This year’s New York State legislative session has ended, and by failing to vote on and pass the “no condoms as evidence of prostitution” bill, lawmakers missed an opportunity to be national and global leaders in ensuring that counterproductive policing and prosecuting practice does not compromise disease prevention and public health.
To label and disregard sex workers as “victims” who cannot comprehend their true “enslavement” is condescending, disempowering, and untrue.
When deciding whether to charge an individual with prostitution, New York City police officers routinely consider if that person was carrying condoms. Even more disturbing, officers frequently destroy condoms in an attempt to get people not to sell sex for money. Two new reports examine the impact of this misguided law which seems to directly conflict with the city’s ongoing efforts to promote condom use.
Sex workers deserve the basic respect and protection from violence that each nation owes its citizens. But in many settings, police abuse of sex workers receives scant public attention despite its entrenched global reality.
It would seem that no one enjoys being called a “hooker,” whether you are a sex worker or not.
Louisiana’s era of forcing certain convicted sex workers to register as sex offenders appears to be over. Governor Jindall’s office announced today that he had signed into law a bill, sponsored by Louisiana State Representative Charmaine Marchand Stiaes, that effectively moves prostitution convictions back to the level of misdemeanor.
The ten most read stories on RH Reality Check this year include Christine O’Donnell’s crusade against masturbation, a look at how universities deal with sex in dorms, and early reporting of the Utah legislation that sought to criminalize miscarriage.
Over the last decade sex work projects, the police and other agencies in Liverpool (United Kingdom) have been addressing violence against sex workers, encouraging reporting and taking crimes committed against sex workers seriously.
Our staunch moral judgment of individuals who by choice or circumstance participate in the sex industry results in the shattering silence around incidents of rapes, assaults, and murders of sex workers.
The state consistently fails to punish police who commit violence against sex workers.