Gov. Hochul Signs START Act Into Law

Gov. Hochul Signs START Act Into Law

November 16, 2021 In a historic and long-fought victory, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together (START) Act into law. The START Act (A459/S674), sponsored by Senator Jessica Ramos and Representative Richard Gottfried, will allow New York State courts to vacate a range of...
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This Is What Will Make Sex Work in New York Safer

This Is What Will Make Sex Work in New York Safer

Opinion: This Is What Will Make Sex Work in New York Safer (The New York Times, October 17, 2021)
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Hochul says she is open to decriminalizing sex work

Hochul says she is open to decriminalizing sex work

Hochul says she is open to decriminalizing sex work (City & State New York, September 24, 2021)
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What’s the Best Way to Protect Sex Workers? Depends on Whom You Ask.

What’s the Best Way to Protect Sex Workers? Depends on Whom You Ask.

What’s the Best Way to Protect Sex Workers? Depends on Whom You Ask. (The New York Times, July 23, 2021)
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60 survivors of human trafficking push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the START Act

60 survivors of human trafficking push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the START Act

“FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Sixty survivors of human trafficking sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushing him to sign the START Act, which would allow courts to vacate criminal convictions that result from sex or labor trafficking. ‘These convictions also make it much more difficult to rebuild our lives, creating...
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Supporters of the START Act ask Governor to sign the bill

Supporters of the START Act ask Governor to sign the bill

Supporters of the START Act ask Governor to sign the bill (News10.com, July 9, 2021)
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NY Senate Passes the START Act

NY Senate Passes the START Act

May 24, 2021 The New York State Senate passed the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together (START) Act (S.674/‍A.459), which would provide greater protections for survivors of human trafficking by allowing them to clear convictions related to their exploitation, known as vacatur. Currently, survivors of trafficking can only petition the court to clear...
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How NYPD’s Vice Unit Got Prostitution Policing All Wrong

How NYPD’s Vice Unit Got Prostitution Policing All Wrong

How NYPD’s Vice Unit Got Prostitution Policing All Wrong (ProPublica.org, May 3, 2021)
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Manhattan will stop prosecuting sex workers, marking ‘monumental’ step for trans advocates

Manhattan will stop prosecuting sex workers, marking ‘monumental’ step for trans advocates

Manhattan will stop prosecuting sex workers, marking ‘monumental’ step for trans advocates (nbcnews.com, April 23, 2021)
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Decriminalize Sex Work’s Statement on Manhattan DA’s Announcement

Decriminalize Sex Work’s Statement on Manhattan DA’s Announcement

April 21, 2021 Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance, following in the footsteps of other New York City boroughs, announced that his office would no longer prosecute individuals for prostitution and unlicensed massage. The news was met with mixed emotions from sex workers and their allies because the policy leaves...
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Manhattan to Stop Prosecuting Prostitution, Part of Nationwide Shift

Manhattan to Stop Prosecuting Prostitution, Part of Nationwide Shift

Manhattan to Stop Prosecuting Prostitution, Part of Nationwide Shift (The New York Times, April 21, 2021)
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Brooklyn DA: Outstanding prostitution warrants from past 4 decades dismissed

Brooklyn DA: Outstanding prostitution warrants from past 4 decades dismissed

March 24, 2021 Brooklyn DA: Outstanding prostitution warrants from past 4 decades dismissed (News 12) DSW’s Melissa Broudo is featured: “This is not just symbolic. It is meaningful for those over 857 people whose lives were directly impacted by criminalization who either had warrants hanging over their heads or pending...
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Judge dismisses hundreds of prostitution cases at Queens DA’s request

Judge dismisses hundreds of prostitution cases at Queens DA’s request

Judge dismisses hundreds of prostitution cases at Queens DA’s request (New York Post, March 16, 2021)
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More than 800 prostitution charges being dismissed in the Bronx, DA says

More than 800 prostitution charges being dismissed in the Bronx, DA says

More than 800 prostitution charges being dismissed in the Bronx, DA says (pix11.com, March 8, 2021)
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San Fran honors Margo St. James as N.Y. pols, feminists debate decriminalizing prostitution

San Fran honors Margo St. James as N.Y. pols, feminists debate decriminalizing prostitution

San Fran honors Margo St. James as N.Y. pols, feminists debate decriminalizing prostitution (The Village Sun, February 24, 2021)
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A Victory Decades in the Making: New York Repeals the Walking While Trans Ban

