Sex Worker Rights Are Human Rights
Nine women have disappeared in a community called Rocky Mount, N.C. Six have been found. Dead. So decomposed, that investigators cannot identify how they were killed. You can read about it here.
They were sex workers.
This is why I favor decriminalization of sex work.
On December 17, 2008, I joined nearly a hundred sex workers in a march in Washington, D.C. The march highlights the violence done to people in sex work. I heard stories.
One woman talked of having been beaten and raped by a client. Other sex workers saw what was happening. The police were called. The sex worker was given the option of having the client prosecuted. The catch? She also would be prosecuted for selling sex.
Another woman told me, “I know some day I’m going to be arrested. My hope is that I don’t have to have sex with the cop before he takes me to jail.”
The criminalization of sex work leaves sex workers without the basic protection of the law. They can’t call the cops if they’re raped. (And, yes, you can rape a sex worker. If you don’t know that, please stop reading right now. Please leave my website. Get away!) If a client robs them, they’re out of luck. Finding a safe place to ply their trade is difficult. Advertising is sketchy.
And the benefit to decriminalization? Sex workers would file their income taxes without worrying about being “found out.”
So often I have had to listen to people make presumptions about sex workers. I’d ask you, please, please, please presume the following:
She is honest.
She is determined to make it on her own.
She is kind.
She does not believe that minors should be in sex work.
He doesn’t think anyone should be forced into sex work.
She is generous.
She is loving and is loved by people.
She is intelligent.
He is deserving of kindness.
He and she both deserve human rights.
If we begin with these presumptions, perhaps there will be no more killings of sex workers.