Stand with Survivors

Should sex work be decriminalized? It’s become a political issue

A group is pushing to decriminalize buying and selling sex and managing people for prostitution, but others in the sex trade community are saying it’s a terrible idea. The issue has made its way to the 2020 campaign trail. NBC senior national correspondent Kate Snow reports on TODAY.

TODAY | 01/30/20


Opponents of sex work decriminalization launch 2020 legislative fight

Opponents of the decriminalization of the adult sex trade gathered to celebrate the launch of a new coalition and legislative campaign they say will protect vulnerable people in the sex trades and hold those who purchase sex and human traffickers to account.

Queens Daily Eagle | 11/26/19


Decriminalizing the Sex Trade Isn't the Answer—The Equality Model Is

Legalizing prostitution legalizes pimping and sex buying, too. There is a better way.

Marie Claire | 11/25/19


Understanding the Sex Trade with Sarah Jones and Alexi Ashe Meyers

The gang tackles the complicated questions around sex trafficking and the legalization of prostitution. They talk about the Equality Model with survivors. And everyone holds their breath while Keith speaks.

Amy Schumer | 11/25/19


Work In Progress: Alexi Ashe Meyers

Alexi sits down with Sophia to discuss the bills to decriminalize prostitution which are popping up throughout the country, explain the Equality Model and why it's a better solution to support people in the sex trade, and share more insight.

Sophia Bush | 11/25/19


NYC could be next prostitution hub if legalized: trafficking survivors

Trafficking survivors spoke at an event in Manhattan where they detailed the “horrific” experience of being sold across the country, including in New York, and how the Big Apple is destined to be the next prostitution “hub” if the act is legalized.

New York Post | 11/19/19


Inside The Campaign to End Gender-Based Violence

Alexi Ashe Meyers chats “Lobby Baby” and the Equality Model

Wake-Up Call | 11/18/19


Activists want 2020 candidates to clarify support for decriminalizing sex work

Activists and survivors of sex trafficking are calling on 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to clarify their potential support for decriminalizing sex work, arguing that across-the-board policies could have unintended consequences.

The Hill | 10/14/19


D.C. bill would empower pimps and brothel owners — not women

OPINION: Our nation’s capital is on the brink of giving sexual predators more power, stamping legal some of the most misogynistic, exploitative conduct. And one thing’s for sure, this bill won’t keep anyone healthy or safe.

Washington Post | 10/10/19


Prostitution Is on the Verge of Being Legalized — These Women Want it to Stop

As bills to decriminalize prostitution continue popping up across the country, these advocates say there’s a better way to support people in the sex trade.

InStyle | 09/12/19


D.C.’s bill to decriminalize prostitution would hurt the people it aims to help

Editorial Board: Decriminalizing prostitution has become a priority for the progressive movement, and the movement is slowly picking up steam across the country. But council members would do well to look beyond the progressive label that has been attached to decriminalization.

Washington Post | 09/02/19


D.C.’s bill to decriminalize prostitution has a big blind spot

Is it acceptable to residents of the District that their government might decriminalize the sale of the bodies of women and men, many of them transgender, to satisfy male desires?

Washington Post | 08/30/19


There’s a way to decriminalize prostitution without putting women at risk

It’s necessary and long overdue to decriminalize individuals in the sex trade who represent some of the most marginalized members of our community. But offering legal protection to those who exploit them is a misguided and dangerous policy that threatens to turn the District into a sex tourist destination and harm the very communities the bill aims to protect.

Washington Post | 08/02/19


DC Council Bill Would Turn Our Nation’s Capital Into a Capital for Sex Tourism and Trafficking

The DC Council is considering a bill that would decriminalize the commercial sex trade in the District, enabling the abuse and trauma of more young women and girls.

Washingtonian | 07/16/19


Taina Bien-Aimé on Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest, Alex Acosta, Fighting Sexual Trafficking and More

Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, discusses the recent arrest of Jeffrey Epstein and how it is related to her efforts to end sexual trafficking.

Democracy NOW | 07/12/19


The Case Against 'Full Decriminalization' of Sex Work

Rebecca Zipkin, attorney at Sanctuary for Families and former prosecutor in Brooklyn prosecuting cases of sex trafficking and sex crimes, and Taina Bien Aime, the executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), argue that full decriminalization will lead to the flourishing of the sex trade, often at the expense of the workers themselves.

