Added: Angeli Borchers - Date: 13.10.2021 11:10 - Views: 41385 - Clicks: 7255
Published on April 22, By. On Wednesday, the Manhattan District Attorney announced it will no longer prosecute prostitution charges, and just last month the Queens District Attorney requested that prostitution cases be dimissed. This begs the question—in Rhode Island, why do we arrest people doing sex work? America has long been hypocritical about sex work—calling people victims in one breath and criminals with another. The changes in New York could indicate a desire to start addressing that moral failure. She will provide insight into the challenging experiences of people doing sex work.
You can register for the free event here. For many years, Rhode Island was the only state in the country that did not entirely criminalize sex work. The loophole meant that while sex work outdoors, pimping, and operating a sex work business were all illegal, the actual act of selling consensual sex for money indoors was not. I was directing our criminal justice policy work at OpenDoors in when it became clear that the tense compromise of this unintentional decriminalization would no longer hold.
Legislator after legislator passionately proclaimed how much they wanted to protect the victims—sex workers of all types, and most importantly victims of sex-trafficking. OpenDoorsRENEWDAREand many other local organizations had long emphasized how much we needed to help people trapped unwittingly in sex work, through poverty, trauma, and addiction.
Along side messages of compassion was what often seemed, atleast to myself, the true power behind the campaign—the judgement that prostitution was bad and should disappear from view. I think it goes to show the youth of Rhode Island that it is a crime.
It is not a profession and it will not be tolerated. In all the outcry professing to care about sex workers, the people Rhode Island did not hear from were sex workers. As advocates we did our best at the time to try to bring their experiences into the debate. Did they think the women were victims? Tara helped try to bring the stories of the women she met into the public—no one had bothered to ask them—and several ended up testifying against the legislation. Rhode Island ultimately ignored the pleas of the women we met that day, passing legislation which made indoor prostitution clearly a crime due to the pushback, legislators did simultaneously make RI the only state to allow unlimited expungement of loitering for prostitution charges.
I doubt anyone followed up with those spa employees to see how their lives were affected. I still do not believe the five women whose photos were printed in an article about a hotel sweep in were helped by being arrested. I still do not believe that the women in these articles that were victims of sex trafficking could only be helped because they could be arrested more easily.
RI is once again grappling with this issue by considering a legislative study commission. The commission has been stalled since —apparently the legislature thinks the issue is no longer worth deliberating now that sex work is a crime and indoor sex work venues are less publicy visible. The panel discussion next Thursday will be a unique opportunity to pick up where we left off in Hopefully, even a small portion of the people that were demanding legislation in will be interested in hearing about what happened afterwards.
There is evidence that it backfired. Preventing violence and arrest in sex work in Rhode Island On Wednesday, the Manhattan District Attorney announced it will no longer prosecute prostitution charges, and just last month the Queens District Attorney requested that prostitution cases be dimissed.
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