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Safe house helps teenage sex trafficking victim. Sex trafficking in Colombia. Students fight modern slavery. From domestic slave to the Democratic Convention. Story highlights The bill that passed Congress may actually harm sex workers, critics say Internet forums provide protections for sex workers, who find work off streets. Seeing her own reflection "was so traumatizing" for Stark, a transgender woman who hadn't yet undergone the surgical treatments she knew she needed.
Some days, she couldn't leave the house. She tried taking her own life. An Army veteran living with disability, she could not get this surgical care from her usual provider, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which does not pay for or perform gender transition-related surgeries.
Stark calls Wisconsin home but mostly lives out of a suitcase, maintaining a busy schedule as an escort, adult film performer, photographer and phone sex operator. But now, her career is coming to an abrupt end after a bill passed by Congress in March.
Senate approves anti-sex-trafficking bill. I just call it the end of my career, essentially," she said.
The bill, called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Actprompted the online bulletin board Craigslist to shut down its personal two days after its passage. The bill was directed against sex trafficking, not the volitional career in sex work to which Stark credits her own survival. Craigslist is an online classifieds site, divided by city or geographic area, through which users advertise a range of goods, services, jobs and housing. Now awaiting the president's ature, the bill paves the way for sex trafficking survivors to hold websites able for "knowingly" facilitating their abuse.
The legislation chips away at part of a act that gave a broad layer of immunity to online companies, such as Facebook or Twitter, from being held liable for what their users post. The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Though the bill aims to crack down on sex trafficking and protect survivors, critics say it threatens the lives and livelihoods of sex workers who choose to work in the profession by encouraging websites like Craigslist to censor their content -- pushing some sex workers back out to the street and removing their tools for finding and screening clients.
Some sex workers are already losing their housing as a direct result of forums like Craigslist personals going dark, according to Christa B. Daring, board president of the Sex Workers Outreach Project. Many pay rent week-to-week and struggle to feed themselves and their children, they said. Craigslist was the first site Stark used to transition away from the street, where she relied on her military training to make "snap judgments" to stay out of harm's way, dodge potentially dangerous clients and avoid getting arrested -- again.
Even with the advantage of her military training, however, "most often, physical appearance and demeanor really don't tell you a whole lot," she said. Behind the link. Many sex workers run background checks on clients, communicate through online forums and check "bad date lists," which sex workers create to warn others about hostile clients.
Stark also has a mandatory hour waiting period before she agrees to meet clients, giving her time to check for criminal records and other warning s. She learned ways to stay safe and grow her business from other sex workers online, some of whom keep blogs. We can mentor each other. We can support each other. We can screen our clients," said Akynos. Bolstering these concerns about sex worker safety is a recent research paper -- still under peer review -- that suggests Craigslist's "erotic" services section may be linked to a drop in the female homicide rate.
Prostitutes speak out against Senate health bill. I don't think Waco had one. But Craigslist didn't launch this section in every city at the same time. Cunningham's team found that cities where Craigslist launched the section for erotic services reduced their female homicide rate by up to However, it is not possible to say what portion of those homicide victims were sex workers, Cunningham said, nor is it possible to prove that Craigslist was directly responsible for the dip.
This reduction wasn't seen for other types of homicides Cunningham analyzed. The research gives quantitative insight into what is likely to happen in the wake of the new bill, he said. Some of them go back to working for a pimp. Some of them, maybe they advertise on the dark web.
Limited information exists on the of sex workers in the United States, including illegal acts of prostitution. Many definitions of sex work include a broader variety of services beyond prostitution, such as "erotic performances. Akynos expects that black sex workers will be some of the hardest hit by the anti-trafficking legislation.
She recently founded a group called the Black Sex Worker Collective to "help facilitate sex workers who may be looking to exit the business, as well as support those that are in the business. We're already criminalized in so many more ways than white people are, period," said Akynos, who specified that she was not talking about sex work alone.
What is going to happen to us as a whole?
The bill's supporters, including 97 senators who voted for the legislation, say it will give law enforcement tools in the fight against sex trafficking and enable survivors and their families to seek justice in the court system. The bill followed a two-year Senate investigation into online sex trafficking on the classified site Back. The investigation, led by bill co-sponsors Sens. Rob Portman and Claire McCaskill, found that Back knowingly aided criminal sex trafficking of women and young girls, scrubbing terms from such as "Lolita," "teenage," "rape" and "amber alert" and publishing them on its site.
