Bad Blood? Bad POLICY!

Considering donating blood? Please be aware of the potential for decline if you are candid about engaging in erotic labor services, regardless of what protocol and screening you practice. Also, keep in mind, many states request a one year deferral if you have had ear piercings, body piercings, or tattoo work, and also in some states, even if you have had acupuncture treatment.

Sex Worker Outreach Project Joins Local Opposition To Controversial Condom Charges By Megan Harris

Sex Worker Outreach Project Joins Local Opposition To Controversial Condom Charges By Megan Harris Local health and social justice experts say the recent criminalization of condom possession discourages sex workers from practicing safe sex and could lead to a broader public health problem. Possessing an instrument of crime under Pennsylvania law usually refers to weapons or body armor, but can include legal items used for criminal purposes. Data reported recently by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review show police in Allegheny County classified condoms as those instruments in one-third of prostitution cases reviewed last year. - | 90.5 WESA

Victory: Amnesty from arrest for sex workers reporting crime

Congratulations & Great Work!  Victory: Amnesty from arrest for sex workers reporting crime January 11, 2018  ***PRESS RELEASE*** 

San Francisco announces first in-the-country policies to support sex workers who are victims or witnesses to violence in reporting to law enforcement. “Prioritizing Safety for Sex Worker” policies would protect a sex worker reporting a violent crime from arrest or prosecution for prostitution or minor drug offenses 

According to new policies released by the City’s two largest law enforcement agencies, the San Francisco Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office, sex workers will not be arrested or prosecuted for prostitution or minor drug offenses, they are reporting a violent crime. Created in partnership with the Department on the Status of Women and local sex worker rights organizations, including members of the Sex Worker and Trafficking Policy Impact Committee of the Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking, the policies are designed to prioritize the safety of sex workers over the prosecution of misdemeanor prostitution and drug-related offenses, and to reduce the likelihood that victims of violence will themselves end up arrested or incarcerated.

“Our hope for this policy is to reduce the harm experienced by sex workers, in particular, women of color and transgender women engaged in the sex trades, who have no protections when reporting violence, or experience mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement,” said Johanna Breyer, Executive Director of St. James Infirmary.

Minouche Kandel, Director of Women’s Policy at the Department on the Status of Women, called the policy “a major step towards addressing violence against women wary of contacting law enforcement because of their criminalized status.”

“Our research and direct service work in San Francisco have shown that most sex workers, and people experiencing exploitation in the sex industry, do not go to the police when they have been victimized.  This policy is the first step towards creating a social and political environment where people can seek help when they are victims of violence,” said Alexandra Lutnick, Senior Research Scientist at RTI International.

“For decades sex workers have been pressing the city for safety to be prioritized so we welcome these policies which will make it easier to report violence. This change is particularly needed since national figures show discrimination in the implementation of the prostitution laws and since recent reports show officers taking advantage of vulnerable sex workers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how the policies are implemented”. Rachel West, US PROStitutes Collective.

Law enforcement officials say these policies send a clear message to violent perpetrators that violence against sex workers will be treated seriously under the law.  “If we fail to prioritize this population’s health and safety they will not come forward and work with law enforcement as witnesses and victims of violence,” said District Attorney George Gascón.  “Ultimately, unreported crimes and criminals pose a threat to everyone’s public safety.”

“This policy underscores our commitment to providing services to all victims,” said Police Chief William Scott. “We understand that many times sex workers are themselves victims of predators and human traffickers. Our policy is written in the spirit of encouraging sex workers to feel safe coming forward to law enforcement, with the knowledge that they will be treated with respect and their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated.”

In many jurisdictions across the U.S., sex workers are arrested if they report violent crimes. “We hope these policies- the first of their kind in the nation- will serve as a model for other jurisdictions where criminalized sex workers face high rates of violence,” said Carol Leigh of Bayswan.

View the Police Department Policy here and the District Attorney Policy here. ##

US PROS Collective

January 11, 2018,  ***PRESS RELEASE***

San Francisco announces first in-the-country policies to support sex workers who are victims or witnesses to violence in reporting to law enforcement.

“Prioritizing Safety for Sex Worker” policies would protect a sex worker reporting a violent crime from arrest or prosecution for prostitution or minor drug offenses 

According to new policies released by the City’s two largest law enforcement agencies, the San Francisco Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office, sex workers will not be arrested or prosecuted for prostitution or minor drug offenses, they are reporting a violent crime. Created in partnership with the Department on the Status of Women and local sex worker rights organizations, including members of the Sex Worker and Trafficking Policy Impact Committee of the Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking, the policies are designed to prioritize the safety of sex workers over the prosecution of misdemeanor prostitution and…

View original post 450 more words

HIV Criminalization in the United States: A Sourcebook on State and Federal HIV Criminal Law and Practice, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (2017)

The HIV Criminalization Sourcebook includes the text, related case law, and analysis of statutory provisions that: 1. criminalize non-disclosure of HIV status or exposure of a third party to HIV; 2. make exceptions to confidentiality and privacy rights of PLHIV; 3. provide for sentence enhancements for PLHIV convicted of underlying crimes such as prostitution and solicitation; and 4. require sex offender registration for PLHIV.

Sexual Health Care for Youth in State Custody

The Center for HIV Law and Policy,  Equality Federation, and Heat: Health Education Alternatives for Teens, invite you to join us for a day organizing to develop an advocacy strategy for policy change on comprehensive sexual health care for LGBTQ youth in state custody.

NH Action Alert issued by US PROStitutes Collective

Global Women’s Strike testified in support of a bill to decriminalize prostitution in New Hampshire.  A Sub Committee of the NH Legislature agreed to study the issue and are meeting on September 5.  Please see Action Alert from the US PROStitutes Collective and write or call sub-committee members in support of decriminalization!

NH ACTION ALERT: Study Of Sex Work Decriminalization Models

YOU CAN HELP STOP THE VIOLENCE BY SUPPORTING SEX WORKER FRIENDLY SERVICES. First meeting of Subcommittee is September 5: We are in touch with Elizabeth Edwards, one of the sponsors of HB 287.  The first meeting of this Subcommittee is September 5.  The committee hearing is open to anyone to attend. Campaigners for decriminalization including Bella Robinson of COYOTE/Rhode Island will be attending. Melanie Dante, a Pennsylvania advocate for sex workers and survivors, and Eris Vayle, both known well for the Philadelphia December 17th effort to de-escalate gender based violence, will also attend.  CRIMINALIZATION & STIGMA CONTRIBUTE TO FACTORS KILLING SEX WORKERS

ESPU-PHILLY Endorses the Consensus Statement on HIV “Treatment as Prevention” in Criminal Law Reform

ESPU-PHILLY Endorses the Consensus Statement on HIV "Treatment as Prevention" in Criminal Law Reform. This is because the two biggest problems with almost all HIV criminal laws and prosecutions are that 1) they focus on HIV disclosure rather than on whether the PLHIV had an intent to do harm; and 2) HIV laws’ felony punishment and severe sentences treat any risk of HIV infection as the equivalent of murder or manslaughter. An April 2017 Pub Med article confirms: - diagnosis rates and laws criminalizing HIV exposure in the United States found no association between HIV or AIDS diagnosis rates and criminal exposure laws across states over time, suggesting that these laws have had no detectable HIV prevention effect.