The Equality Model is a five-pronged legal approach that holistically addresses prostitution. An Equality Model law in New York State will: 


  1. Repeal laws calling for the arrests and incarceration of people in prostitution (i.e. decriminalize people in prostitution). 

  2. Provide comprehensive trauma-informed social services (e.g., legal, social, clinical, medical, economic empowerment) to people in prostitution, including options should they wish to exit the sex trade. 

  3. Reduce the demand for prostitution by penalizing sex buyers. This shrinks the sex trade and prevents more vulnerable people from being pulled into harm’s way.

  4. Continue to criminalize pimps and traffickers, brothel owners, and illicit massage parlor owners. 

  5. Commit to an extensive community education campaign to raise awareness about the lifelong physical harm and psychological trauma people in prostitution experience at the hands of sex buyers. This increases social accountability for the discriminatory practice of sex buying and contributes to reducing demand for prostitution. It also promotes gender equality, strengthens empathy for survivors, and increases cultural understanding of the devastating effects of the sex trade on the most vulnerable populations and our communities.

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