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SISTERHOOD OF THE NIGHT by Becky Usry

SISTERHOOD OF THE NIGHT

A True Story

By Becky Usry

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-88282-134-2
Publisher: New Horizon

 An entreaty from a courageous, or perhaps foolhardy, woman who launched a campaign to help prostitutes come in from the cold. According to this report, Usry (founder, Project New Life) and her family, including three children, were subject to fire, severed brake lines on the family truck, and a rattlesnake at the doorstepall in an attempt to discourage her from her efforts to work with Southern California streetwalkers who wanted to start new lives. Usry began her crusade when, inspired by a church service, she volunteered to serve as a sponsor (chauffeur cum friend) for one prostitute. That acquaintance led to others, and soon calls were coming in from prostitutes as diverse as a middle-class housewife picking up a few dollars in the afternoon to a desperate mother of a newborn and a toddler living with her pimp/husband in the back of a van. They all needed information and referrals for jobs, schools, medical aid, detox programs, child care, and other services. Usry wanted to establish an ongoing program, including a halfway house. She met that goal, but at the cost of making enemies so powerfulan Oriental don, and a motorcycle gang who financed their tattooed lifestyles by running prostitutesthat she and her family were forced to uproot and relocate secretly. Now she's pleading with Congress to pass legislation that would make pandering a federal crime, define customers as well as prostitutes as lawbreakers, and fund a nationwide program of education and rehabilitation that she believes would be effective at a cost of less than $500,000 a year. Although Usry's story includes tales of rogue cops, Washington blackmail, and murder, its matter-of-fact tone, a deliberate brake on sensationalism, robs it of the force that could make it a powerful tool in her campaign. (Author tour)