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What should you do once you have become a victim of a crime?
This article was published on The duo would like to open a drop-in center where women can find refuge and safety. Planted on the stoop is a young woman with stringy blonde hair, wearing sunglasses to cloak an already-dark night. Callahan, small and dainty under a canopy of bangs hedging her forehead, turns to her best friend, Kristen DiAngelo.
They exchange a look. These onetime sex workers know a member of the tribe when they see her. Along with a platoon of like-minded allies, SWOP Sacramento has attempted the first scholarly survey of the homegrown sex-worker population. The findings Sacramento sex members alarming rates of violence, medical neglect and hopelessness. Across the street from a chapel is a dingy motel where the transgender workers congregate.
Fifteen blocks south is the pitch-black mouth to a mobile-home park where underage girls are trafficked, DiAngelo says. Busier still, since federal authorities raided an online escort operation last summer. Authorities say the San Francisco-based website, which primarily served California and Nevada, facilitated prostitution and had to fall.
Sex workers say the site provided a meager safeguard against predators, pimps and cops. When it disappeared, the most at-risk workers—those of limited means and greatest need—were displaced to the streets. But you take that risk because you have to. That desperation is what brings DiAngelo and Callahan out night after night. Crouching down to eye level, DiAngelo invites the woman on the stoop.
Down the street, a female worker slides into the passenger side of a pickup truck.
It drives off. Moments later, the stoop is empty, too. But a year ago, the young mother and former sex worker was operating independently. She was on the road to San Jose, where the plan was to set up in a motel room around midnight and earn some money. Unlike other escort-friendly sites with broader geographic profiles, myRedBook allowed users to access safety information and post certain for free.
Organizations dedicated to helping victims
Monroe says she had a good rating on the site and only worked with clients who were equally well reviewed. Workers could also earn enough money through the site to hold down apartments and cars, keep their pimps at bay—or even operate without them, which is rarer on the streets, local detectives say. What are you doing? Pulling us into back alleys, all types of stuff. DiAngelo says she interviewed four sex workers who fled the skyrocketing hostility in Oakland in search of safer trespass in Sacramento.
Perverted market principles followed the migration. As the local street supply increased, demand decreased.
That inflamed Sacramento sex members transient workforce to accept bigger risks for less money, forsaking condoms and other precautions just so they could make it to another day. Federal and local law enforcement officials dispute that any diaspora from the net to the streets is occurring. Lanoce, 41, struck a plea, the details of which have been sealed by the U. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prosecutors for the DOJ ignored multiple requests for comment, as did attorneys for Omuro and Lanoce. Seated by the window of a nearly empty fast-food restaurant, a woman scans the parking lot coming through the skin of her reflection.
This sex worker was somewhere out there, talking sweet and hiking up the bloom of her pink dress for a ratty billfold or two. She smells of that work now, and looks worn from a life of it. The man who did it was her first client. He assaulted her, left and that was that.
The second rape, that was different. She starts to talk about the knife he used, but the memory gets the best of her. The whites of her eyes sprout red veins as she turns her face and sobs. DiAngelo reaches across the table and tells the woman to say no more. She and Callahan know how these stories end.
Since the beginning of this year, DiAngelo and Callahan have conducted emotional interviews like this one. Mothers selling themselves at the end of the month to feed their .
Girls who took their first tricks at the age of Women, young and old, who turned to the needle to dull the horrors of the trade—and now sell their bodies to feed that addiction. Of the 44 sex workers interviewed, a staggering 59 percent say they had been raped at least once. Fifty-five percent report getting beaten at least once, while 27 percent say the abuse occurred at the hands of law enforcement. Behind these statistics lie stories of chilling depravity. Multiple workers, interviewed separately, told DiAngelo similar s of a man in a white pickup truck who drove them to a home in Folsom, held them prisoner for days, assaulted them, poured vinegar in their orifices to conceal his abuse and dumped Sacramento sex members near Folsom Lake with threats of death if they reported him.
In fact, though 55 percent of survey participants said they would report a crime to law enforcement, none of them actually had. DiAngelo interviewed one woman with healed gunshot wounds she sustained during an attack, and another whose attacker slit her mouth from its corner to her ear. Neither woman turned to police, reasoning that they were still alive.
He says authorities only learn a sex worker has been victimized if someone else comes forward. The detective would argue that he does, and that law enforcement as a whole has gotten better at determining when someone needs help instead of handcuffs.
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On a stormy August night inshe ducked into an old cardroom on J and 21st streets to play Ms. Pac-Man and dry off. A heavyset man crowded the blinking screen and offered her a ride home. DiAngelo accepted.
Instead, the year-old drove to a shabby neighborhood off north C and 16th streets and invited DiAngelo inside while he got something. DiAngelo had called it quits for the night, but entertained the notion that this could be a potential client. The discussion never got that far. Once inside, the man locked the door and placed a standing fan in front of it.
He then produced a badge and made like he was a cop.
The man grabbed a fistful of blond hair and yanked the pound woman into his orbit. DiAngelo bit hard into the beefy palm that smothered her mouth. He pounded her face until her eyes swelled shut and blood filled her mouth. Wet hands drifted around her throat and locked until things went dark. She was strangled and raped repeatedly that night.
When the man went indoors to fetch the contents of her spilled purse, she dragged herself across the driveway to the end of the street. She crawled to where the streetlights found her, where her shouting attacker refused to follow. Through swollen eyelids, DiAngelo made out the colors of a police car blurring past.
But a low-rider occupied by Latino men did. At the hospital, DiAngelo says two police officers tried to talk her out of filing a report, saying it would only shine a light on her prostitution activities.
According to court documents, he received a day sentence of collecting trash on weekends for an unrelated crime. DiAngelo still carries a faint rasp in her voice—a battle scar from that long-ago attack. It serves as a constant reminder. A teenager in a navy-blue visor calls out the order from behind a cash register. DiAngelo and Callahan have offered her a lift to the house where she stays, which belongs to an uncle that may not be her uncle—a man whose propensity for sharing needles burrowed an apple-sized abscess into his arm.
Other working girls stay there, too.
The woman has four children. An adult son lives in San Francisco. Child Protective Services took the youngsters when she tested positive for cocaine at the hospital.
She wants to get clean, but says Medi-Cal has only given her the runaround, sticking her on various waiting lists and referring her to multiple dead ends. She identifies as female, as did 96 percent of participants. No wonder the system has ignored her.