WNYC | 07/11/19


Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes remind us of how millions of women are exploited in the sex industry

Epstein’s crimes are sweeping and flagrant, but not drastically different from what commercial sexual exploitation looks like every single day in cities across America.

NY Daily News | 07/11/19


Survivors Say No Full Decriminalization of Prostitution

An open letter from Survivors of Prostitution and Trafficking

WorldWE | 06/25/19


A big mistake on sex work: Reformers would let buyers, pimps and promoters escape criminal consequences

Advocates in New York are pushing for the full decriminalization of prostitution. If successful, people would no longer be arrested or prosecuted for selling, purchasing or facilitating (pimping) the sale of sex. 

NY Daily News | 06/05/19


Sex-trade survivor: Don’t legalize prostitution in New York

State lawmakers pushing to legalize prostitution may want to think twice.

New York Post | 06/02/19


Opinion: Legalizing Prostitution in NYS Would Ignore its True Costs

We need a legislative model shown to reduce the commercial sex market, increase safety, provide services for survivors, and hold men accountable for the crimes they commit. 

CityLimits | 05/31/19


Could Prostitution Be Next to Be Decriminalized?

Presidential candidates and state lawmakers are all debating whether to remove penalties for prostitution, a proposal that used to be taboo in most political circles.

The New York Times | 05/31/19


Gloria Steinem and Advocates Applaud NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson for His Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform

Speaker Johnson’s Call for the Equality Model is the right step to protect and promote the well-being of those who are sex trafficked and individuals in the sex trade while holding accountable those who harm them.

Sanctuary for Families | 05/20/19


Corey Rejects Full Sex Work Decriminalization

Out gay City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on May 16 voiced his opposition to the full decriminalization of sex work, breaking from other progressive politicians.

Gay City News | 05/16/19


Council Speaker tells Albany to repeal ‘archaic’ loitering law without decriminalizing sex trade

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson today urged state lawmakers to pass a bill that would eliminate the charge for “loitering for the purposes of engaging in a prostitution offense.”

Queens Daily Eagle | 05/16/19


Handmaids and Jezebels: New York Must Not Legalize Harm

New York State legislators are now proposing two bills to preserve a legacy of human chattel, defining women as vessels for economic profit.

Women's News | 05/09/19


Brooklyn DA hedges support for sex work decriminalization

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez clarified his position on the decriminalization of sex work at a panel in Manhattan Wednesday evening, outlining a proposal that could eliminate the prosecution of some prostitution-related charges, even as the policing of sex work continues.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle | 04/25/19


Dutch prostitution debate in parliament forced by youth petition

A petition is to be handed into the Dutch parliament demanding that visiting a prostitute be made illegal.

BBC News | 04/10/19


Hold buyers accountable in sex trafficking

If men were not buying, there would be no incentive for the human traffickers to channel women into these massage brothels in the first place. 

The Boston Globe | 03/26/19


Dear johns — an open letter to sex buyers

When we heard the news that Patriots owner Robert Kraft was recently charged with allegedly buying sex, we were angry and devastated. But because of our experience as trafficking survivors, we know that the real story here is not one man. 

The Boston Globe | 03/18/19


Legalization of prostitution in New York? Not on my watch!

Growing evidence shows the catastrophic effects of decriminalization of the sex trade. 

Amsterdam News | 03/14/19


A Victory Against Sex Slavery

The Florida sting operation reflects an important shift, writes an advocate for survivors of gender violence.

The New York Times | 03/06/19


Don’t pass this ‘pimp protection act’

State Sens. Jessica Ramos, Julia Salazar and Brad Hoylman, along with ­Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, announced last week that they are crafting a bill to “fully decriminalize” what they call “sex work” in the Empire State. Their agenda sounds progressive, but it should alarm anyone who cares about women’s rights.

NY Daily News | 03/04/19


Behind Illicit Massage Parlors Lie a Vast Crime Network and Modern Indentured Servitude

In a $3 billion-a-year industry, many women stay on as prostitutes in order to pay debts to smugglers, spa owners and lawyers.

The New York Times | 03/02/19


Legalize prostitution? Hell no

New Yorkers should know that the vast majority of people in prostitution were sex-trafficked as children, homeless, sexually abused, in foster care or otherwise racially and economically marginalized. 

NY Daily News | 03/01/19