11-19-2015 Amber Batts letter from Hiland prison – Silver Linings

My son has been the one to bear the brunt of this ordeal. He has had to step into the role of caretaker of our home as well as for me at times when I call him, anxious and fearful and worried that we will lose our home where we have lived for over 12 years.

Living somewhere for 12 years is something I find pride in. As a child, my mom moved around so much it was usual for me to start at one school and end at a different school by the end of the year. We moved all around Juneau, Anchorage and even Tacoma Washington.

What I have done, I have always done for stability. Stability, consistency and love are the things I wasn’t offered much of as a kid, or a teenager, and being able to provide for my two children has always been the driving force. I haven’t let go when I want to, because I knew my kids needed me, and as I see now, I also needed them.

My son is now 22. A man. I have missed his last two birthdays because I was in jail. My daughter will soon be 15, and I missed her 14th birthday. Since July 9, 2014, my life has been a whirlwind of jail, bail hearings, restricted conditions of release, and finally sentencing.

I am now sentenced and awaiting word from the program that would allow me to go home with an ankle monitor. I would be able to work, pay my bills and be with my children. I had to spend some time at Hiland (prison) before I could apply, I was told by the probation officer. I hope that the powers that be find that I have done that. I have been here almost 3 months, and so much has changed.

According to time and accounting here at Hiland, the time for sentencing and out on bail on ankle monitor- all counts. I was sentenced to five years flat, for sex trafficking in the 2nd degree. Flat means no probation. I have to serve 40 months, with good time, and the remaining 20 months are mandatory parole.

I have lost and gained so much in the last 16 months. I have lost my freedom, holidays and birthdays with family and friends. I have lost my husband and any trust I may have had in him. I have lost close to 30 pounds. I have lost some belief in myself and my decision-making.

I have gained a sense of faith, a sense of a silver lining in the darkest of clouds. I have gained an understanding of who I am as a person; my weaknesses, my strength, my fears and my hopes. I have found that family and true friends are worth more than their weight in gold, and in the strangest of places I have found joy and peace.

My son has picked up the eviction repossession and disconnection notices that have scattered at his feet. He has answered my phone calls and repeatedly told me he has it handled. Don’t worry mom.

My friend who is more like a sister, has walked through this with him and I, and my daughter too. Even with the family, job and college classes, she still is able to be my power of attorney and watches over my measly bank account so my son can have help and won’t be doing all of it alone.

Without my family, my friends, and the support from people that have only heard about my case and reached out to me, I would be an empty shell of the person.

At times I waver between unbelief of the consequences of running an escort agency, with anger and fear overtaking me, and other times I find my courage by knowing that now is not forever, and this time apart from the ones I love is strengthening us all in ways unknown right now.

I was listening to talk radio yesterday which I never do, and ‘hometown Alaska’ (a radio show) was discussing labor and sex trafficking. They were using ambiguous terminology, ‘comprehensive resources’ and ‘public outreach’ with no real examples or action behind the words. This is where Alaska is left, holding the money bag, intending to fight trafficking and embarking on a shallow combat. It was reminiscent of an overbearing dad walking into a dark room with the big stick to break up a pillow fight when he thought they were beating each other, all the while in the next room someone is tied to a chair and is really getting their ass whooped. The overbearing dad is hell-bent on making sure the pillow fight kids are being good, but will hear nothing or have any concern of the next room where there is an actual problem.

This is Alaska right now, looking in the wrong direction, geared up with the wrong mindset and ignorant of what is right next door.

I don’t know what the coming days will bring, I don’t know what will happen with the ankle monitor. I don’t know if I will be able to talk to my son and daughter on the crappy securus phone network when the money runs out, but I do know one thing for certain: now is not forever and I will be able to be strong and speak up when the time comes.



If you would like to write Amber (letters are always a welcome diversion) or send books (one of the best ‘escapes’) information on how to do so is here.

Amber always needs more funds to maintain her ability to talk with her son and daughter on the phone from her prison.

THANK YOU for your support and for sharing this blog.

Letter from Amber Batts from prison

Amber Batts

Amber Batts

Before Amber was sentenced I told her I would post messages for her on the solidarity site.

Here is Amber’s first letter:

I have lost much through this ordeal, but the one thing I cannot ever replace is time.
I am missing my daughter starting high school, my sons first playing a theater gig, and my husband as he struggles along trying to keep our home afloat.

Time is one thing I count, with a heavy heart.
I count the days I have been here: 55 days, almost 8 weeks.

I count the hugs I’ve been able to give my daughter (6), one at the start of our visit and one at the end. My husband: 2 hugs (DOC red tape on him visiting me) and my son: 0.

I am serving five years flat.
My release date is May 28, 2018.

I may be able to go home an electronic monitoring before that. I spend my days working in the education department and helping women get their GED, rather than helping my daughter with her high school homework.

I read books and the paper.
I read the review of my sons play and saw his picture there.

I am away and unable to call my family or friends unless there is an expensive phone account set up and prepaid. I call my husband, my daughter and her friend who is like a sister to me.

I ran an escort agency.
I’m sure you’ve already read more about that, but I was more than that person.

I was a mom and a friend.
I paid my bills, my taxes, I was a wife, I had hobbies like juicing vegetables and fruits, subjecting my family to meals with tofu in them.
I was an avid ‘couponer’.

I appreciate the opportunity to share this and will share more.

Letters are welcome, as are softcover books, although they must be sent via a third-party vendor like Amazon. I will continue to have hope as I live what feels like a surreal nightmare at times.

Thank you,
Amber Batts

Amber was sentenced the same day as a woman from her same region, who ran over a guy with her vehicle, killing him and leaving the scene. That woman got two years and didn’t have to go to prison in the end.

