Read the full article by Stephen Yagielowicz at XBIZ.com
SAN FRANCISCO — The Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) is applauding California Senator Scott Wiener for proposing changes to legislation that would protect anyone reporting a serious crime (such as sexual assault, trafficking, robbery, assault, or other violent crime) from being charged with prostitution under California Penal Code 647.
Senator Weiner’s legislation is being announced today in a fourth-floor press conference at 10 a.m. at the Saint James Infirmary on 730 Polk Street in San Francisco.
According to an ESPLERP spokesperson, the new proposal to advance women’s rights protects all women regardless of what they do for a living or how they conduct their personal sex lives.
“In this age of #MeToo, we simply cannot continue to punish women for being assaulted and raped,” the spokesperson explains. “Only one other state, Alaska has passed a similar version of this protection bill in 2017.”
The long-standing criminalization of prostitution creates an environment that is exploited by criminals — and by sexual predators who explicitly target sex workers. For example, Gary Ridgway, the so-called “Green River Killer,” may have killed more than 70 women, and murdered prostitutes because he felt “nobody would miss them” — and because he knew that the police didn’t care.
This legislation will make it easier for people like Reada Wong and Veronica Monet to report violence — and encourages the police to take assaults against sex workers seriously.