Siouxsie Q, adult performer, activist and former Free Speech Coalition Director of Policy and Industry Relations, penned an excellent piece on the FOSTA–SESTA calamity for Rolling Stone last week. She notes that sex trafficking survivors and advocates say that “taking away their ability to unse the Internet has actually increased the risks facing their community, and crippled efforts for harm reduction.”
Moreover, they say the law does not address issues that truly contribute to trafficking: homelessness, poverty and a broken foster care system. Instead, SESTA/FOSTA drastically limits the tools available to those who survive in the sex trade, pushing workers further underground, into the streets and the dark web, where they are easier targets for those who aim to exploit the vulnerable.
“This was unlike anything we’d ever seen,” says Meg Munoz, a sex-trafficking survivor and founder of the OC Umbrella Collective, an organization that serves sex workers and those being domestically trafficked in Southern California. “The immediate impact was swift and, honestly, terrifying. We watched people literally walk back to their pimps knowing they had lost any bit of autonomy they had. We watched people wind up homeless overnight. We watched members of our community disappear.”
Now that FOSTA has effectively forced an entire industry underground, Siouxsie Q concludes, even workers who had enjoyed some level of autonomy are now in danger from, in not already “at the mercy of those who wish to victimize and exploit them.”
Read the rest of Siouxsie Q’s article at Rolling Stone