Who do you work with?:
SWOP Sacramento works with anyone who identifies as a sex worker. SWOPSac provides outreach to massage parlours, street workers, those in institutions and those in hospitals. We work closely with media, and governmental agencies by engaging in educational dialogue about our industry, while striving for the humanization of sex workers.
How are sex workers involved in your organization?:
SWOP Sacramento is an organization founded by sex workers, for sex workers. SWOPSac facilitate the acquisition of funding for counselling for those who have suffered violence and trauma. We engage community in order to better the lives of sex workers who are in the area, striving to evoke change through activism and education.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organization work on?:
- Oppose the criminalization and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
- Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
- Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
- Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
- Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
- Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
- Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Sex workers in the Northern California area are faced with discriminatory health care practices, lack of protection under the law, and diminished ability to establish community and safety networks as others do. Sex workers who do report violence are often not taken serously and to date the emphasis by law enforcement has been arresting the workers rather than implementing a harm reduction model. Discriminatory laws allow for the targeting of Latino males and other immigrants who are clients, as well as the dismissing of violence against our transgender and gay sex workers.
Describe other areas of your work:
SWOP Sacramento is available for speaking engagements including trafficking conferences and educational settings. We screen the award winning sex worker documentary American Courtesans (www.americancourtesans.com), along with q/a sessions with those in it. SWOP Sac facilitates CEU training for therapists, law enforcement, social workers, educators and other professionals.