December 26, 2023
In 2023, Decriminalize Sex Work’s (DSW’s) advocacy efforts led to legislative victories in the Northeast that reverberated on a national scale. Notably, DSW advocates worked to pass the country’s most comprehensive ban on police sexual violence in Vermont. In Rhode Island, staff championed an expansion of the patient bill of rights, a crucial step toward dismantling discrimination based on income source and enhancing access to healthcare for sex workers. Also in RI, DSW advocates supported testimony and the finalization of a legislative study commission resulting in a groundbreaking report recommending the decriminalization of prostitution.
DSW’s impact extends beyond legislative triumphs as DSW continues to be at the forefront of national media regarding sex work legislation. In 2023, among numerous local news mentions and other notable appearances, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Crystal DeBoise, appeared on The Brian Lehrer Show and in The New York Times emphasizing the vital need for sex workers to be able to work with law enforcement. An op-ed by Legal Director Melissa Broudo in Newsday outlined how immunity legislation could have saved lives following the arrest of the Long Island Serial Killer. Broudo also appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to share the perspective she has gained from over twenty years as an attorney for sex workers and survivors of trafficking.
Heading in to 2024, DSW remains dedicated to our mission of ending the prohibition of consensual adult prostitution and improving policies related to all forms of sex work. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships with grassroots organizations, elected officials, and the numerous internationally recognized human rights groups endorsing decriminalization. Specific goals include continued advocacy for immunity and good samaritan legislation in New York and Rhode Island along with the pursuit of the full decriminalization of consensual adult sex work in Vermont and New York.
View DSW’s successes since our founding in 2018 here.