Obviously killing another human being is less of an offense than acting as an agent and safety screener for consenting adults involved in consensual sexual commerce.

Sending letters, money orders & books:
As far as sending books I was told they need to be sent directly from a seller such as Amazon. Inmates cannot receive adult materials and stories (No 50 shades of gray she said LOL).

Always keep in mind that prison staff reads all correspondence.
Nothing is private for an inmate.

Amber can receive money orders up to $500.

ANY amount is very appreciated!

Books (directly from seller), Letters (Containing no contraband of any kind), and MONEY ORDERS (NO CASH) can be sent to:

Amber Batts #322410
Hiland Mountain Correctional Center
9101 Hesterberg Road
Eagle River, Alaska

Every day there are more casualties in the war against prostitution. Please support the ESPLERP legal challenge. To do so, you are supporting putting an end to the damage being perpetrated upon erotic service providers and the people who work with them and for them as support staff, and most importantly their families. This damage is perpetrated through the criminalization of consensual sexual commerce which is not trafficking by any stretch.

Modern Day Scarlet Letter

Anyone who has been following this situation since MARCH knows that this has been a thoroughly exhausting experience for Kamylla. It has been one thing after another. If you are unaware, please refer to:

‘8 Minutes and the rescue scam’

‘Employment and housing discrimination’

‘Kamylla responds to all who are helping’

‘Not out of the dark yet!’

This situation has been horrible.
Thank goodness she was given some relief in the form of a dismissal of her case.

Time to party right? If only.

Kamylla wants nothing more than to finally try to have a normal life, a balanced life.

One would assume that since her case was dismissed, that all would be rosy. That is not the reality, in fact very little has changed and her situation will not change until she can be seen as employable.

No one offering a job that equates to rent food and stability will hire Kamylla.

She has had several job opportunities pop up (the result of countless applications and resumes being submitted for the last two years) only to be told they reject her due to the arrest record, and DESPITE the dismissal of her case!

She is also being hit with a double whammy because she is trying to get her full citizenship. She has done everything required of her thus far to legally become a citizen of the United States, but will very likely be rejected if the prostitution arrest record is not erased from her record completely.

Please be CLEAR- while a dismissal is very good on one hand, it leaves a person with more legal and social hoops to jump through, in order to be fully WHOLE and FUNCTIONING.

The latest circumstance really hit me….

Kamylla is not standing there with her hand out. She has plainly stated she feels humiliated by this entire process. She is extremely grateful beyond words for all of the help and support she has received thus far, it has been her lifeline, but her desire is to be earning a living to support herself and her teenage daughter. She wants to WORK. That is all she has wanted from day one of this long struggle. She wants the dignity of being able to provide for herself and not having to ask for any help. She is not in such a position. The state of Texas still has her severely handicapped thanks to the arrest, an arrest that should not have happened in the first place.

She recently found that a CHURCH near her home was hiring. She does not have a car therefore this would have been perfect. The wage being offered was $18 an hour with the promise of quite a bit of over time on the weekends. She applied for the position and was very hopeful, after all- it’s a church, right?! especially with a dismissal and not a conviction. This is what Kamylla had hoped anyway.

How many times has she had to explain her situation? How many times has she already been soaked-Baptized in marginalization and stigma, while explaining her situation to social workers, lawyers, ‘rescue orgs’, well meaning individuals, numerous employers who only turned her away….

No such goodness.

She was called in to the church after applying to discuss her application. The church representative said her application was the ‘best’ one they had seen, HOWEVER- ‘what is this on your record?’ they asked, pointing out the prostitution arrest.

Kamylla sighs. Here we go again.
“Yes I know, but see there (she is pointing to where the document stated that her case had a DISMISSED status) read where it says dismissed. My case was dismissed”.

He looked at her and said “What is a woman like you doing getting arrested for such a thing?”

Kamylla didn’t want to explain every detail and just tried to refocus his attention on the dismissal.

This church administrator says to her “I’m sorry, but with the kind of record you have I cannot have you working here. It’s better that you clean up your record.”

To which she replies “YES this is exactly what I am doing but I don’t have the money yet. Once I do it will take another 6-8 weeks for it to be cleared”

He then says to her “When your record is clean come back, and if the position is still available I will give you the job. You had the best application otherwise”.

This is the legacy of criminalization.

Even when a person is granted a DISMISSAL of prostitution charges, the social stigma is so powerful and with a lack of equal protection under the law, they may as well have been found guilty as far as employers and landlords are concerned!

Kamylla wants nothing more than to be able to earn an income for herself and her daughter. Her daughter is sixteen and they are barely surviving thanks to this horrible chain of events. The state of Texas has effectively shut Kamylla down, she is unable to THRIVE. Kamylla and her daughter have no luxuries to speak of. They barely have essentials including food.

Kamylla is exhausted and her spirit is all but broken.

The sex worker nation and allies have rallied around Kamylla in a very amazing way. Here she is at the final stretch of this fight to get her life back. She is doing everything within her power to change her circumstances but she has been shut down by her prostitution arrest record. It doesn’t even matter that her case was DISMISSED! This is the societal sentence, the outcome for every person arrested for prostitution. Options are all but completely diminished. All doors that are normally open will be slammed closed.

She is being rejected for employment at every turn despite the dismissal. She has done everything she can think of to find work and to remedy this situation.

Having heard so much around ‘restoration’ from faith based abolitionists, I found it profoundly and tragically ironic (but in NO WAY surprising) that this was a church rejecting her and on such grounds and knowing her to be a single mother.

