International Sex Workers’ Day was celebrated world wide last Sunday on June 2nd. Here’s some footage of French sex workers protesting in Place Pigalle for the occasion. Australian sex workers’ rights orgs joined forces that day, rallying on the steps of Parliament to support a bill that would decriminalize sex work in South Australia.
We were briefly shocked into speechlessness by a Texan jury’s decision to acquit a man of charges of murder for killing 23 year old escort Lenora Ivie Frago, agreeing that because he was attempting to retrieve the $150 he’d paid her when she refused to have sex with him, the shooting was justified by a Texas law that allows “deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft.” Then Charlotte said it all for us.
Local police in China’s Bobai county have rejected an application from sex workers’ rights activist Ye Haiyan’s lawyers to suspend her 13-day administrative detention for intentional injury. Ye was acting in self-defense after a group of ten plainclothes women broke into her home and assaulted her. It is believed that the attack was an attempt to silence her following her recent launch of an online campaign protesting a number of cases of child abuse, which quickly gained huge public support.
Nassau county police released the names and pictures of 104 men who tried to pay undercover cops for sex in a recent month long sting. A Newsday op ed asks a pertinent question: “Is prostitution really the biggest problem in Nassau county?”
Zumba fitness instructor and alleged sex worker and madam Alexis Wright told reporters that she felt relief when police raided her business, because she wanted out. She claims that insurance owner and co-conspirator Mark Strong manipulated into believing she was an “operative” working for the state with the task of investigating “all manner of sexual deviants.” We really wanted to think of something snarky and cutting to say point out the absurdity of all this, but maybe the story speaks for itself.
A bill forbidding the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution was approved in the California Assembly and is moving to the state senate for consideration.
The Vancouver Sun interviewed Katrina Pacey, a a lawyer with Pivot Legal Society, who will appear before the Supreme Court of Canada on June 13 to argue supporting a case by Ontario dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, who wants to strike down laws that prohibit operating bawdy houses, making money from prostitution, and communicating in public to sell sex: “The real hypocrisy in the law is that Canada says sex work is fundamentally legal, however it is impossible to do it safely. They’ve criminalized everything around the core activity.”
Nigerian survival sex workers ask the government for aid in leaving the industry.
The New Statesman features an amazing profile of Australian sex workers’ rights activist and escort Grace Bellavue and her work advocating for decriminalization: “Decriminalisation works. It allows sex work to be socially contextualised and regarded as a valid profession to be afforded the same human rights as workers in any other job.” Bellavue also wrote a powerful op ed in favor of decriminalization which appeared yesterday in the Advertiser.
A Christianity Today piece contemplates the implications of evangelical support of the Supreme Court case against the anti-prostitution loyalty oath, motivated by their fear that the government might institute other such loyalty pledges, obliging Christian service orgs to support abortion in return for federal funding.
Following widespread criticism, Brazil’s health ministry rolled over and scrapped an online campaign called “I’m happy being a prostitute,” aimed to promote safe sex and reduce stigma against sex workers.
Tracy Quan profiles sex working moms in the Daily Beast.
The Association of Women Prostitutes of Argentina (aka ANMAR) came up with an innovative campaign to try to change people’s perceptions about sex workers, using ads pasted onto walls at the corners of buildings reminding people that 86% of sex workers are working mothers, among other myth busting messages.
Hamilton police are hunting a high risk offender, Scott Alan Rigby, with a history of violence towards sex workers.
Four Kenyan women have been arrested on charges of prostitution and drinking alcohol in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Months of occupation and conflict have forced 475,000 people from their homes in northern Mali, and many displaced women are turning to survival sex work to get by.
A recent study reveals that HIV prevalence among migrant female sex workers in Nairobi is 23.1 percent, more than three times the national average. Migrant sex workers in Kenya fear going to public facilities for HIV testing or prevention education because of their uncertain immigration status. Clients take advantage of their undocumented status by threatening to report them to the police if they don’t have unprotected sex with them.
The director of the Nevada state Housing Division, caught in a prostitution sting in Reno, will be penalized with a $10,000 loss in salary. We bet a lot of sex workers in jail for prostitution convictions wish all they had to face was a salary cut. Or maybe they wish they were receiving $10,000 a year to begin with.
A Salon article manages to avoid quoting sex workers’ rights orgs entirely in a discussion of the End Demand model, the passage of a bill removing the felony penalty for prostitution in Illinois, and the recent shift to view sex workers as victims rather than criminals, which is no great improvement, if you ask us.
Milagros Katz, the head of a successful Manhattan company which created escort ads that ran in the Village Voice, the Yellow Pages, and Backpage.com, was sentenced in Queens Wednesday to one to three years in jail after pleading guilty last month to money laundering charges.