US PROS CALLS FOR COURT ACTION AT BOKIN’S HEARING

Jack Bokin has been charged with a series of brutal rapes and sexual assaults on four women, three of whom are prostitute women. He attacked the last victim with a hammer while he was out on bail, and left her for dead.

PRESS RELEASE

No woman is safe when prostitutes aren’t safe

The US PROStitutes Collective (US PROS) and supporters will be outside the Municipal Court, 850 Bryant Street, on Tuesday November 25 at 8:30 am and inside the court at 9am to monitor the court’s handling of the Jack Bokin case which is on the calendar for that day.

We will be there to ensure that violence against women, particularly sex workers is taken seriously this time by the judicial system. At the last hearing of Bokin on October 16, US PROS picketed the court after it became public that in spite of a long record for violence and 22 charges associated with attacks on prostitute women, judges had released Bokin on bail when he allegedly went on to attack another woman.

“The message the court sent out to the public in this case,” says Rachel West, spokeswoman for US PROS, “is that prostitute women’s lives have little or no value and are not worthy of protection. The crimnalization of prostitution makes it harder for sex workers to get justice. Those of us who are Black women or other women of color have an even harder time.”

In addition, the criminalization of prostitution greatly increases women’s vulnerability to violence in the first place. US PROS is also calling on the city of San Francisco to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Prostitution to change police priorities by making the arrest and prosecution of sex workers a low priority and violent crimes a high priority – violent men not their victims must be arrested and prosecuted.

“People in San Francisco back these recommendations;” says Lori Nairne, a nurse who works in support of US PROS and will be following the court case.

“There is widespread support for prostitution to be decriminalized. Women know that none of us is safe if prostitute women aren’t safe.

November 20, 1997

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