FOSTA/SESTA has been a disaster for sex worker safety, research study confirms

A new research study about the consequences of FOSTA/SESTA, the 2018 law that was supposedly meant to curtail online sex trafficking, confirms that the effect of the law has been to render sex workers “more vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation.”

More than one in three sex workers report that they have experienced increased frequency of violent experiences with their clients since passage of the ill-conceived law

Ana Valens at The Daily Dot writes:

Erased: The Impact of FOSTA-SESTA is a 53-page study penned by sex workers’ rights tech collective Hacking//Hustling. The study features two survey groups, online sex workers and street sex workers who have limited technological access, and features self-reported data via a participatory action research model. Cowriters Danielle Blunt and Ariel Wolf authored the study with help from Naomi Lauren of the Western Massachusetts-based survival and street-sex worker advocacy group Whose Corner Is It Anyway.

. . .

Among online sex workers, respondents commonly considered SESTA-FOSTA an “overbearing” and “paternalistic law” that haphazardly attempts to abolish the sex industry “with no regard for the safety of people in the sex trades.” According to the study, 72.5% of online respondents who rely on sex work for their income said they have since faced “increased economic instability” after SESTA-FOSTA, and 33.8% reported an increase in violent client experiences. Nearly a quarter said their housing circumstances were impacted after Backpage’s closure and SESTA-FOSTA went into law, and one-fourth of online sex workers with chronic illnesses reported a flare-up in symptoms.

Additionally, sex workers reported that they were “reluctantly” relying on workplaces with less autonomy after both Backpage’s closure and SESTA-FOSTA’s introduction; 40% of online users said over half of their clients were from Backpage. “I lost all my income, lost my clients, and was forced to go back to working a 9 to 5 job that is ableist and doesn’t accommodate my disabilities/health issues,” one online sex worker told the study. “Sex work gave me freedom and flexibility before I lost it all.”


547800cookie-checkFOSTA/SESTA has been a disaster for sex worker safety, research study confirms

FOSTA/SESTA has been a disaster for sex worker safety, research study confirms

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