It IS up to the kindness and generosity of fellow human beings for Kamylla to survive at this point.

Please donate to help Kamylla clear her record and stay in her home long enough to get employment secured once her record is cleared.

Personally, I would love to hear whatever excuse that church administrator would have for Kamylla- were she to go back and show him a clear record. There won’t be any position available is my wager. She shouldn’t give them another moment of her precious life anyway.

A prostitution record is a lifelong sentence of stigma and shaming. At this juncture in Kamylla’s case- this is just an arrest record with a dismissal of charges! But it does NOT matter.

The above was written 8-31-2015

The next morning (today) 9-1-2015, yet ANOTHER employer replied to Kamylla. Kamylla had placed an application with a cleaning company. They told her: until her record is COMPLETELY CLEAN they will not hire her!! TWICE in 24 hours.

Rent is due. She has nothing.
She has been looking high and low for employment.
She needs $1500 to clear her arrest record which is effectively blocking EVERY employment opportunity she does find.
She cannot do sex work of ANY kind.

Put your feet in her shoes. Imagine how this would break your spirit. She is a mother fighting to keep her family in their home, fighting to eat, and at every turn the doors are slammed in her face.

Her birthday is in 18 days.
My gift to her, if only I could give it- would be EMANCIPATION.

Kamylla’s fund is here (it is empty despite the amount seen. Look at the dates of donations. That total has already gone to previous rent)

PLEASE give what you can. ANY amount gets her closer. This isn’t a ‘hand out’ this is a LIFE SAVER.

This is the problem. The SOLUTION begins with the ESPLERP legal challenge!

Written by Domina Elle

Not out of the dark yet….Kamylla needs support during the final phase.

Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Finally a little relief for Kamylla with the dismissal of her prostitution case.

There is still a stretch to go. It is not over yet!

Thanks to the arrest and the fact that she has a green card and was in the process of acquiring citizenship- she has no choice but to take immediate legal action to expunge the arrest record. Despite the dismissal of the charges, the arrest record remains. In Kamylla’s case it must be legally cleared from her record in order to ensure her citizenship is unhindered. The arrest record for prostitution will also prove to be an obstacle regarding employment.

All of this further sheds light into the oppressive process which is criminalization. Even when a person has their case dismissed there are more hoops to jump through. Just when you think you’ve jumped a major hurdle another one is set before you.

During the time she was charged for prostitution and was going through the legal process- Kamylla was unable to work due to the open case. As reported here at sexworkersolidarity.com some time back, Kamylla had finally gotten a call back on one of the countless job applications she had submitted previous to her arrest. She went in to try to get the job but was told due to her open case she could not be hired. They told her if her case was cleared from her record they would have a position for her but as long as she had a prostitution record their policy was firm against hiring her.

Once she gets the arrest removed from her record she will be back to square one: Looking for work, which she is very excited to do. She has already been submitting applications and investigating every opportunity she can find. She has also been sent on a few ‘wild goose chases’ by well meaning people claiming to have leads on job opportunities.

Lack of work equates to a lack of money.

Her teenage daughter has been with her through all of this hardship, through all of this waiting. She is in high school and is just starting the new school year. Both Kamylla and her daughter have done without many of the basic comforts that so many take for granted. This period of oppression directly caused by criminalization has been extremely stressful.

Kamylla would like to be able to get her daughter some new shoes and clothes for school, along with other basics a teenager needs. Food, rent and LAWYER is where the little money they have gotten has gone.

I have spoken to Kamylla many times. I have learned a lot from this situation.

It hasn’t been as easy as some may have assumed, for Kamylla to accept the assistance she has received over the last few months from the sex worker activists and their supporters but it has indeed been her lifeline.

She is extremely grateful beyond words and knows very well that had she not had the support that was generated by so many generous concerned people, she and her daughter would likely be on the streets right now, or in a shelter. Without the lawyer she would very likely have ended up deported with a prostitution record for certain.

It hurts me to hear the helplessness in her voice. This situation has been a situation of powerlessness for Kamylla. Powerlessness- and having to depend upon the kindness of strangers was not Kamylla’s first choice. Kamylla wants to be afforded the dignity of earning her own money.

Kamylla isn’t out of the woods yet. Almost- but not quite.

There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel and it would be a shame after everything- for Kamylla and her daughter to end up evicted after all. This has been an awful chain of events. Finally Kamylla can breath a bit- but there is a final stretch that our support is needed.

Please donate any amount you can. Her lawyer says he will start the process to remove the arrest record with a downpayment of $300. She will need to make payments after that (total $1500). He says it will take 4-6 weeks for the process to complete. In the meantime she is doing what she has made a constant ritual of- scanning for employment opportunities and submitting her resumes and job applications.


Kamylla’s charges were DISMISSED. This would likely NOT have happened had she not been able to get the lawyer. In the vast majority of prostitution arrest cases the arrested worker is forced by circumstance to take a plea deal and oftentimes must enter a treatment program against their will. These programs are not regulated and abuses are rampant. Shaming people for their personal choices is NOT treatment! For more information on what a treatment program can be like, go to: wevebeentheredonethat.org

Recorded evidence from Kamylla’s arrest proved that she told the arresting officer “NO!” When he asked her for sex. Without the expensive lawyer (which donations provided) this would not have been revealed. Such situations are not uncommon.

We can prevent the damage arrest causes by decriminalizing consensual erotic services. You can support this effort by supporting the US based case to decriminalize: DECRIMINALIZE CONSENSUAL ADULT EROTIC SERVICES!

Not to be forgotten! Amber Batts – Writing letters, sending books, sending funds….



Anyone who has experience with the prison system understands how powerless and alone a person can feel while in prison.

