Wednesday, June 17, 2015


We've been accused of creating our program as a 12 step group as a way of saying that sex work is a "disease".  We do not believe that - and every group is different.   We've talked about groups like "Divorce Anonymous" as an example of people who are not "addicted" to divorce - but merely want to use a group to gather people together with a common interest in healing from divorce.  Others say that also is a "slam" on the industry.  However, we point you to this article on "Latins Anonymous" to illustrate that sometimes the groups are simply to "connect" to others.  Click here to see an article about such a group.

In other words, every 12 step group is different and NOT identical to Alcoholics Anonymous.  To see our history, you can follow the links below to see it's progression over the years from the founder's arrest - to where we are now.   For Jody's CV (Resume) - click here:   If you would like to read about the history of the sex trafficking movement - an article written by Jody is here:

You'll also see our name change over the years from "Prostitutes Anonymous" to "Sex Workers Anonymous".  Some of our older groups who have been meeting for over 20 years still go by our old name which we changed in 1995.  You'll note different people running different chapters in these articles.  This is because, like any other 12 step group, the local chapters are run by someone who lives in that area.  Not everyone likes to do interviews for the press - but for those who are trying to get a chapter going in their city you'll find articles on them.  Currently, we have 1,000's of members with chapters all across the USA, into Canada and now into five other countries.  We're working on a translation now for those countries.  If you find you're uncomfortable, or not getting what you need from a local meeting - just call our main office and we'll connect you to other members. 

My Arrest - Note Name "Rene Le Blanc"
The DA was trying to protect me from murder attempts.
When you have a court date, your date is "public record" for anyone to see
you're coming to the courthouse.  They didn't want the liability of my
blood spilled on their courthouse step - so they placed my case under an "aka"
of a male name thinking this would protect me coming into my hearings.
You'll notice however they did not change my mother's name who was
joined with my case.  Meaning anyone could look up her name to find me. 
It was mistakes like that which did not make me trust the DA with my life.

Click here for full Los Angeles Times cover story of arrest -
Another Clipping of my arrest.
Clipping about our sentencing.
To show the climate in Los Angeles in 1986, before we formed our program, the group "Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Killers" was formed because "news and law enforcement were making insufficient efforts to find the killer because all but two of the victims were black".  The efforts of these vocal women led to the eventual arrest and incarceration of the man dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" by courageous people who kept fighting for justice for these victims.
 I've attached this article to show how supportive then mayor Tom Bradley, and Sheriff Gates, were of the problem prostitutes were facing.  This article shows that him, along with other politicians, and the sheriff, actually offered a reward to help find a killer who focused on prostitutes back then.  Los Angeles had a record number of killers back then targeting prostitutes - from the Hillside Strangler (who was actually two pimps), Green River Killer, Southside Slayer, and Night Stalker just to name a few who were widely publicized.  They say that because of the "crack cocaine epidemic over 100 prostitutes were murdered" in another article. 
I've also attached this link to show Tom's willingness to "cut through red tape to get things done".  I say this because when the HIV epidemic was raging and jails, hospitals, shelters, and treatment centers were refusing to admit prostitutes for fear of HIV/AIDS - he formed a board to find a way to coordinate services and create a solution to the problem.  Such as this shelter -   If he had said this was to play HIV + male prostitutes - it never would have opened!  Tom Bradley was truly a visionary in his concern for prostitutes.  Here's a letter from Ann Hayman, a woman who was on this board with us verifying this work -
1st Article about our program in 1987 -
Our program expanded into Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1990.  Here's an article in the Morning Call about the ground breaking program -
Canada 1990 Clip - Prostitutes Anonymous
Clipping about "Prostitutes Anonymous" in 1991
San Diego, California Chapter - 1991
Mary Bruno's Article in Redbook
1999 Clipping about "Prostitutes Anonymous"
1999 Clipping about the program
 2000 Article about Phoenix Prostitutes Anonymous

