Give Them More Than Minimum Wage

Samantha Inesta
Executive Director/Human Rights Fellow
BeaSister2aSister

Human rights has been painted as the “glamorous” & “hot” topic of the day with everyone from documentary film makers, multilateral corporations and Hollywood cashing in on it in some form or another. It’s a boost to their career and their ego and it does wonders for their celebrity status, but what about the people whose rights they’re supposedly fighting for? Human Trafficking. It’s everywhere-even in the cinema with plot twists, heroic rescues and girls living happily ever after. Do you see how this is a problem for those of us who are on the ground fighting this issue with no end in sight? Sex trafficking, the other side of labor and domestic servitude, however you will never have exploitation without sexual abuse. More women and girls all over the world experience this more than men who are forced into labor trafficking situations. The buying and selling of female bodies is an estimated $150 billion industry. The only people that see this money are the pimps/traffickers, the women get nothing but imprisonment, torture and abuse. They are basically living in a type of poverty that requires them to surrender complete control to their oppressor with no end in sight. They don’t know what it’s like to have control over their lives anymore, it’s been stolen from them along with their identity.

Many women who have been fortunate enough to escape these situations are now in the shelter system of the few non profits that actually have housing and programs that keep them dependent so that they can’t go far. This keeps them wondering from day to day what will happen if they no longer will be able to stay in the shelter, what if they run out of funding, what if they need the bed for someone else-where do I go? Unfortunately this happens quite more often than you think, especially in New York City. The available beds in no way out number the victims that need a place to go. Much needed front line organizations claim to offer everything a survivor needs to be totally independent and live on their own, then why have so many of them been in the shelter systems for years? Some of those factors can be found in the social work that is provided them which is supposed to be trauma informed and help survivors deal with issues like PTSD in order to live a better and more productive life while on the road to healing. Some women have been on this road for 10 years. Another factor is employment. Some survivors are ready for a job and are eager to have their own money, but the jobs organizations get for them are low minimum wage positions that will not afford them to save and get a place of their own. Some have to pay into their living space, like rent but the income is not sustaining therefore they may never leave until they’re pushed out. What kind of psychological state do you think they would be in if they had to leave their housing situation with a job that barely pays them and no prospect of getting their own place? I can tell you it will push them right back into the streets.

It’s time that we not play God with these women’s lives, it’s time organizations stop becoming the second oppressor. Survivors need a living wage, like we all do. If they are to be apart of society they need to be offered more than just service jobs. We need programs that have comprehensive training in many different areas. Not all the survivors I work with want to be in the kitchen of a restaurant or working as a server in a cafe where most of the income is in the tips from customers. These can be stepping stones but they shouldn’t be the place where they stay. There are women that come from backgrounds where they have worked in prestigious jobs, to force them to work for little money and rely on a shelter is not going to help them overcome. Even those that may not have higher education or worked good paying jobs can still be trained to gain employment that will help them break the cycle of inter-dependency. Why are they being keep living on the poverty line, on food stamps and government assistance? This is a crutch that they are being forced to get used to and not know how to cope once it gets taken away.

If we do not break the cycle of inter-dependency we will see more women and girls back out in the streets because they cannot survive. We shouldn’t be dangling freedom over them when they are not encouraged to be independent. It’s fair to say that no organization can be a one-stop shop and it’s understandable. Having women come to you who are broken and need a range of services is nothing to take lightly and it is very much needed. But if you take control over their lives in the name of freedom and empowerment while not really providing either, you will drive them right back to where they came from. If organizations are to work together, they must stop trying to be the best and in competition. Survivors are not fundraising tools or billboards for your organization to get donors or recognition. It’s the lives of women and girls that are at stake, they are the focus and should be treated as such. Remember, it’s not about you.

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Women And Revolution is a blog designed to raise the issues that are affecting women all over the world while giving it journalistic value. W.A.R is a division of BeaSister2aSister a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse break the cycle of inter-dependency and become self sustainable. if you would like to learn more you can visit our website at http://www.beasister2asister.org or you can email us at info@beasister2asister.org. If you are interested in seeing women and girls everywhere break free from inter-dependency, please consider donating online as a one time or sustainable donor. We are committed to seeing every woman walk in total freedom.

BeaSister2aSister

“Being Accountable For Every Woman Around The Globe.”

Survivors Surviving The Shelter System

Samantha Inesta
Executive Director
BeaSister2aSister

One of the first resources that any woman or young woman coming out of a situation of trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse is shelter. It is a basic need and one that is sometimes scarce to find. In New York City there is a shortage of beds for women and young women who have escaped these type of situations. These women range from age to race to ethnicity. Most of them are young women of color who are put into the shelter system with other women who are not of color but may be of ethnicity other than American. This has posed a problem with housing all these women and girls together who see each other as a threat or less than because they are different. In the midst of this there are different forms of intimidation and harassment by survivors who see girls of color differently.