How to help: Anti-trafficking organizations around the world. The investigation led Back to shut down its adult section.
The site was seized by federal law enforcement agencies Friday, and on Monday the Justice Department announced that seven people have been indicted on 93 counts related to facilitating prostitution and money laundering.
Ron Wyden, one of only two senators to vote against the new bill, said in February that it would paradoxically "make it harder to catch bad actors and protect victims by driving this vile crime to shadowy corners of society that are harder for law enforcement to reach.
A spokeswoman for Portman, Emily Benavides, called this "nonsense. Roughly 6, sex trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline last year. When asked about the concerns over sex worker safety, Benavides said, "Tell that to the mothers and fathers of daughters who've been murdered after being trafficked on Back. Despite wide congressional support, a of tech groups have voiced concerns about the legislation, alleging that its broad reach could lead to unintended negative consequences for free speech on the internet and for smaller companies whose resources don't rival those of tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter.
The American Civil Liberties Union is considering a challenge to the bill once it gets ed into law but has no definite plans to do so, said Ian Thompson, a legislative representative for the organization. Thompson said some of the bill's language is "so broad that it's open to interpretation of what exactly is intended to be included and what's not intended to be included. Just before the bill passed, McCaskill told reporters that it was "a very, very narrowly written law.
Craigslist itself has ly been a target of law enforcement officials over its adult .
The company also received media attention after a of high-profile murders and stories about sex trafficking through their website. InCraigslist began manually screening at the behest of several state attorneys general, concerned that the site was promoting prostitution.
The following year, under similar pressure, the company removed its "adult services" sectionreplacing it with the word "censored. For many sex workers, however, "there is absolutely no certainty in anything that's going on right now," Stark said. ZIP: 20010 20011 20012 20015 20228 20520 20307 20418 20319 20024 20510 20593 20020 20427 20540 20240 20245 20204 20202 20390 20006 20005 20004 20003 20002 20009 20008 20535 20317 20405 20057 20052 20053 20017 20018 20565 20566 20560 20260 20064 20551 20553 20019 20230 20373 20007 20032 20036 20037 20506 20001 20045 20016 20013 20022 20026 20027 20029 20030 20033 20035 20038 20039 20040 20041 20042 20043 20044 20047 20049 20050 20055 20056 20058 20059 20060 20061 20062 20063 20065 20066 20067 20068 20069 20070 20071 20073 20074 20075 20076 20077 20078 20080 20081 20082 20090 20091 20201 20203 20207 20208 20210 20211 20212 20213 20214 20215 20216 20217 20218 20219 20220 20221 20222 20223 20224 20226 20227 20229 20232 20233 20235 20237 20238 20239 20241 20242 20244 20250 20251 20252 20254 20261 20262 20265 20266 20268 20270 20277 20289 20299 20301 20303 20306 20310 20314 20318 20330 20340 20350 20355 20370 20372 20374 20375 20376 20380 20388 20389 20391 20392 20393 20394 20395 20398 20401 20402 20403 20404 20407 20408 20410 20411 20412 20413 20414 20415 20416 20417 Craigslist Washington DC prostitute 20420 20421 20422 20423 20424 20425 20426 20428 20429 20431 20433 20434 20435 20436 20437 20439 20440 20441 20442 20444 20447 20451 20453 20456 20460 20463 20468 20469 20470 20472 20500 20501 20502 20503 20504 20505 20507 20508 20509 20511 20515 20521 20522 20523 20524 20525 20526 20527 20528 20529 20530 20531 20533 20534 20536 20537 20538 20539 20541 20542 20543 20544 20546 20547 20548 20549 20552 20554 20555 20557 20559 20570 20571 20572 20573 20575 20576 20577 20578 20579 20580 20581 20585 20586 20588 20590 20591 20594 20597 20598 20599 56901 56902 56904 56908 56915 56920 56933 56935 56944 56945 56950 56965 56966 56967 56968 56969 56970 56971 56972 56998 56999