Sex Workers Anonymous New York 2007
Kansas - 2007 (This article appeared in multiple papers nationally)
Bob Herbert - Salina Journal - 2007
(Note - this above article with Melissa Farley IS NOT what I was told I was appearing at to announce.  Nor what I agree to involve Kathleen Mitchell or Brenda Myers-Powell, two long standing members of our program who have identified in the press not only as members, but who also have said in different interviews they credit their recovery through our program.  Right after I was mike'd by the sound people, and the press was in front of us - Melissa asked me if I would "call to abolish the sex industry".  Of course I refused.  I've been calling for decriminalization of this industry since day one.  I've been doing that because one can't mount a proper defense one is a victim, not a criminal, when being charged as a criminal for prostitution.  Also, how does one get the evidence and testimony against one's traffickers when prostitution is a crime?  Try getting someone to confirm you were being raped during a bank robbery!  Doesn't happen easily or regularly.  What Melissa did was she pulled the reporters into the hallway at this conference and put words into my mouth I did not even know were said until I went home and turned on the news.  I was so enraged at what she had done -I issued a public statement disconnecting from all relationship with her and also the formation of TAPS.  Thus the feud between her and I began which she carries out through smearing us from behind closed doors.  When I've caught her at this defamation - once she's served with legal notice she takes down all the evidence from online and then just continues through another avenue.
This is a clipping about Joe Conforte -
the man who I had to go up against as a "opponent"
to his views when he wanted to expand legal brothels
into California.  No one wanted to go up against him
producers would say - but me.  You can see why here.
2008 interview with Jody Williams by Phyllis Chester -
2011 article about Aubrey's appearance at the Nevada legislature.   She did three things that day - she (1) read a letter to the legislature from "us" about what we felt would help us, (2) gave an opposing opinion to brothel lobbyist George Flynt's testimony about expanding the brothels, and (3) she testified we were against AB67.  Note the differing view here between Ed's article in northern Nevada and the Review Journal who mentions not only nothing about her testifying against the brothel expansion, but it said there was "no opposition".  Isn't that a lie?   Here's what Aubrey talked about with respect to her experiences.  Am I against prostitution?  No.  But I am against this.
2010 Report (note: We did not give her consent to use any portion of our book in this report.  But she reprinted it with a credit - so it's legal.)
2012 "The Fix" article.  However, this is all wrong because the writer interviewed Brenda, rather than calling the office.  We are NOT for people who are "addicted" to prostitution.  Our members are those who "have a desire to leave the sex industry and find recovery".  Maybe 5 % of our members report they are "addicted" to prostitution.  We also don't know who he attended meetings with but we do NOT advise female members to take "chicken soup" to male members homes!
2013 Article on ABC News   We did not approve this interview.  Brenda seems to think changing the name to "Prostitution Anonymous" bypasses the injunction we gave her to stop granting interviews - but it doesn't.
2013 article about the first transgender meeting in the Chicago jail.
2014 Article in Chicago Tribune  This article is why we've served Brenda Myers-Powell with an injunction she's ignoring.  First, we NEVER let media into one of our meetings, jail or not.  Second, we NEVER let cameras into our meetings nor photograph our members full-face such as this.  We don't know if these women have a pimp looking for them or not - plus this photo could prevent them from finding a job or housing.  Third, how are they going to say "no" to the request to be filmed?  It's the jail asking them - so we feel consent to be filmed as obtained under duress.  Fourth, this article "affiliates" us with another program which is against our traditions.  Fifth, they have received grant money for this which means they are now "professional" which is another violation of our traditions.  Sixth, in a jail setting we do not ask questions about anything that could be a crime as this is a violation of one's 5th amendment right not to "incriminate" themselves.  This is why our official meeting formats state "we do not care who you worked for, how much you made, or what you did" - and why we only do speaker or step study meetings inside of a jail.  This article is NOT reflective of our program in any way.  In fact, if any of these women would like to contact us to file a class action suit against Brenda, and the jail for exploiting them this way - please get in touch.
July 2014 Radio Interview with Jody Williams, Founder & Director =
 Page from "Somebody's Daughter" by Julian Sher
More about us in Arizona (2010)
 A "thank you" from a woman we helped found online.

Sharon Oselin's Book "Leaving the Sex Industry" 2009


John Quinones from ABC's "What Would You Do?"
wrote in the 2009 book "Heroes Among Us"
about Jody and SWA after coming to Las Vegas.
Our 1991 program in Vancouver Canada spawned PEERS in Canada -
Celia Williamson's CV showing her starting  a Prostitutes Anonymous Meeting in 1994 in Ohio -
Second Chance - Ohio Prostitutes Anonymous Meeting
Supreme Court Brief quoting our "Recovery Guide" - and my letter to the Supreme Court Justices about this Brief

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