Every house that is set up as a shelter for survivors has a house manager, this manager is usually not a woman of color. Normally that shouldn’t be a problem but if there is no cultural sensitivity by the house manager, it causes a huge disparity in how these cases of intimidation and harassment are handled. Women of color experience higher levels of trauma that leads to severe PTSD accompanied with a variety of triggering actions and words. When they are placed in a house that is constantly triggering them while forcing them to be in a constant state of stress and no one will listen or help them-not even the house manager, they will act out for their own protection. When this happens they are considered dangerous to everyone in the house, including themselves and as a result the police is called with the intent to have them arrested and removed from the house. All of this because no one wanted to listen or understand or even believe them just because their skin is darker than the other women. They are looked at as difficult as being the instigator and violent. This is a tactic by many shelters to make these women seem like liars.

This is a growing trend, especially in such a diverse city like New York. So called religious organizations are the biggest culprits. They claim to want to help all women everywhere but when it comes to women of color, they fall short and are more destructive to them and their situation. It doesn’t stop there. City agencies and government entities add salt to the wound by disbelieving these survivors and siding with the organization due the political power they may hold or their enormity and size of donations they may receive from politicians and local and state entities. These women are left with no one to turn to and either stay in the house and continue to be harassed and triggered or they leave back into the streets to be re-victimized. This is an issue that needs more exposure, it’s one of the key factors why these girls are always in the shelter system never to move on and be self sustainable.

I have heard quite a few stories from young women of color that they are treated “differently” because they are not like the white skinned girls from another country or state. They have suffered just as must, experience the same type of trauma and yet they are looked at as trouble makers who just want to be in the system. Where is the trauma informed help that they were promised? Why does the case worker they were assigned to by the shelter not do anything to protect her? These are questions that I have yet to get answers for. One thing I do know is that if you are running a shelter for all women irregardless of the color of their skin or their culture, you should run it with dignity and respect for all of them, not like some cliquish sorority house where “Mean Girls” run it. Eventually this will catch up to you and communities will start to talk and distance themselves from your shelter as a resource for survivors they work with.

Unfortunately none of these organizations are all that worried. Their pockets and bank accounts are lined pretty well with funding from professionals, politicians and local and state governments. In their mind it doesn’t matter if they have 1 or 20 women in their shelter, as long as they can find way to manipulate a grant or proposal to show they’ve helped a lot of women, they money will continue to flow. There are cases filed against organizations such as these that never get resolved because of the reach these people have to cover it up. Women and girls of color have had to survive so much and came out in need of a lot. After all of this they shouldn’t have to survive the shelter system.

Thanks for reading!! If you like this blog, please share it or subscribe to it.

Women And Revolution is a blog designed to raise the issues that are affecting women all over the world while giving it journalistic value. W.A.R is a division of BeaSister2aSister a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse break the cycle of inter-dependency and become self sustainable. if you would like to earn more you can visit our website at http://www.beasister2asister.org or you can email us at info@beasister2asister.org. If you are interested in seeing women and girls everywhere break free from inter-dependency, please consider donating online as a one time or sustainable donor. We are committed to seeing every woman walk in total freedom.

BeaSister2aSister

“Being Accountable For Every Woman Around The Globe.”

Playing Politics With Prostitution

Human Rights Fellow
Founder/Executive Director
BeaSister2aSister

Our country has moved to a dangerous paradigm shift. The full decriminalization of prostitution, not just the women forced into it, but the men who buy, rape and abuse them for sexual pleasure. Trying to legitimize prostitution and give it approval as an acceptable means of employment is giving way to more insidious behavior in the way society treats women and girls. Prostitution and sex trafficking are synonymous when it comes to the degradation and dehumanization of women. It strips them of all humanity and replaces it with a commodity label along with a price tag. Allowing this law to pass is basically telling every female in this country you don’t matter and your existence is meaningless. The powers in DC are trying to have their cake and eat it to by satisfying the lust of privileged men who are among their ranks or who are and connected to power and using our children to do it.