On August 17th Amber Batts was sentenced to five and a half years prison term. She is now separated from both her children.

Before her sentencing I asked Amber if I could post the following information so that anyone who felt compelled to send her letters and books could so so. Books and various reading materials are very welcome and help to pass the time.

Knowing that you are not forgotten is very important.

ANY amount is very appreciated!

Books (directly from seller), Letters (Containing no contraband of any kind), and MONEY ORDERS (NO CASH) can be sent to:

As of ground hog day Amber is in a new facility where she has more privacy (letters get to her unopened) and she can receive stamps, letters, magazines, books and gift cards. To write her send correspondence to:

Amber Batts
835 D Street
Anchorage AK

For more info on this recent development read here: AMBER BATTS UPDATE 3/9/16

Hopefully Amber will be able to finish her sentence at home so she can be with her family. She is in the process of trying to make this happen.

Amber loves reading Neil Gaiman books and illustrated stories such as these.


Read about Amber:

Tara Burns report about Amber at Tits and Sass

Casualty in the war on consensual prostitution the story of Amber Batts

5/24/15 Kamylla update: employment & housing discrimination

report by Domina Elle

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has helped with support and donations. It has made a difference.

Awareness around this situation is very important and we want to extend a special thanks to everyone who has invested in this effort.

Kamylla’s case highlights what EVERY woman arrested for prostitution has been facing or will be facing. She is not able to acquire employment and will be discriminated against in terms of housing and employment. Life becomes impossible and an already exhausted spirit just gets beaten down further.

Any amount of stability a person had before the arrest will be taken away and replaced with hardship. A person with no stability prior to arrest is plunged into deeper instability.

There is no ‘rescue’ despite the popular rhetoric. There are virtually no services to help people who do want out of sex work let alone help for people who have been arrested.

When it rains it pours…literally.

It is the rainy season in Houston and Kamylla’s modest apartment (the one she has been struggling to keep her family in) was badly flooded during several storms. Much of what her family had left in the way of property was destroyed or damaged (her husband sold most of their furniture and everything they had of value to bond Kamylla out of jail months back).

The apartment sits damaged and it just so happens that Kamylla’s lease is up and a new lease must be drawn up. During this process the property manager discovered her recent arrest for prostitution while doing the standard background check.

It appears that this is now being used as leverage against her.

Instead of allowing her to simply move her family into a newly remodeled and available unit for the same amount of rent she has been paying, they upped the price for her to move into a new undamaged unit by $500 (it has the exact same layout). She can continue to pay the same amount of rent that she has been paying during the previous lease provided they stay in the damaged unit. Kamylla states they simply want to shampoo the carpet and call it a day.

They have the leverage to keep her in the same damaged unit with everyone knowing full well that they can evict her under the circumstances over her record. We can say that they are actually doing her a favor by not evicting her- because this is what often happens even though she wasn’t doing anything illegal out of this apartment.

Do you think the next property management company won’t treat her in the same way?

If you did not see before are you beginning to see now?

Keep in mind Kamylla has been paying late fees on top of the rent. She has already been paying a higher rent through those penalties.

Discrimination-blocked from employment opportunities:

On the 23rd of May a grocery store where Kamylla had applied for a job eight months back finally contacted her about a possible position. Kamylla felt hopeful and walked to the store. She went in to see if she would be hired. Once at the store she was even given a date to go for a drug test before being hired but as she filled out a required form she came to a question regarding whether or not she had ever been arrested.

I can imagine her standing there feeling defeated once again as she told the manager interviewing her that she had been recently arrested. The manager was as nice about it as they could be, and from what she explained to me they told her they might have a job for her if and when her case was resolved but a case for theft, drugs or prostitution was a deal breaker for their store. There was no sense in her completing the application process at this time. She walked home in tears.

Kamylla now feels completely hopeless. Beaten down by everything. Her case has made it impossible for her to help herself through employment. She may end up homeless anyway.

She only engaged in sex work because she couldn’t find work and was facing eviction. Now, even if a job presents itself she will not be hired and cannot work- thanks to her arrest and record.

Are you beginning to see?

What was more damaging to Kamylla? The sex work she did or the circumstances which have resulted from her arrest?


Kamylla has been desperately trying to find a lawyer in the local region who will actually advocate for her, and it appears she has- yet she has no money to pay him. When a person doesn’t have money to pay the rent, how are they going to pay a lawyer; let alone a good lawyer who will actually fight for her?

Kamylla, like so many others in similar circumstances, saw that her family was going to be homeless and she did what was within her power to do to buy a little food and to make sure her family wasn’t put out on the street.

This is a mother who is not willing to just sit there and do nothing during such a moment. She had to do SOMETHING and what she did- she did for her family. Putting an ad up and offering domination sessions (during which she says she never once actually had sex with any of her clients which is very common amongst bdsm and fetish based providers) was a last option which she chose to engage in on limited occasions and only once she found herself one step away from homelessness. She chose this form of work because of the boundaries involved.

Kamylla had only done sex work a few times when the 8 Minutes production came into her life looking FOR HER. They called HER. She made her situation clear to them and they made their many promises. She believed them. She WANTED it to be true. After her circumstances were used as ‘content’ for their show they blew her off. Many people associated with the 8 Minutes show had assured her that she need not place another ad. They told her someone would be contacting her.

She waited for help that never came.

By the time she understood that the assistance which the 8 Minutes production team had promised was never going to manifest she was in the red even deeper. She had believed they were going to give her a job- an employment situation. She wanted to work, she was not there ‘just for a handout’; Kamylla wanted a JOB. Kamylla wanted to be in control of her life and her family’s circumstances.

