Move Along

Last week, I was reading over “Move Along: Policing Sex Work in Washington, D.C.”. I expected to find a post about the report up on BnG, but alas, there has been no mention as far as I can tell. And that’s a shame.

Released on May 1, 2008, the study is “the product of a year-long community based research project.” “The project is the result of work by representatives of communities affected by policing in the District including sex workers, transgender people, and immigrants.”

Key findings in the study include:

Survey respondents who had interactions with police reported negative experiences six times more often than positive experiences during those interactions and when locked up. These experiences included confiscation of condoms and other safe sex supplies by police, assault, strip search, being asked to provide sexual favors to the police, verbal abuse, discrimination and false arrest because officers profiled the person as a prostitute, and anti-immigrant discrimination.

Latinos, transgender people and youth and young adults were disproportionately subjected to police mistreatment and abuse “They attacked me instead of helping me,” said a young Latina transgender woman when describing the police reaction when she called for help after being sexually assaulted.

Communities affected by policing of prostitution want to see the District change its approach to the issue of commercial sex, including considering stopping prostitution-related arrests, holding police accountable for abuse, changing prostitution laws, increasing resources for services, and supporting sex workers and others to organize to defend their human rights.

To read more, you can view the Executive Summary and the full report
on the Different Avenues website. (Both documents are in pdf format.) The Executive Summary concludes with a list of Key Recommendations that BnG readers will appreciate!

3 Responses

  1. gah…this is me being slack. I saw this too and neglected to post about it.

  2. It’s so great HIPS and Different Avenues represent like they do in Washington, D.C.!!! This report and “Revolving Door,” the Sex Workers Project’s report on street-based prostitution in NYC, are must-reads for urban workers and activists out of touch with street work and other hard-to-reach sex worker populations.

    $pread, HIPS, and Different Avenues are planning a leg of “Grind the Vote” in D.C. to highlight these very issues: the political rights of sex workers as reproductive rights, immigrant rights, right to health care, labor rights, and right to affordable housing. It’s issues like these, beyond decrim, that sex worker activists like us have to connect: to build bridges to other movements as well as the different constituencies within “sex work” itself.

  3. I just read part of that the other day – it is a truly excellent work. Congrats to those who put it together.

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