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SWOP Bay is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP). SWOP promotes proven and effective social policy approaches to the sex industry. In order to reach its goals, SWOP adopts the principles and practices of nonviolent action in order to reduce violence and achieve dignity and rights for sex workers.

SWOP Bay Mission Statement

We absolutely must decriminalize all consenting adult commercial sex; we must support the lawsuits to decriminalize commercial sex, and we deplore any attempts to ‘rehabilitate’ sex workers in ‘deferment’ programs which either rely on criminalization or encourage the continued arrest (or kidnapping) of sex workers to be herded into said programs. Additionally, deferment programs force consenting workers to identify as trafficked, artificially inflating trafficking statistics to the detriment of sex workers.

SWOP Bay Goals + Priorities

SWOP Bay is an open and informal support group in the SF Bay Area. Our goals are to help create space for our sex worker community. We have helped organize some successful actions and social events over the years. Here is a list of our most recent activities:

– Protest on the Rentboy Raid
– Social events
– Booth at the Castro Street Fair
– Q&A Panel on the “Untangled” SFSU performance
– Fundraising for historic case ESPLERP vs. Gascon

We as sex workers are by and large not afforded protection or recourse from violent acts committed against us because of the precarious, often graft-ridden relationship between sex work and law enforcement. We at SWOP Bay are working toward decriminalization of prostitution and attaining equal protection under the law. Most of our efforts in this direction have been in the form of fundraising for the historic court case, ESPLERP vs. Gascon. This case is currently in the Ninth Circuit Court.

Read more about the court case: esplerp.org
Fundraising link for ESPLERP vs. Gascon: LitigateToEmancipate.com

SWOP Bay strives to be a social group with a purpose. Starting conversations on the topics of decriminalization, stopping discrimination and removing stigma (among other topics) is an important first step toward raising consciousness about the issues we are dealing with and what we are fighting for.

Historical Information / D17

Serial killers like Gary Leon Ridgeway, the Green River Killer who preyed on prostitutes, managed to evade law enforcement for over 2 decades. Meanwhile women, like Robyn Few and Shannon Williams, who as adults had consensual sex for money, are routinely targeted for elaborate high budget police stings. This gross misappropriation of public resources systematically entraps sex work to be a profession that is unsafe and stigmatized. The system, effectively, is institutional violence against the people who exchange money for sex.

Started on Aug. 13th, 2003 our first major action was to organize the first annual International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers in 2003 with the Green River Memorial to the victims of Gary Leon Ridgeway.