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!