Rachel West, In Defence of Prostitute Women’s Safety, (project of US Prostitutes Collective and Legal Action for Women) speaking at a press conference on the steps of City Hall, San Francisco, against cuts in funding to groups addressing violence against women.
“I’m a mother and a grandmother. As mothers, we deserve safety and protection for ourselves and our children. We do the work of ensuring their well being and survival as well as struggling to put food on the table in these hard economic times. Many prostitute women are mothers, working families, with children to support, but are among the most vulnerable to violence. Black and other women of color are most at risk. Studies show that sex workers are 40 times more likely to be murdered than other women. Attackers start with prostitutes and go on to attack other women. When there is public advocacy and education and the issue is in the public arena, violent attackers are less likely to slip through the cracks and women are safer. The proposed cuts will have a drastic impact on our life saving program. SF is one of the few cities where violence against sex workers is even addressed.”