Sex workers offer heartfelt condolences to the families and community of the massage parlor workers who were killed while doing their job – and condemn the long-standing state and media violence against that community.

 The Sex Workers Outreach Project, Sacramento  and The Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) today reacted to the Atlanta Massage Parlor Murders yesterday by offering heart felt condolences and support to everybody in the massage parlor worker community – whether an owner, worker or client.

The widespread public panic around massage parlors has been fanned by politicians and the media, and has been to justify a xenophobic broken immigration policy and the criminalization of prostitution. Therefore we call on congress to immediately pass a national ban on the criminalization of prostitution and reform the immigration laws so as not to leave so many people’s rights in a precarious legal limbo.

Kristen DiAngelo, Executive Director of SWOP Sacramento  said  “Today sex workers around the world are morning for members of their community. As a former massage parlor worker, my heart is heavy. Negative images in the media, stereotypical portrayal of sex workers, and lack of protection under the law all contribute to the targeting of both sex workers and women in the Asian American community”

Maxine Doogan, President of ESLERP said “I started out in the industry by working in massage parlors. I found a community there which supported me, taught me my trade, and taught me how to stay safe. So I feel so much sadness reaching out in this situation. I feel for the families and friends of everybody gunned down in Atlanta while simply trying to make a living.”

If you are a massage parlor worker, a family member or friend of a massage parlor worker, and you want to talk about the events in Atlanta, then please call 844-SWOPSac (toll-free).  We are here for you.