The Equality Model is criminalization by another name; pass the Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act
Decrim NY is led by sex workers and trafficking survivors from queer and trans communities of color. Police and criminalization are a major source of violence for our communities, and continuing to criminalize people for sharing resources, creating workplaces for sex workers, or being clients of sex workers doesn’t make us safer. Our communities are often excluded from the mainstream economy by employment discrimination, shut out of housing options, and criminalized while accessing public spaces by laws like the #WalkingWhileTrans ban.
What we have isn’t working. The current model of criminalizing sex work traps sex workers and trafficking survivors in cycles of violence. The new proposed legislation referred to as the "Equality Model" conflates sex work with sex trafficking, using the logic of broken windows policing to address trafficking by targeting sex workers.
Criminalizing sex work will not end sex trafficking.
We reject the tokenization of a few survivors and the amplifying of white celebrities’ opinions to silence the voices of many people with lived experience, and we urge legislators to support policy solutions that create real safety for people who trade sex by choice, circumstance, or coercion. People who trade sex to access resources are demanding decriminalization of workers, their clients, their peer safety strategies, and their housing options under the Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act.
The Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act does not seek to change any laws against human trafficking, rape, assault or sexual harassment. We seek to end violence, exploitation, and trafficking without harming people who rely on the sex trade for survival. For those who need services, we call for investments in LGBTQ youth affirming shelters for young people who are experiencing homelessness and vulnerable to trafficking, employment opportunities for trans adults who experience high rates of discrimination, as well as immigration and health services that are accessible without arrest.
End Demand, Nordic Model, “Equality Model,” whatever new branding they give it tomorrow because today’s name has received too much criticism: Prohibition will never be decriminalization.