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Sex Workers Outreach Project Needs Analysis
A year ago we began SWOP Sacramento in response to the closing of www.sfredbook.com. We saw an urgent need to help those who would become collateral damage. Historically each time there is policing of indoor sex work, we see a huge increase in street prostitution and an uptick in violence as well.
The word alone (violence) does not do justice the the aftermath of such stings. I myself have been a victim of a similar action by law enforcement, where I almost lost my life. I was lucky. However, so many I knew were not. It’s as if our lives mean nothing. Those who write and enforce the laws do not understand the true impact of poverty and criminalization.
In Sacramento, we find the largest number of those who are working in the survival sex industry are barely sustaining life. One would like to think that this is not the case, but upon completion of our research analysis of the largest area of prostitution in this valley, it is true. Society seems to turn a blind eye to this and continues to criminalize those who have no other choice and are truly the most impoverished.
This research report was nine months in the making. From inception to interviews to analysis, we continued to wade our way through the abuses that are occurring in this area. Scared to carry condoms, fearful of the police, chased out of businesses and pushed aside by services, we listened to those who are both homeless and lacking even the most basic hygiene supplies. Even those who were working against their will (pimped or trafficked) felt more comfortable with their abuser than with the police or with agencies who stated they would help.
At every turn, free will is taken away from these workers and has left them feeling hunted and void of safety. Now that we understand the true needs of sex workers in the poorest area of Sacramento, we are ready to find solutions. We are asking for your support to help us fund a drop-in counseling and community center for sex workers and their children in Oak Park.
We invite you to make a contribution of $2.99 when you download our full research report, Sex Work and Human Trafficking in the Sacramento Valley: A Needs Assessment. Your donation will help us secure space and supplies to create a center where sex workers in Sacramento can build community and create their own solutions. Thank you for your support!