few “survivors” should become independent god knows how they will replace her..
Through all these years, in real terms, you will probably have to go on selling sex some of the time anyway to make ends meet (if Ruhama get their way in a far harder, more dangerous market dominated by organised crime using “end demand” legislation to leverage a monopoly), literally subsidising Ruhama’s need for your dependence.
…and by the way, if you have kids you will also be putting them through hell…AND YOU STILL WILL NOT BE OUT OF SEX WORK.
In the late 90s I fought for sex workers to be offered real educational and vocational options that would let them leave sex work, FOR REAL, and still have REAL LIVES.
The enemy I was fighting, every step of the way, was Ruhama.
Ruhama have no interest in helping anyone out of sex work into a real, free, fulfilling life, they just want to force enough women to be dependent upon them to justify their continued funding and influence, not as equal human beings, but as glorified rescue dogs to move around like counters on the boards of their ambition.