Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Amnesty For Long Island Sex Workers

Another reason why we need to decriminalize sex work in America.

So far up to 10 women have been murdered by a serial killer(s) in the Long Island area targeting prostitutes. To a big part of American society, these women were dispensable. Whores who lived in the shadows who knew what could happen to them. Wrong. They were human beings. Friends, sisters, daughters, mothers, and so many more things.

Along with decriminalizing sex workers, we need to remember that sex workers are people too. They aren't dispensable and they deserve to be treated as actual humans. Their murders need to be solved and treated with the same importance as anyone else's murder.

The Police Commissioner of Suffolk County has asked for anyone in the sex industry who might have information to step forward. However, sex workers working in an illegal industry have no guarantee that if they come forward they won't be prosecuted for illegal sex work. The Red Umbrella Project is calling for those in the Suffolk County area to contact the office of the Suffolk County Police Commissioner and District Attorney and demand that amnesty be granted to sex workers allowing them to freely step forward to help solve these murders.

These sample letters come from the Red Umbrella Project website:

Here is a sample letter, which can be emailed to SCPDINFO@suffolkcountyny.gov and infoda@suffolkcountyny.gov:

Dear Commissioner Dormer and District Attorney Spota,

I am a sex worker / ally to sex workers who lives in Suffolk County / the greater New York City area and I am writing to express concerns my community has about the lack of protection police are offering to sex workers. During this time of extreme anxiety following the discovery of the remains of at least 10 people, it is important for you to extend goodwill to our community.

We appreciate that you have invited sex workers to come forward with information that may help in the investigation of these crimes, but we are requesting that you formally establish amnesty for prostitution related offenses until the killer has been apprehended. Declaring amnesty would go a long way in demonstrating that the police are serious about prioritizing the lives of sex workers.

Organizational affiliation (if any)
City/state/zip code

Sample phone script - you can call (631) 852-2677 (SCPD) and (631) 852 – 2575 (DA’s Homicide Bureau):

Hello, I am a sex worker / ally to sex workers who lives in Suffolk County / the greater New York City area. I am calling to request that DA Spota formally establish amnesty for prostitution related offenses until the serial killer is apprehended. If the police motto is to protect and serve, you must work harder to extend this to sex workers.

I am also, with my modest blog, urging those in the area to get involved. If you're not in the immediate areas you can still do your part by spreading the word and educating those around you.


The Red Umbrella Project

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