Tell State Attorneys Andrew Warren and Brian Haas to protect sex workers and drop the charges against them now!
Vulnerable Black and brown women in Florida are being targeted for engaging in sex work as a means of survival.
In Polk and Hillsborough counties in Florida, police departments have performed raids under the false guise of fighting against "human trafficking", but in reality, they've targeted innocent consenting sex workers and the women are now being criminally charged with offenses. In Polk County, the sheriff's department arrested 154 people under a sting "human trafficking sting" and 151 of the arrestees were consenting sex workers. Targeting sex workers is harmful both to those who willingly participate in the sex industry and to actual victims of sex trafficking.
Sex workers need our protection, not criminalization. Workers in the industry are not inherently endangered, violent, nor committing harm to themselves or others. However, laws that criminalize sex work puts sex workers in harm's way and makes the industry less safe for them. Decriminalization of sex work promotes safe working conditions for women, improves access to health services, and helps guard against violence in the industry.
Women shouldn't be targeted based on their chosen profession and given harsh sentences, criminal records, and suffer from loss of income. State Attorney Brian Haas in Polk County and State Attorney Andrew Warren in Hillsborough County should respect the rights of sex workers by immediately dropping the prostitution charges against all the sex workers arrested in the stings.
Will you join us in fighting for ALL women to receive protection, no matter their profession?
Here is the Petition:
Dear State Attorneys Andrew Warren and Brian Haas,
I am calling on you to immediately drop the charges against the women who were arrested under “prostitution” charges from the raids carried out by the police.
Poor Black and brown women who often turn to sex work as their only means of survival should not be further prosecuted and harmed by outdated laws. Decriminalization of sex work protects poor women, trans women, and women who face harm on a daily basis who can’t come forward to report violence in the industry. Rather than penalizing the women, you should offer them supportive services that put their needs first.
The time is now to protect ALL women no matter their profession.