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We are very alarmed by the seizure of Myredbook.  Many Bay Area sex workers have been able to improve their working conditions by using Myredbook as the site provided a private, discreet venue for negotiations that otherwise often happen in a public venues or on the street. Now that the only free local online female sex worker ad hosting site is gone, where will people go to work? We are very concerned for those who may be forced into more dangerous working conditions at this time.

Today we also lost extensive online forums for a community of sex workers to keep each other safe, screen clients, and blacklist predators. Myredbook also hosted resource guides for sex workers who were struggling and created a venue for community counseling for those in need. Many local outreach organizations used this forum to connect with vulnerable sex workers. 

While we are certainly concerned with the issue of sex trafficking, this misguided effort only pushes the most marginalized of us further into the underground. The current anti trafficking moral panic is causing so much unnecessary harm, which we will continue to see as a result of this seizure. Sex workers want to end trafficking. The answer is the decriminalization of prostitution, which would effectively end the black market, and give workers the ability to unionize and report crimes committed against and around us. It would then be much easier to see the difference between choice and coercion or force. Increasing criminalization of poor working women in the Bay Area is a dangerous move and the most marginalized of us will suffer the worst.

 

Patricia West

Sex Workers Outreach Project Bay Area

Bay Area sex workers needing support are encouraged to come to our meeting this Thursday, June 26th from 7pm to 9pm. Details at SWOPBay.org