Washington DC is scheduled to decide on a law that will destroy the lives of countless women and girls, the full decriminalization of prostitution which will in turn elevate sex trafficking, especially for minors. The blinders they’re wearing are a deliberate tactic to justify keeping the DC clients happy. The Jeffery Epstein case was the perfect example of how this government views child sexual abuse and child trafficking. This was a huge network of lawyers, socialites and former victims turned recruiters who tricked and manipulated children into performing sexual acts for Epstein and a host of wealthy, powerful clients. What will full decriminalization look like when another case like this happens? I imagine it will be everyone involved getting off scott-free while their victims have to put the pieces of their lives back together. The traumatization and PTSD that are suffered by all victims of sex trafficking will be whitewashed and disregarded. These are children, someone’s daughter. Her parents were there when she took her first step, learn to ride a bike, had birthday parties with ice cream and cake and friends. Now she is trying to block out memories of her innocence and childhood being ripped from her because adults manipulated her into doing something she never wanted.

This is serious and affects every young woman in this society no matter what socio-economic background you come from. Traffickers are everywhere disguised as boyfriends, friends, authoritative types, pornographers and even family members. How can anyone expect a child to live with a family member who will traffic them for money until their body can’t take it anymore? That’s what full decriminalization does. There will be more missing children, more sexual abuse in homes, foster care and everywhere it’s legal. What are we saying to children? We want you so we can exploit you? If Washington passes full decriminalization of prostitution it’s saying we have no humanity nor do we care what happens to our children. Very telling for a country who loves to point the finger at the human rights abuses of women and children in other countries but can’t seem to to treat there own with dignity and humanity.

Thanks for reading!! If you like this blog, please share it or subscribe to it.

Women And Revolution is a blog designed to raise the issues that are affecting women all over the world while giving it journalistic value. W.A.R is a division of BeaSister2aSister a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse break the cycle of interdependency and become self sustainable. if you would like to earn more you can visit our website at http://www.beasister2asister.org or you can email us at info@beasister2asister.org. If you are interested in seeing women and girls everywhere break free from interdependency, please consider donating online as a one time or sustainable donor. We are committed to seeing every woman walk in total freedom.

BeaSister2aSister

“Being Accountable For Every Woman Around The Globe.”

White Women vs. The Rest Of Us

Samantha Inesta
Human Rights Fellow
Founder/Executive Director
BeaSister2aSister

We are a country divided. We are a people divided. We are also divided within our gender meaning women, based on skin color and race, are not walking in strength and support while white women are siding with a racist and nationalist ideology that they feel they have privilege in. Four brave and strong congresswomen of color spoke out against unprovoked racist attacks by President Trump and these female soldiers of the far right army came to his defense and supported comments that do not reflect the values most of Americans. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley all Democratic Congresswomen serving the United States where once again the target of a administration that is adamantly trying to turn back the clock to oppression of women, segregation and whites only establishments.

There is something very unsettling that is happening here. It all started with our elections being tampered with by a white foreign entity that supports the white nationalist movement and obviously partnered up with the American version and has now become the disease that is spreading with no end in sight. Women have always been used for the sake of a male agenda regarding corruption, violence and in this case racism and fear. White women are given a false hope that they actually share in the same privilege that their male counterparts do. When Mike Pence and his band of MAGA supporters stated that they needed to keep their white women safe from these brown men that have come to rape and murder them, I’m sure their hearts skipped a beat with joy. Separating women by color and race is serving the Republican party, those who are white, in way that they feel legitimizes their strategy of taking over the whole country for themselves. Even with all this there is still push back for an America that is all-inclusive a place where you can come from anywhere and live freely. All of this has been under attack for quite some time now.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley toured the camps where migrant women were being held and saw the horrors that were being done to them. They spoke out against it and was met with pornographic images that where dehumanizing along with racist rantings. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib both call the United States home and began doing what most congress people who see issues that need to be fixed do, start speaking out in order to make change. They were basically called terrorists and if they don’t like this country to get out out. If everyone took that comment literally, there would hardly be anyone left here. True Story. Having grown tired of the constant battle, White Republican men decided to fight back with White Republican women who have been groomed to carry the flag of oppression, persecution, racism and sexual assault against all women who are not white and American. They mass together and become focus groups for big media like CNN and are asked questions like “Do you feel the comments made by President Trump against four congresswomen of color were racists?” and of course the answer was a defiant “No.” Which is very interesting considering the man they worship and love considers CNN to be fake news. Did they forget about Jim Acosta?

This is nothing new. Women have always been scapegoats for regimes that are authoritarian and ruled by dictatorship. They’re given false hope and promises, being put on a higher pedestal than other women, being told they are worth more because they are lighter skinned or part of an elite caste. This type of mentality makes it easier for some women to oppress others because they truly believe they are better and worthy of more. This is also they same tactic traffickers use to coerce some women into recruiting girls for the global sex trade. This is the reason why we are now seeing women’s human rights issues take on a different narrative while creating boundary lines of separation. We have white feminism and feminism for women who are not or don’t consider themselves to fall in the category of being “white”. We are divided in how we look at one another as well as how we perceive others who may not fit the mold that some women subscribe to. Not only is time being pushed back, so are our rights as women.