Within 24 hours of placing the ad, an ad that she had believed she would never need to place ever again, she is arrested.

Is poverty something we now punish people for? It appears so. Why not simply criminalize poverty outright?

Had Kamylla been able to find a sustainable work situation she would never have considered sex work. Now her burdens have been compounded and amplified thanks to her arrest.

Kamylla didn’t see herself as a victim. Now she IS a victim. Now she is being traumatized. Now she is a victim of poverty, a victim of a prostitution arrest and the subsequent circumstances involved. Kamylla has no previous criminal record of any kind. She is a person who was merely trying to feed and house her family.

She had ‘agency’ as a human being before her arrest, but the criminal record has taken that agency from her. Now she IS a victim.

At this juncture it is crucial that Kamylla receive adequate representation. She cannot accept a plea deal due to the circumstances related to her arrest. She has found a good trial lawyer but must raise the fee before her court date. She has only a couple of weeks to pull the money together. This is a very critical time.

We are trying to help Kamylla raise the funds needed for the lawyer. She also still needs assistance with the rent and food. She has been effectively shut down by her arrest.

Now can you see why so many in this situation go right back to sex work regardless of whether they want to or not? Do you see how the arrest and record only amplifies an already impossible situation?

Kamylla is not doing sex work. Kamylla is about to be evicted, she is blocked from being employed, she desperately needs money for a lawyer who will sincerely advocate for her, and I can’t help but return to the fact that had Pastor Brown and his advocates lived up to their narratives, had the production team of 8 Minutes lived up to their promises- NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING.


We can prevent the damage arrest causes by decriminalizing consensual erotic services. You can support this effort by supporting the US based case to decriminalize. DECRIMINALIZE CONSENSUAL ADULT EROTIC SERVICES!

Kamylla responds to all who are helping: THANK YOU

sex worker rights
Transcribed by Elle

Kamylla’s story is here if you are not up to date.

A message from Kamylla:

Thank you so much everybody!

When the fundraising started I was terrified that my family was going to be homeless. With the funds you have donated we were able to pay the rent and the late fees, and to catch up with the utilities. We now have food. It has helped so much!

I never dreamed this would happen. It was not my intention to bother people, to be out in the media like this, none of that, I was just a woman in a very bad spot trying to feed my family and keep us in our home, I was just: lost.

I am not a beggar. I was trying to find work and doing all I could to keep my family in our home. I was doing what I was doing to save my family from being homeless. I only did the show because I wanted to help my family. I believed the show was going to help me to help myself. They promised me a job. I trusted the people at the show 8 Minutes but they put me in a much worse situation than I was in before. They promised so much and then did nothing like they promised. I was trying to find work I was just in a bad spot and afraid for my family to be homeless.

Since filming the show I have had a number of moments that my heart and mind was opened that I want to share.

The first is when I was inside the jail after my arrest.

I had never been arrested before, I was so ashamed and felt terrified like my life was crashing down. The other women in the jail who had been arrested like me stood around me in a circle, they prayed for me, they tried to get their money for my bail. They used their phone credits to help me reach my husband because I had nothing and no way to reach anyone. I did not ask for their help, they just did it. They saw me crying. They responded.

I never had to ask the sex workers. I was terrified. The sex workers warmed my heart.

The second time is when I connected with the sex worker community online. First I met Matisse and it was Matisse who suggested to me to set up a fund and she made the first donation and asked her people to help. Then I met Elle which is my angel and my warrior, my voice. Then Tara, Megs, Ariana, and all of the many people who gave to help me and the anonymous people too.

It warms my heart!

I am thankful to the nice media professionals who wrote and also protected my identity and respected my boundaries instead of running with a story. Alana Massey, Mary Emily O’hara, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Ariane Lange from buzzfeed Tara Burns. These people spoke to me and represented me accurately.

I amazed at how this has happened. Before the show was on the air I was trying to reach out to the producer of the show telling him: had his show fulfilled their promises I would not have been in the worse situation. The producer and so many others kept passing me around and were not helping. The volunteers at the local organizations, the Pastor, the producers, no one helped. Some of these people were even telling me to be quiet and to not speak out about what the show had done.

It was the sex worker activist community and their allies who ARE helping.

I still have not found a job. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be. The emergency has passed for now, but the problems are still here.

Sometimes I close my eyes and think of all of the people who have and are supporting me. I ask God to protect everyone.

I am still tangled in a legal mess. I still need funds for a lawyer. I want a job. Rent is paid until June but what about after that? I sent two of my children to a relative because of the housing emergency. I want my kids back with me. I still can’t have that because of the current mess.

There is still so much to deal with, but I don’t know where I would be (on the street) had people not helped as they have. It means so much!

I just want everyone to know how grateful I am. please forgive me if I have forgotten someone.

We can prevent the damage arrest causes by decriminalizing consensual erotic services. You can support this effort by supporting the US based case to decriminalize. DECRIMINALIZE CONSENSUAL ADULT EROTIC SERVICES!

8 Minutes: The Rescue SCAM


Kamylla tells me her story…

This story starts with a woman who is very similar to millions of women throughout the United States. She’s a mother, she’s a wife, she’s educated and has lived a relatively normal life. However, like so many others these days, she has had a very hard time finding steady work. In addition she and her husband both have health conditions which have greatly limited their employment opportunities, but this has never stopped her from working if she found it. At one point she was taking any job she could get, but temporary work is all she and her husband could find and nothing that turned out to be sustainable.