A Victory Decades in the Making: New York Repeals the Walking While Trans Ban

February 3, 2021 After nearly fifty years of wreaking havoc on marginalized communities, the criminalization of loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense was finally repealed in New York State. The statute, passed in 1976, is commonly referred to as the “Walking While Trans Ban” because law...
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Brooklyn DA’s office announces dismissal of 262 outstanding warrants related to sex work

Brooklyn DA’s office announces dismissal of 262 outstanding warrants related to sex work

Brooklyn DA’s office announces dismissal of 262 outstanding warrants related to sex work (News12 Brooklyn, January 29, 2021)
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More Than 1,000 Open Prostitution Cases in Brooklyn Are Going To Be Wiped From the Files

More Than 1,000 Open Prostitution Cases in Brooklyn Are Going To Be Wiped From the Files

More Than 1,000 Open Prostitution Cases in Brooklyn Are Going To Be Wiped From the Files (BuzzFeed.News, January 28, 2021)
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New York Democrats finally ready to repeal ‘walking while trans’ loitering law

New York Democrats finally ready to repeal ‘walking while trans’ loitering law

New York Democrats finally ready to repeal ‘walking while trans’ loitering law (New York Daily News, January 21, 2021)
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Margo St. James, Advocate for Sex Workers, Dies at 83

Margo St. James, Advocate for Sex Workers, Dies at 83

Margo St. James, Advocate for Sex Workers, Dies at 83 (The New York Times, January 20, 2021)
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New York Lawmakers Demand NYPD Halt Undercover Sex Trade Stings

New York Lawmakers Demand NYPD Halt Undercover Sex Trade Stings

New York Lawmakers Demand NYPD Halt Undercover Sex Trade Stings (ProPublica, December 16, 2020)
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Dropping prostitution offenses pitched by Albany progressives

Dropping prostitution offenses pitched by Albany progressives

Dropping prostitution offenses pitched by Albany progressives (Niagara Gazette, December 15, 2020)
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AOC responds ‘Sex work is work,’ to report of NYC paramedic posting racy photos for cash

AOC responds ‘Sex work is work,’ to report of NYC paramedic posting racy photos for cash

AOC responds ‘Sex work is work,’ to report of NYC paramedic posting racy photos for cash (FoxNews.com, December 15, 2020)
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NYPD Cops Cash In on Sex Trade Arrests With Little Evidence, While Black and Brown New Yorkers Pay the Price

NYPD Cops Cash In on Sex Trade Arrests With Little Evidence, While Black and Brown New Yorkers Pay the Price

NYPD Cops Cash In on Sex Trade Arrests With Little Evidence, While Black and Brown New Yorkers Pay the Price (ProPublica, December 7, 2020)
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Ex-prostitute Elisa Crespo vies to become first trans member of NYC Council

Ex-prostitute Elisa Crespo vies to become first trans member of NYC Council

Ex-prostitute Elisa Crespo vies to become first trans member of NYC Council (New York Post, November 29, 2020)
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Mayoral Hopefuls Divided on Sex Work Decrim at Jim Owles Forum

Mayoral Hopefuls Divided on Sex Work Decrim at Jim Owles Forum

Mayoral Hopefuls Divided on Sex Work Decrim at Jim Owles Forum (Gay City News, October 14, 2020)
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Repeal This Law: New York must remove from the books a statute that criminalizes Walking While Trans

Repeal This Law: New York must remove from the books a statute that criminalizes Walking While Trans

Repeal This Law: New York must remove from the books a statute that criminalizes Walking While Trans (Opinion, Daily News, September 20, 2020)
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De Blasio To Change NYC Sex Work Policy

De Blasio To Change NYC Sex Work Policy

September 2, 2020 NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has changed his stance on sex work, moving away from full criminalization and toward support of the Entrapment Model, according to a statement he made in response to questions about the arrest and prosecution of Layleen Polanco. De Blasio announced he does not...
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NY Senate Fails Trafficking Survivors, Again

NY Senate Fails Trafficking Survivors, Again

July 21, 2020 Through our work with the New York Anti-Trafficking Network (NYATN) and the START Coalition (named for this bill), DSW has been tirelessly advocating for the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together (START) Act, a bill allowing survivors of trafficking to clear their criminal records of arrests stemming...
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Sex Workers Slammed by the Pandemic Say City Council Aid Misses the Mark

Sex Workers Slammed by the Pandemic Say City Council Aid Misses the Mark

Sex Workers Slammed by the Pandemic Say City Council Aid Misses the Mark (The City, August 12, 2020)
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DSW Takes Action Against EARN IT

