Justice For Donna: Columbus vice squad Officer Andrew Mitchell forced women to have sex with him under threat of an arrest, pressured others to help cover up crimes, and lied to federal investigators when he said he'd never had sex with prostitutes, according to charges unveiled Monday, March 11, 2019. Mitchell has also been investigated by state authorities after police said he fatally shot Castleberry, who stabbed him in the hand while sitting in his unmarked police car. (Michelle Dalton via AP, File)
The International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers #IDTEVASW. December 17th - or 'D/17' for short - is all about community allied anti violence efforts! During the week of December 17th, sex worker communities and social justice organizations stage actions and vigils and work to raise awareness about violence that is commonly committed against sex workers. Art work Johnny Robinson.
CA SB233 would prohibit the arrest of individuals engaged in sex work when they come forward as a witness or a victim of specified violent and serious crimes. It will also end the practice of using condoms as evidence of sex work related offenses.
While you are listening, please remember that there are currently 11 unsolved murder, missing person, and suspicious death cases of sex workers in Anchorage. You can read more about that in this investigative post on the UnsilencedAK blog.
Police have a term for murdered sex workers. The term is “Less than Dead.” This is the literal station house and locker room phrase and has also been used to describe the level of zeal when a crime is committed against sex workers. It was not suprising hearing those words echo from the bushes in Upper Arlington this morning. Viewing this latest case, and the context and the official reaction makes the echos loud. 23 year old Bobbie Renee Simpson, whose body was found burning in a bush on the side of a park trail by a jogger the previous morning. The police are investigating the crime as an arson and abuse of a corpse. Arson is a felony. Abuse of a corpse is a misdemeanor. In the eyes of the police the burning bush was more alive than Bobbie Renee Simpson. - Mockingbird Paper / Ohio
Data shows that FOSTA-SESTA has immediately exposed sex workers to heightened risks of violence and exploitation. According to a survey of 262 sex workers conducted by advocacy group COYOTE-RI, 60% of respondents have taken on less safe clients to make ends meet since the bills passed; 65% said someone had tried to threaten, exploit, or get freebies from them recently; and screening practices (i.e. steps taken to verify the identity or reputation of a client) dropped by 28%. Many have been forced to find clients face-to-face, at locations that are not desirable for safety. Others were approached by guerilla pimps trying to coerce them into doing high-risk work.
We, as one global community renew our commitment to solidarity on December 17,” said Melanie Dante, former sex worker who was one of the organizers at the Philadelphia events this year. "December 17 Events aim to raise outrage at violence against sex workers and strengthen sex worker communities and responses to the systematic, daily violence and exclusion sex workers experience.”