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The Safe Work Coalition was formed in 2019 and is led by Black and Brown transfolxs in partnership with Equality Illinois. This coalition aims to ensure the full decriminalization of adult consensual sex work to increase safety and ensure bodily autonomy.

Join the movement to Keep Sex Workers Safe! Black and Brown LGBTQ+ folks, and particularly, trans folks working in the sex trade face violence, discrimination, and stigma and often face violence and assaults. They are also frequently denied access to housing, education, healthcare and employment.

Criminalization of adult consensual sex work causes violence. Criminalization also creates obstacles for workers seeking safety, empowerment, bodily autonomy, and access to health. Criminalization of sex work harms women, primarily women of color, not the violent offenders.

Following the lead of Black and Brown transfolx who are current and former sex workers, we are centering the voices  of those most directly impacted by the criminalization of adult consensual sex work in Illinois.

You Can Help Protect Sex Workers from Violence!

Did you know that 75% of sex workers will be attacked at some point in their career?  Did you know that 62% of trans people killed in the past decade were sex workers?

At a time when anti-equality extremists want to tell people what to do with their bodies, we MUST decriminalize sex work between consenting adults to keep sex workers safe.  

When sex work between consenting adults is legal:

  • Sex workers can vet their clients before meeting them.
  • Sex workers can insist clients meet them in safe places of their choosing, not on the streets.
  • Sex workers have more power to insist on fair wages and the use of condoms.
  • Violent offenders are less likely to harm sex workers knowing sex workers can  go to the police if attacked.
  • Police and prosecution resources aren’t wasted going after people engaged in consensual sex but can be focused on violent offenders and traffickers.
  • Full decriminalization of sex work is shown to reduce trafficking.
  • Resources used to prosecute adult consensual sex work can be used to support trafficking survivors and sex workers.

Keep strong protections for sexual assault and human trafficking survivors and decriminalize sex work between consenting adults!

You can keep sex workers safe by supporting the decriminalization of sex work between consenting adults!  When you support the decriminalization of sex work between consenting adults, you also help increase access to housing, education, healthcare and employment for current and retired sex workers!

Trafficking is NOT Sex Work

  • The majority of trafficking occurs outside of sex trafficking. 
  • Sex work is consensual and does not involve coercion, violence, or fraud.
  • Sex workers who are not protected by laws are left vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking - which is why full decriminalization of adult consensual sex work will reduce harm and violence. 
  • This is in part why some trafficking survivor groups support and advocate for full decriminalization of sex work.

Partial Decriminalization Causes Harm

  • Data shows that there is increased surveillance of sex workers in places where partial decriminalization has been adopted.
  • Partial decriminalization of harm is not an incremental approach. Sex workers continue to be unsafe when any part of a transaction is criminalized.
  • After passing partial decriminalization in France, 42% of workers experienced an increase In violence against them.
  • When Montreal enacted a shift to partial decriminalization policies, workers reported five times the amount of violent incidents with a deadly weapon.
  • In Ireland, there was a 92% increase in violent crime against sex workers in the first two years after passing partial decriminalization.



For additional information, please contact Equality Illinois at info@eqil.org.

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