DSW Takes Action Against EARN IT

July 22, 2020 In our last newsletter, DSW reported on how the EARN IT Act, a bill that recently advanced out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, threatens the very heart of online security and privacy. The legislation claims to go after the online sexual abuse of minors. In a...
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DSW Supports Criminal Justice Reform Bills in New York

DSW Supports Criminal Justice Reform Bills in New York

July 14, 2020 DSW’s Melissa Broudo and Frances Steele attended a rally in New York City supporting five state-level criminal justice reform bills that will be voted on — and hopefully passed — this legislative session. The rally featured impacted community members who shared personal experiences and state-wide data to...
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‘We’re Fighting, and We’re Winning’: G.L.I.T.S. Founder Ceyenne Doroshow on Raising More Than $1 Million for the Black Trans Community

‘We’re Fighting, and We’re Winning’: G.L.I.T.S. Founder Ceyenne Doroshow on Raising More Than $1 Million for the Black Trans Community

‘We’re Fighting, and We’re Winning’: G.L.I.T.S. Founder Ceyenne Doroshow on Raising More Than $1 Million for the Black Trans Community (Vogue, July 6, 2020)  
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Corporate Pride Events Can’t Happen This Year. Let’s Keep It That Way.

Corporate Pride Events Can’t Happen This Year. Let’s Keep It That Way.

Corporate Pride Events Can’t Happen This Year. Let’s Keep It That Way. (Buzzfeed News, June 16, 2020)
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Queens Prosecutor Is Wrong About Human Trafficking and Arresting Johns

Queens Prosecutor Is Wrong About Human Trafficking and Arresting Johns

Decriminalize Sex Work www.DecriminalizeSex.Work Contact: Kaytlin Bailey, Communications Director kaytlin@dswork.org (m) 919-649-7725 NEW YORK, NEW YORK May 25, 2020 Queens Prosecutor Is Wrong About Human Trafficking and Arresting Johns On Monday, May 18, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the creation of the Human Trafficking Bureau to “prosecute sex and...
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Queens DA’s new Human Trafficking Bureau will prosecute sex traffickers, pimps and johns

Queens DA’s new Human Trafficking Bureau will prosecute sex traffickers, pimps and johns

Queens DA’s new Human Trafficking Bureau will prosecute sex traffickers, pimps and johns (Queens Daily Eagle, May 18, 2020)
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Dangerous Bail Reform Rollbacks Pass in the NYS Budget Amidst Pandemic Crisis

Dangerous Bail Reform Rollbacks Pass in the NYS Budget Amidst Pandemic Crisis

April 3, 2020 Amidst the rising tide of the COVID-19 crisis, a dangerous and controversial budget has passed both chambers of the New York legislature and been signed into law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins (D-Yonkers) championed the dangerous and controversial bail reform rollbacks...
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Hero of the New York Transgender Community Passes Away From COVID

Hero of the New York Transgender Community Passes Away From COVID

March 30, 2020 Lorena Borjas, fearless transgender activist, tireless advocate, and hero of our movement, passed away at Coney Island Hospital from COVID-19. She was 59 years old. Lorena was the heart of New York City’s translatina community. She dedicated her life to ensuring those around her had the support...
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Our Bodies, Our Labors, Our Streets: International Women’s Day in NYC

Our Bodies, Our Labors, Our Streets: International Women’s Day in NYC

March 8, 2020 The International Women’s Strike, also known as Paro Internacional de Mujeres, is a global movement of coalitions in more than 50 countries, organizing around International Women’s Day each year. The movement began in 2017 to honor the work of women across the world, organizing against femicide, gender-based...
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DSW Rallies With Activists To Pass the #WalkingWhileTrans Repeal

DSW Rallies With Activists To Pass the #WalkingWhileTrans Repeal

March 3, 2020 On International Sex Worker Rights Day, the Walking While Trans Coalition gathered at the Million Dollar Staircase in the Albany Statehouse to speak out about trans rights in New York state. DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly joined activists representing the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) and the...
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Honoring Our Movement: International Sex Worker Rights Day

Honoring Our Movement: International Sex Worker Rights Day

March 3, 2020 Sex workers and allied communities celebrated International Sex Worker Rights Day, a holiday that commemorates the tireless efforts of harm-reduction advocates around the world. The holiday began in India in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers from around the world gathered there for a festival organized by...
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February Hero