The bills are piling up. The cupboards are practically bare. She’s already facing a final eviction notice in a series of eviction notices. She is no quitter. She is not lazy. She is having to choose between food for the children or gas money and to her the choice is clear. It became difficult to go out and keep putting in applications, applications which keep getting rejected anyway. Facing eviction, no food in the kitchen, no promising work circumstances, she did what many others have done and do under similar circumstances, she placed an ad online as a sex worker.

I listen as she has describes her situation- you can hear the conflict she experienced over her choice to put an ad online. “I never imagined I would be in such a situation. But I did it for my family. Every night I cried in conflict over it. I did what I had to do to take care so that my family wouldn’t be homeless”.

Kamylla is not addicted to drugs, she had never had a criminal record, she had been applying for jobs everywhere she could but finally had to do what she knew was within her power to do to keep her family in their home.

Without telling her husband she placed an ad and she started earning just enough to keep them from being evicted right away. Since they were always in the red, she had to pay additional late fees to stay the eviction. At no point was she out of the red. The work she was doing as a sex worker was only keeping her family from being put out on the streets.

One afternoon she receives a call from a woman, an assistant producer talking about a TV production. The producer explains that they are looking for women who have ads online to participate with the filming of a show called 8 minutes. The producer goes on to describe that the women who participate will be offered assistance to help them, and if they choose to they can ‘leave the life”.

Kamylla explained to them her situation, how she was facing an eviction at that moment; and she explained that she had tried very hard to find work. According to Kamylla, the producer excitedly stated ‘don’t worry, they will help you! There will be assistance for you if you film for the show and compensation’.

They spoke numerous times over the next week because this was no light thing for Kamylla to do- to confess on national television to millions of people that she had been doing sex work to keep her family in their home.

Kamylla is between a rock and a hard place and her desperate need for assistance is bringing her to the conclusion that this could be the right path to take but she is still very unsure at this point. The producer assures her that there will be compensation but they don’t discuss what this compensation might be.

After numerous phone conversations with the assistant producer of 8 Minutes (she believes this person was with relativity media) Kamylla met with this assistant producer face to face. The producer explained Pastor Kevin’s involvement and the premise of the show. Kamylla recalls the producer looking at her and saying “I’m sorry, but [based on your looks] I don’t believe you are a sex worker”.

Apparently Kamylla didn’t fit this producer’s personal perception of what sex workers are like and how they are ‘supposed to look’. Is it any wonder that 8 Minutes pushes such a marginalized and stigmatized perception of sex work and sex workers?

Kamylla told them she didn’t need a ‘rescue’ she needed a JOB so she could pay the bills and rent. AGAIN the producer assures her that 8 Minutes is going to give her many resources and compensation. The woman added that Kamylla isn’t just doing this for herself, she’s doing it for a greater cause to help other people ‘in the life’. Kamylla asks the producer what the compensation amounts to. The producer tells her she will get $150-200 on the spot. Kamylla baulked at this stating “you want me to go on TV and tell my story, to confess such a thing publicly and you want to pay me only $150-200?”. Kamylla says the producer explained ‘you aren’t just doing this for $150-200, it is the resources you’ll be getting”. Kamylla says the producer mentioned medical (Kamylla had explained she was losing her eyesight) and dental assistance (she also told them she had a toothache). This would be in addition to help with getting her a job and what she assumed based on what she was being told would be immediate help to keep her family safe in their home. Kamylla showed the producer her eviction notice. Kamylla says she made sure to stress to them how she had already gone through all of the local resources; the few which she knew existed, wanting to make sure the producer understood. ‘DONT WORRY’ the producer again stressed ‘after you film, everything will be taken care of’. The producer mentioned again how if Kamylla filmed for the show she would be helping other women. It was at this meeting Kamylla says the producer told her she didn’t need to put up another ad, everything would be taken care of.

Work had been extremely sparse over the thanksgiving holiday and with another eviction notice looming over her head she decided to accept the 8 Minutes offer. Here was another thing she was willing to do for the sake of her family, putting herself in a very vulnerable situation trusting these strangers with her life (not much different than what Pastor Kevin claims the women filmed in 8 Minutes are doing when they do sex work if you think about it).

This all happened starting in mid November into early December. In mid November after thanksgiving, Kamylla was already facing eviction notices and this is when the producer reached out to her through her online ad.

The following week after the initial call there were numerous phone conversations between Kamylla and the assistant producer and by the first week of December Kamylla met at the hotel (the production set) to participate in filming the show.

The day of filming Kamylla brought her final notice of eviction to show the assistant producer of 8 Minutes. Yet AGAIN Kamylla is told ‘Don’t worry! You are going to be compensated’. Again the producer goes into how this will be her chance to have a better life and how doing the show is going to help others who are in the life’. Kamylla responded by saying “I’m sorry, I understand that others need help, but right now I myself need help desperately. I don’t want to beg. I want to help myself”. The producer insisted Kamylla would get resources. Kamylla pressed it- she went as far as to explain again how she had already exhausted the few resources available in the local region (rental assistance is often limited to once annually) or that she didn’t qualify for certain local assistance. She explained she had no gas money to go putting in applications or to be driving around.

It cannot be stressed enough that Kamylla states that she thoroughly explained her circumstances. “If I don’t put another ad up, if I stop working today I need to know there is going to be a tomorrow”. Kamylla says the producer described how much money the production had access to, and Kamylla thought of the giveaways she had seen on Oprah and other shows where people had been given help. Based on what Kamylla says the producer described, in her mind 8 Minutes was going to find and give 40 people a new fresh start and she was fortunate enough to be one of those people!

The set is busy. When Kamylla arrived at the hotel location to film, everything was moving fast. She says she wasn’t given a chance to thoroughly read over the contract she signed; they told her she was already late for filming.

