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March 07, 2018

APAC, FSC Issue Joint Call to Action on SESTA

CHATSWORTH, Calif.—The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) and Free Speech Coalition (FSC) in a joint alert Wednesday urged all sex industry professionals and their supporters to contact their senators and request that they vote no on Senate Bill 1693, dubbed SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act), which is scheduled to go before the U.S. Senate Monday, March 12. Explained the alert, "SESTA (S. 1693) would close online platforms for the sex industry. Being able to work online (and thus, indoors) IS THE BEST HARM REDUCTION. This applies to everyone trading sex, wherever they are on the spectrum of choice, circumstance, or coercion. Taking away one of the very few tools sex workers have to stay safe, will only make our community more vulnerable to traffickers and those who wish to exploit us." It went on to stress, "When sex workers are pushed offline, they face increased risk of violence. If this bill passes, sex workers will die." As to how SESTA would affect adult movie performers specifically, the alert explained, "If this bill passes we are likely to see performers' social media accounts dramatically censored if not shut down entirely. It is also highly likely that platforms that allow performers to upload their own contect—such as Clips for Sale, NiteFlirt, Only Fans, iWantEmpire, Model Centro etc,—will be targeted and shut down." That said, it noted, "Of course, worse than the effect on performers is the effect this will have on direct service providers. This is a moment for all sex workers to stand in solidarity. For years, lawmakers have hoped that criminalizing the sex industry will stop trafficking, but it hasn't. Instead it has made our community more vulnerable to trafficking. It makes it harder to identify and support trafficking victims. The best defense against trafficking is a safe, strong, connected community. Safe acces to housing, healthcare, and anti-poverty work, as well as empowering victims through decriminilization efforts are what prevents trafficking, not taking away tools that workers use to stay safe." The alert provided tools and guidelines for both calling and tweeting to Senators in order to urge them to vote no on the bill. To find contact information for your Sentor's office, it provided this link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact. For those who wish to call their Senators, the following script was recommended: "Hi, my name is ____________ and I live in ___________ (state). I’m calling to urge Congressperson ____________ to vote NO on SESTA, Senate Bill 1693. "I am a [loved one of a/parent of a/service provider to/an ally of] sex worker[s] and this bill would compromise the lives of people who trade sex, including trafficking victims, by taking away the platforms people are using to stay safe. I am calling to ask you not to put [me/my community/my loved one/my child] in danger of  greater violence and victimization. Please vote no on this terribly misguided bill, which is expected to be voted on March 12. Thank you for your time!" For tweeting in support of the campaign, which was suggested between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST on weekdays until next Monday, the following hastags and sample tweets were provided: #LetUsSurvive #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #SESTA #StopSESTA POWER HOUR against #SESTA starts NOW! Support sex workers, survivors and free speech online by demanding your reps say NO to Senate Bill 1693! #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #LetUsSurvive Those seeking support and/or education about calling their senators are invited to visit the Free Speech Coalition office in Canoga Park Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. for guidance. Call (818) 348-9373 for location details. 

 
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