Thanks for reading!! If you like this blog, please share it or subscribe to it.

Women And Revolution is a blog designed to raise the issues that are affecting women all over the world while giving it journalistic value. W.A.R is a division of BeaSister2aSister a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse break the cycle of interdependency and become self sustainable. if you would like to earn more you can visit our website at http://www.beasister2asister.org or you can email us at info@beasister2asister.org. If you are interested in seeing women and girls everywhere break free from interdependency, please consider donating online as a one time or sustainable donor. We are committed to seeing every woman walk in total freedom.

BeaSister2aSister

“Being Accountable For Every Woman Around The Globe.”

Powerful Men, Pedophilia & Trafficking

Samantha Inesta
Human Rights Fellow
Founder/Executive Director
BeaSister2aSister

The victims of Jeffrey Epstein’s house of horrors finally have justice. Mr. Epstein has been arrested and indicted, if convicted he will face up to 45 years in prison which will amount to a life sentence according to prosecutors on the case. One of his victims, Courtney Wild, spoke out in approval of the indictment and is hopeful there will be a conviction. This is a big victory for all of the victims of Epstein’s exploitation of their youth and sexuality. Enabling pedophiles and giving them access to the innocence of children was something he profited from in many ways. He himself was a benefactor of the exploitative environment he created.

To understand how all of this could happen without anything being done, we must look at the men & women that benefited and contributed to Epstein’s underage sex utopia. There were lawyers, socialites, Royalty, past and present presidents all people who Epstein felt could insulate him from any accountability or wrongdoing. This carefully plotted high end child brothel even came with a madam who recruited these very young girls. Socialite, 57-year old Ghislaine Maxwell has been accused of working with international recruiters to lure young women into modeling jobs, employment in education and a career in fashion when in actuality they were being groomed, it’s pure sex trafficking 101. The most highly visible image that came out of all of this is Epstein with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton who have been said to have been at these “parties” that Epstein threw in his palatial estates. When we look at the systems of male privilege, millionaires and patriarchy we can come to the conclusion that these types of men are positioned to hold power over anything they desire from the unconscionable to the inhumane.

In our society there is a tendency to treat men in power with more leniency than we show others. We tend to overlook the horrific in exchange for how hard he’s worked to get to where he is. Or maybe we just don’t want to believe that a rich man who has so much money would do something like this when he could just have a wife and family. Status and money do not explain the psyche of a man who takes pleasure in exploiting young women and children. Federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta wrote up an indictment that should have put Jeffery Epstein behind bars for life but acquiesced to Epstein’s legal team that resulted in a deal in the form of a 13 month jail sentence and no federal charges. Fortunately for the victims involved in this case, there were those that were not going to let this just go away with a plea deal that did not equal justice for anyone except the perpetrator. When the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office stepped in the deal that was made became obsolete and indictments followed.

There are more than likely a lot more names that will be revealed in the coming weeks. The notorious “Little Black Book” holds many more lives in it’s pages that could destroy a lifetime of building a career and reputation that looked respectable but in reality, it was a smoke screen.

One thing we must always remember, sex trafficking is not just bringing women and girls in from other countries, it’s also enslaving the women and girls here in America. Courtney Wild was not from Russia or the Ukraine or even Latvia, she was from the United States as well as several others were. This is not an “other country” epidemic, this is a global one, the US included. When the government puts out it’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report it isn’t just the countries abroad that are being evaluated, it’s us too and just like so many other places, it’s not getting any better. The Jeffery Epstein scandal could just be the tip of the iceberg into uncovering powerful men who feed their perverse lust with young women and children. Remember, powerful men are no different from other men who may not have the same financial and social privilege and do the same, they just share the same toxic mentality.

Thanks for reading!! If you like this blog, please share it or subscribe to it.

Women And Revolution is blog designed to raise the issues that are affecting women all over the world while giving it journalistic value. W.A.R is a division of BeaSister2aSister a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse break the cycle of interdependency and become self sustainable. if you would like to earn more you can visit our website at http://www.beasister2asister.org or you can email us at info@beasister2asister.org. If you are interested in seeing women and girls everywhere break free from interdependency, please consider donating online as a one time or sustainable donor. We are committed to seeing every woman walk in total freedom.

BeaSister2aSister

“Being Accountable For Every Woman Around The Globe.”