First they had her wait for the call from Pastor Kevin Brown during which they would film him making the appointment as if he had just called her after finding her ad. He acted his part during the call and she acted as though she didn’t know who he was. Then they told her to go to the room where Pastor Brown would be waiting to film the scene. The producers told her to act as though the Pastor was a client and she didn’t know who he really was. She knew cameras were everywhere.

Kamylla says she will never forget that the hotel room where she did the filming was room 106. They told her to go to room 106 and knock on the door. She knew there were cameras throughout the room filming the scene. She acted as though she had no idea what was going on, just as all of the other women filmed for 8 Minutes did as well. Kamylla describes her thoughts as she went to knock and as she entered the room. “I was so glad that this would be my last client and he wasn’t really a client. I was doing this to feed my kids. I never wanted to do this work. I just wanted to take care of my family”.

Once in the room she sat down and described her circumstances to Pastor Brown as the hidden cameras filmed. The pastor offered her assistance to leave the life right on cue and then one of 8 Minutes primary ‘advocates’ D’Litta Miller came into the room to play her role. Miller gave her account of her past having been ‘in the life’ and then the two women walked out of the room and according to the show- Kamylla is now headed towards her new life! “Let’s go to your new life” was the line she remembers D’Litta stating as they departed from the room.

Kamylla says Kevin was standing in the corner texting the entire time when he wasn’t on camera. She says she was around Pastor Brown no more than 40 or so minutes, just long enough to film. Kamylla says she spent very little time with D’Litta Miller as well, though D’Litta filmed an additional scene with her as they drove Kamylla in a van- not to get the assistance and help they had promised and according to what is portrayed in 8 Minutes, but to drop Kamylla off where her ride had been waiting for her to complete filming. There was no pimp, no trafficker, just a girlfriend who had given her a ride.

Kamylla says she had to ask for her cash because it wasn’t readily offered. She says it felt very awkward and she didn’t want to ask (shouldn’t have had to ask, just as a copy of the contract should have been offered if these people were sincerely and truly advocating for her, yet it was not and she left without a copy).

Kamylla says the production crew of 8 Minutes, the advocates, everyone kept telling her ‘Don’t worry!’. Kamylla says that over and over the resources were mentioned: help getting a job, help with rent, food, and more. She was assured that the next day someone would be calling her.

Kamylla states that the assistant producer had told her not to place another ad as soon as she had agreed to do the show. At the time of filming Kamylla had already invested over a week into the show’s promises and hadn’t posted an ad.

The next day after filming Kamylla waited by the phone. The day came and went with no call. A week goes by. At this point it’s almost been a month since Kamylla earned any money.

Kamylla had placed her bet on the word of the producers of 8 Minutes, Pastor Kevin Brown, D’Litta Miller and everyone involved. She is at her wits end worrying about the eviction coming, her family, it is Christmas and there is no money and they are facing homelessness.

Three days after the final eviction notice kamylla called someone with the show to ask about the resources and assistance she had been promised. A volunteer with the show told her that they would see what could be done and call her back. Kamylla waits three more days. The volunteer knew Kamylla was already practically evicted yet she made her wait three more days just to call back to tell her ‘there is nothing I can do’.

Now Kamylla is starting to get really upset. “This is the help?! I declare myself a prostitute for nothing?!”

The next thing that happens is surreal. Kamylla gets a call from one of the show’s producers asking if she could help them find more women to appear in 8 Minutes. “don’t you have any shame?! She says she told them “You haven’t helped me as you promised you would, why would I want to help you find other women? For the love of God, please forget my number and my name, now I know you are liars!”

It is at this juncture that Kamylla puts her ad back online. On this day she had only $10 in her pocket, just enough to pay for the ad. Using the same phone number she had used before which the 8 Minutes crew was aware of, she placed her ad to try to earn money for food. Kamylla waited to get a call.

Details here must be protected for Kamylla’s safety but her story only gets worse. Within 24 hours of placing this ad, Kamylla found herself under arrest for prostitution. She says six or more officers raided her hotel room, it was terrifying. She says she stood there scared out of her wits while the officers were laughing and mocking her. It was deeply humiliating.

Kamylla says she never dreamt this would happen to her.

While in jail Kamylla says she met many others who had been arrested for sex work. She describes how these women would be the first to truly come to her aid. “They were helping me reach my family outside, using their credits to call people who could reach my husband”. She says some of the women were also trying to get the cash they had when they were arrested to help her post bail to get out, but they were told it would require quite a process to get their property under the circumstances. Kamylla says this is when she started to see. She had been lied to by the faith based 8 Minutes ministry and crew who had promised her everything yet were lying through their teeth, while on the other hand the sex workers who were under arrest were now trying to help her get back to her family.

Kamylla finally reached her husband and this is how and when he found out what she had done. With no money to post bail he sold the kitchen dining room set and most of their furniture to raise the money. Now the house sits vastly empty. Kamylla says when she left to do her appointment her daughter was expecting her to come back soon to make dinner; mom didn’t make it back for 48 hours.

After her arrest Kamylla contacted the producers of 8 Minutes. She created a twitter account and attempted to contact Tom Forman and others with the 8 Minutes production. She researched Pastor Kevin and found his contact information online. She called Pastor Kevin Brown and told him what had happened. He offered to pray with her. He also told her that he would have someone in Houston call her. The days keep passing. No call back.

Here was a person who truly wanted any help she could get and would have maximized any help she received. The excuse being given by at least one of the 8 Minutes advocates via her Twitter feed is that the 8 Minutes ministry and show could not force these women to get help, they could only help give the ladies the foundation to make an empowered choice. It was Lexi who made this comment. “We don’t force anyone to make a decision we empower them to make a choice” where was the EMPOWERMENT Lexi?!

