SF Chronicle article invites violence against sex workers

May 2, 2007

Contact Rachel West 415/640-4250

 Stop Press…Stop Press…Stop Press…Stop Press…Stop Press…Stop

US PROStitutes Collective (US PROS) and supporters will be at the San Francisco Chronicle office, 901 Mission Street at 9am Thursday, May 3 to protest the April 30th inflammatory and biased article “Keeping Hookers Off Streets”.  We are asking for a meeting with the editors.

“The derogatory tone of the article which describes the police hunting prostitute women like “prey” is an invitation for more violence against sex workers. Being forced into less well lit and more isolated areas by this predatory police presence makes women more vulnerable to violence,” says Rachel West of US PROS. “We thought this low level trashy reporting was a thing of the past in a city that had a City Task Force on Prostitution which stood for the protection of sex workers over criminalization”.

The article is full of misinformation”, says Lori Nairne, a nurse with Legal Action for Women. “It wrongly suggests that prostitute women spread disease and nothing is said about the poverty that drives women into prostitution.  It’s a crude and sensationalist piece that goes against the majority sentiment of people in San Francisco who recognize that homelessness, poverty and debt are the major factors forcing women into prostitution and do not want police time and money squandered on harassing sex workers”.

Many are questioning whether this Chronicle report is aimed at stirring up hostility against low-income people and laying the groundwork for the unpopular special court being put forward by the Mayor’s office to criminalize people for so called “quality of life” offenses instead of providing the resources and services we need.

Many also question the scandalous double standard of government where those responsible for anti-prostitution enforcement are themselves caught frequenting prostitute women such as the recent cases of Randall Tobias, the Bush appointed director of USAID and two San Mateo sheriffs who were not arrested and did not go to jail while the women they saw did.

 

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