After years of hard work to make this a reality, the Crossroads Women’s Center is hosting a ground-breaking celebration for our new space on Wayne Avenue on July 10th! We are excited to celebrate with the community the next step in the new Crossroads Women’s Center’s renovation. Join us in Germantown at 5011/5013 Wayne Avenue on Tuesday, July 10th from 4-7 PM, for a giant rummage sale, info and merchant tables, a bounce house and other fun for children, water ice, food, music.read more
“I understand that public health concerns, at times, they line up with criminal justice concerns, but sometimes they are at odds, and we have to make a decision,” said police Superintendent Coleman McDonough. “Looking at it and taking all the public health concerns into consideration too, we will not charge possession of an instrument of crime for condoms.”read more
Media Links: Criminalization of Condom Possession in Pittsburghread more
Because we support harm reduction methods proven to reduce the spread of HIV / AIDSabd STIs, DA Zappala incorrectly characterized SWOP as “represent[ing] an industry that is illegal in Pennsylvania.” This is inaccurate for two reasons.
SWOP does not, in any way, encourage illegal activity, nor is SWOP a trade group representing an industry. SWOP is “a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of people involved in the sex trade and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.”
Youth Sex Trafficking Victim Prostitute & Prison Lifer: Please sign the petition to #FreeCyntoiaBrown MoveOn.org/FreeCyntoiaBrown via @MoveOnread more
NO HUMAN INVOLVED is directed and produced by PJ Starr, edited by M.Trevino and PJ Starr, with Contributing Producer M.Trevino. Music for the documentary has been composed by Maxim Moston and audio post-production is by David Wilson.
Partners in organizing: Triple-X Workers’ Solidarity Association of British Columba, Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence, Pivot Legal Society, PACE Society, SWAN Society Vancouver, B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities, and FIRST: Feminists for the Decriminalization of Sex Work.read more
Condoms and cell phones criminalized in Allegheny County prostitution cases | TribLIVE
A Tribune-Review analysis shows police charged people with both prostitution and possessing an instrument of crime in 100 cases last year in Allegheny County. In 15 of the cases, condoms were an alleged instrument of crime. In 14 others, police seized condoms as evidence.
Among the developed nations, United States has a very high rate of STD-related epidemics. On October 14, 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to determine the ‘risk and viability’ of allowing non-profit or health care agencies to distribute sexual barrier protection devices like condoms to inmates in one state prison facility. His argument was that even though sexual activity in prisons is against the law, providing condoms to inmates is “consistent with the need to improve our prison health care system and overall health.”read more
International Center for Research on Women (ICRW): Did you know that over half of U.S. states currently arrest – and even prosecute – sex-trafficked children for prostitution? An increasing number of states are passing legislation preventing this from happening for everyone under the age of 18, but it is a lengthy process and can be a real uphill battle. Given the challenges, what can be done?read more
The Deadly Consequences of the Anti-Sex Trafficking Law By Tara Burns | June 4, 2018 Photo by Blemished Paradise via Flickr What if I told you that scientists found something that decreases the female homicide rate by 17.4 percent and our government just abolished it?...read more
WHAT CAN THE SPACE SHUTTLE TEACH US ABOUT MAKING A BREAK FROM OUR PAST?
An excerpt from the book Illegal to Legal: Business Success for the (Formerly) Incarcerated © 2014 by RL Pelshaw, used with permission.
Your strengths are found in your past, both good and bad. I’m not here to beat you up over what you did, or might even be doing now. I’m here to give you a practical path that you can follow to help you use your past to propel you to a new future, your destiny, a future where you have left your past behind you.
Take a moment and think about the Space Shuttle. Obviously, the Shuttle was not designed to stay on earth. It fulfills its destiny in space, not on the launch pad. Blasting off is not a passive event. It’s violent, explosive, and a life-or-death battle to reach the stars. What is the biggest obstacle the Shuttle must overcome to get into space? It’s not gravity but the weight of the fuel. The fuel weighs more than nineteen times what the Shuttle weighs. It’s ironic because the Shuttle needs the fuel to get into orbit, but the fuel is so heavy it becomes the biggest obstacle the Shuttle must overcome to blast into space. Breaking through the atmosphere into its destiny is the most difficult thing the Shuttle will ever do. I promised to show you how to use your past to propel you to your destiny. Pretend you are the Space Shuttle. You’re designed and destined to be high above where you are now, but you’re stuck on earth. You’re on the launch pad, ready for something to get you moving. You are yearning for something better, knowing you don’t belong where you are now. You are unhappy that you can’t get to where you want to be but you don’t know how to reach the stars. As the Shuttle you have to use your fuel to blast off, but what is that fuel? Your past, your life experience, is like the fuel in the Space Shuttle. If the fuel is properly used it can propel you into orbit, your destiny. If the fuel is improperly used it becomes dangerous, explosive, and can destroy the Shuttle. If the fuel is unused it weighs you down and keeps you stuck on the launch pad. Life on the launch pad is an unfilled life. On the launch pad you’re never going anywhere, never changing, never doing anything differently, never improving, and never learning. All you are doing is wasting away and decaying while you ignore your destiny above you. I was being crippled by the mental load of shame over the consequences of my mistakes, what I lost, and broken relationships. There was no easy way from that, and I think every incarcerated and formerly incarcerated citizen faces that. I asked for, and received God’s help, which I continually need to get past the shame and things that would weigh me down if I let them. Ultimately, I had to choose to get over myself.
You must decide if you want to let your past weigh you down, destroy you, or propel you to your destiny among the stars. What will you decide? Are you willing to do what it takes to make it legitimately, so you can reach your destiny, the life you were meant to live? Once the Shuttle blasts off it cannot return to Earth until its mission is complete. A return mid-launch would be catastrophic for the Shuttle.
History gives us another example of the commitment required for success. Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez burned his ships when he reached the New World in the 1500s. You must have that level of commitment if you wish to reach your goal. Returning to the past should not be an option at all, no matter how hard it is to launch or break through to your destiny. Just as the Space Shuttle cannot return to earth mid-launch, and there were no ships for Cortez’ men to return to Spain, there should be no chance of you ever returning to a life of crime. Close that door forever! This book will show you ways to start your own business so you don’t have to return to or continue crime to make a living.