Mission Statement: SWOP-CT
Sex Workers Outreach Project of Connecticut is a local chapter of the national social justice network, Sex Workers Outreach Project USA. First and foremost, SWOP-CT is an anti-violence campaign, aimed to increase the rights of sex workers by providing education to the community. Sex workers are denied many basic rights that other individuals are entitled to, due to their criminal status. The current stigma of prostitution results in a lack of community support, as sex workers continue to be victims of violence, rape, and murder. Although some individuals feel that sex work is morally wrong, it is crucial that people realize that sex workers are human beings, and their voices deserve to be heard. This has nothing to do with morals, and everything to do with human rights.
Prostitution is happening in Connecticut, out on the street and behind closed doors. The continued criminal status of sex workers only serves to further push prostitution underground, resulting in more crime. Thousands of dollars are spent per year to arrest and prosecute sex workers. It is only through the legalization of prostitution that regulation can begin. Sex workers would be entitled to rights, and would be able to report sexual assault. Workers would undergo regular medical screens, thus reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. The state would likely see a decrease in the trafficking of underage women, and save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. SWOP-CT recognizes this problem as a public health issue and human rights issue.
In addition, SWOP-CT hopes to reduce stigma, helping the public to understand that sex work is a choice for many women and men. There is a difference between a minor who is trapped in sex slavery, and a consenting empowered adult who chooses to engage in sex work. Let’s recognize the difference. SWOP-CT believes that it’s time to shed some light on the stereotypes. It is in fact possible for a person to engage in sex work, whether it be (prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, etc.), and to also be a human being with a life and identity outside of work. It is only through education and advocacy that we can reduce the stigma, and improve the lives of the sex workers in Connecticut. Please follow this blog, and join the facebook page in order to be a part of the group. People from all backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, and occupations are welcome, as long as their values are in line with our mission statement.