February Hero

Marsha P. Johnson Honored by Governor Cuomo as He Endorses “Walking­ While­ Trans” Repeal February 1, 2020 Marsha P. Johnson is the first to be honored by DSW’s monthly hero campaign. Ms. Johnson, who passed away on July 6, 1992, was a queer liberation activist and one of the most...
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NY Gender Diversity Coalition Introduces Legislative Platform

NY Gender Diversity Coalition Introduces Legislative Platform

January 8, 2020 The New York State Gender Diversity Coalition, led by the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) including 35+ NY nonprofit organizations, met with NY state legislators in Albany concerning the coalition’s 2020 legislative platform. NYTAG is a trans-led organization that advocates tirelessly for more inclusive gender-based policies, benefitting...
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Opponents of Sex Work Decriminalization Launch 2020 Legislative Fight

Opponents of Sex Work Decriminalization Launch 2020 Legislative Fight

Opponents of Sex Work Decriminalization Launch 2020 Legislative Fight (Queens Daily Eagle, November 26, 2019)
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NY Should Allow Trafficking Survivors To Clear Criminal Records

NY Should Allow Trafficking Survivors To Clear Criminal Records

October 1, 2019 A good prostitution-related bill that passed the Assembly side of the NY legislature in June is still pending in the state Senate. This legislation — known on the Senate side as S981A — would fully vacate the criminal convictions of human-trafficking victims. In 2010, NY became the...
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Tiffany Cabán Concedes Queens DA Race

Tiffany Cabán Concedes Queens DA Race

August 6, 2019 Tiffany Cabán came within 60 votes of winning the Queens DA race, running on a platform of decriminalizing and decarcerating nonviolent offenders such as sex workers. She specifically pledged her support to the sex work community. After a lengthy recount process, she conceded on August 6. Despite...
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“Gay Panic” Defense Can No Longer Be Used to Excuse Murder, a Win for Trans Sex Workers

“Gay Panic” Defense Can No Longer Be Used to Excuse Murder, a Win for Trans Sex Workers

Just before the June 30, 2019, kickoff of the World Pride March in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed A2707, a new law that bans the "gay and transgender panic" defense from being used in murder cases prosecuted in New York State. The panic defense has historically been...
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Tiffany Cabán: Champion of Sex Workers’ Rights

Tiffany Cabán: Champion of Sex Workers’ Rights

Campaigning for district attorney of NYC, Tiffany Cabán initially declared victory on election night, June 25, 2019, but a full recount is currently ongoing due to how close the original count was after absentee ballots were figured in. The process is expected to take a few weeks. If victorious, Canán...
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Cuomo Nixes Last-Minute Effort To Legalize Prostitution

Cuomo Nixes Last-Minute Effort To Legalize Prostitution

Cuomo Nixes Last-Minute Effort To Legalize Prostitution (New York Post, June 17, 2019)
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New York Legislator To Introduce “Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act”

New York Legislator To Introduce “Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act”

June 10, 2019 On June 10, Assemblywoman Julia Salazar, in tandem with local coalition DecrimNY, announced that she would be introducing a series of bills in the NY legislature that would fully decriminalize sex work in New York State. While it usually takes years to enact legislation into law, the...
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State Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Legalize Prostitution

State Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Legalize Prostitution (New York Post, June 10, 2019)
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A Historic Breakthrough for Sex Workers’ Rights

A Historic Breakthrough for Sex Workers’ Rights

A Historic Breakthrough for Sex Workers’ Rights (The New Republic, June 9, 2019)
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Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez Wants To Decriminalize Prostitution

Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez Wants To Decriminalize Prostitution

Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez wants to decriminalize prostitution (New York Post, April 8, 2019)
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The Case of Jane Doe Ponytail

The Case of Jane Doe Ponytail

The Case of Jane Doe Ponytail (The New York Times, October 16, 2018)
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NYPD Vice Prostitution Ring

NYPD Vice Prostitution Ring

7 New York Police Officers Arrested in Prostitution and Gambling Investigation, Authorities Say (The New York Times, September 12, 2018)
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Mayor Bloomberg Says He Wants Confessed Hooker Teacher Melissa Petro Yanked From Classroom

Mayor Bloomberg Says He Wants Confessed Hooker Teacher Melissa Petro Yanked From Classroom

Mayor Bloomberg Says He Wants Confessed Hooker Teacher Melissa Petro Yanked From Classroom (Daily News, September 29, 2010)
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