This line of thinking, allows Kevin Brown and 8 Minutes (not to mention the entire rescue industry which has had it’s hand out for millions of dollars) to excuse themselves from any responsibility and accountability. They can simply say that the women refuse the help.

If there is a person who would benefit and fully take advantage of any assistance given, Kamylla was this person. Instead she was promised the world, she was lured by the producers of 8 Minutes, and used as a prop in a show which amounts to propaganda to push the faith based non profit industrial complex and then she was blown off.

Did these people- the various producers, Pastor Brown and D’Litta Miller ever really believe their own claims as much as we are led to believe as we watch 8 Minutes?

Or….do they know that they were lying to these women as well as the audience of 8 Minutes? 8 Minutes, Tom Forman, Kevin Brown, A&E, are all profiting off of the criminalization of sex workers bottom line.

According to what Kamylla has revealed, 8 Minutes not only lied to these women about the resources that were actually available, but the resulting circumstances served to compound the situation, an already impossible situation.

After locating and speaking to a number of the women who agreed to be filmed it is clear that many of them simply wanted the cash they would be getting for their appearance, which amounted to $150-200. A&E through the 8 Minutes production took advantage of vulnerable women who desperately needed money, paying them crumbs to expose their lives for content for a show. Otherwise there was no ‘compensation’ to speak of beyond that.

Despite the narrative of 8 Minutes, the women I have spoken with who filmed 8 Minutes were not interested in getting any services and they made this clear to the producers of the show, but this was not the case with Kamylla. She wanted and desperately needed the assistance.


Kamylla’s story is not unique by any stretch. Her story echoes the circumstances of millions of women, men and transgender people who have been and will be arrested doing sex work in the United States. The economy, the high cost of living, and a lack of jobs with living wages is pushing more people into sex work.

At the same time, throughout the United States there is an exponentially growing non profit industrial complex that sex workers have dubbed the ‘rescue industry’ which is an arm of the self described ‘modern day abolitionist movement’ solely based in anti prostitution sentiment. This anti prostitution movement (disguised as a humanitarian effort to combat sex trafficking) often aligns itself with and in many cases directly works with law enforcement.

8 Minutes now serves as a propaganda front for the faith based rescue industry. Observing the 8 Minutes twitter feed you find tweet after tweet praising what Pastor Kevin Brown and his advocates are doing, as if they are actually helping the women shown. Many people have fallen for the ruse of 8 Minutes. Subsequently, faith based rescue organizations are now tripping over themselves to grab their media bites in order to ride on the show’s algorithm and popularity no doubt with the hopes of pulling in more funding and donations.

Meanwhile, the JVTA and the SAVE ACT are bills currently being pushed unanimously into legislation and are the result of the narratives generated by the faith based non profit industrial complex and its abolitionist movement (which already gets millions in funding). If these bills are passed into law millions more in funding will be funneled to rescue organizations just like Kevin Brown’s ministry, as well as to law enforcement. Will ‘victims’ be rescued? Thus far, all we have seen is more women like Kamylla being arrested and their lives made more impossible. The narratives generated by the faith based anti prostitutionists of the abolitionist movement equate all forms of sex work as being sex trafficking, and this is the clincher. People watching 8 Minutes are being told the women presented are trafficking victims simply because they are sex workers.

8 Minutes is a perfect allegory for the rescue industry. There is a great deal of rhetoric around ‘rescue’ ‘restoration’ and ‘help’ but we aren’t finding much in the way of actual services for people, despite the millions some of these organizations receive. We do find an increase in adult consensual sex workers being arrested and their already difficult lives made even more impossible. The 8 Minutes narrative is a treacherous lie which echoes the rescue industry it represents.

Many people working in the rescue industry know that most sex workers don’t want their ‘rescue’. This doesn’t stop them from applying for federal grants or accepting donations. The money is predominantly used for hotlines and raising awareness. Watching a person like Kamylla fall through the cracks- being a person you’d assume the rescue industry would love to assist, is very telling. Kamylla’s circumstances exposes the narrative for what it is, a ruse to be able to generate more funding for the rescue industry that never seems to manifest into tangible services.

As we watch 8 Minutes observe how they pat themselves and each other on the back for all the good work they think they are doing to ’empower’ and ‘liberate’.

Ask Kamylla what she thinks of their empowerment and if she feels liberated.

I don’t think you’ll get a positive review.

– written by Domina Elle dictated by Kamylla

Sex workers come from all walks of life, cultures and socioeconomic circumstances. No matter the circumstances involved, outside of legal forms of sex work all sex workers are criminalized and work under the threat of arrest. Sex workers do not have equal protection under the law let alone sufficient labor rights. Regardless of whether a sex worker engages in legal or illegal forms of sex work- sex workers face marginalization, stigmatization and discrimination- just like Kamylla.

If you can offer anything to help Kamylla to go towards rent or food- PLEASE donate. Rent is due and there’s no money for food or even gas to go driving around trying to get help. Lives have been destabilized further. We can succeed where 8 Minutes failed. Donations go directly to Kamylla.

If you would prefer to send a gift card (for groceries, gas card, gift card of any type) or a note of encouragement to Kamylla, you can do so:

16516 El Camino Real #344
Houston TX

We can succeed where 8 Minutes failed. Everything including the energy and support in getting the word out has been MUCH APPRECIATED!


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We can prevent the damage arrest causes by decriminalizing consensual erotic services. You can support this effort by supporting the US based case to decriminalize. DECRIMINALIZE CONSENSUAL ADULT EROTIC SERVICES!