Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE) Rhode Island 69 Brown Street, Providence, RI, 02906 Email: email@example.com
NEWS RELEASE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019
ADVOCACY GROUPS SUPPORT NEW BILL THAT WOULD CREATE A LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO STUDY THE HEALTH AND SAFETY IMPACT OF SEX WORK LAWS
The sex worker advocacy group COYOTE-RI today released a statement of support for a new bill that would create a commission to study the impact of commercial sexual activity laws, which would include studying the decriminalization of sex work. COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) Rhode Island is a group of sex workers, former sex workers, trafficking victims, and allies that advocates for policies that promote the health and safety of people involved in the sex industry.
Joined by local and national organizations such as the Rhode Island ACLU, the SOAR Institute, and Decriminalize Sex Work in support, COYOTE-RI released this public statement:
COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) Rhode Island endorses bill H 5354 to create a special legislative commission to study the health and safety impact of revising commercial sexual activity laws. We support the implementation of evidence-based practice surrounding sex worker health that would move toward the eventual decriminalization of sex work. Decriminalization of sex work would improve the health and safety of sex workers in Rhode Island. As cited in the bill text, a recent meta-analysis of 134 studies showed that that repressive policing was associated with having three times the odds of experiencing sexual and physical violence from clients or other parties. In Rhode Island, decriminalization of indoor prostitution from 2003 to 2009 was associated with a 31 percent decrease in rape and a 39 percent decrease in gonorrhea incidence among women.
Decriminalization of sex work has also been associated with decreased incidence of HIV as reported by the esteemed scientific journal Lancet HIV. We join diverse and respected groups as the World Health Organization, United Nations AIDS, and Amnesty International, who all recommend decriminalization of sex work to reduce violence against sex workers.
We additionally support this legislation as necessary against a backdrop of recent attacks on sex worker rights. For instance, legislators recently introduced RI – S0096, also known as the Adult Entertainment Performance Tax Act on January 16, 2019. The bill imposes a tax for admission to adult entertainment businesses which will go to the Attorney General’s office to “combat human trafficking. This bill attacks sex worker establishments by forcing them to pay to combat sex trafficking, for which they are not culpable.
We are also concerned by recent news stories detailing state repression of sex workers. Just last week, a Providence police lieutenant who was assigned to a strip club detail was placed on administrative leave after allegedly assaulting a sex worker he was romantically involved with. Additionally, two sex workers were arrested last week in a story involving a Boston police officer. The officer, who allegedly paid for sex, accused the women of stealing his gun (which was left unattended by him). We are alarmed that the women currently sit in jail while the officer is being rewarded with administrative leave with pay for his negligence in leaving a lethal weapon unattended.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Bella Robinson – COYOTE-RI – firstname.lastname@example.org – (401) 525-8757 Meghan Peterson – COYOTE-RI – email@example.com – (857) 939-0830
For more background, see More Bizarre Happenings. Corrupt Cops, Paying Sex with Strippers & Missing Guns