IT IS THE POSITION OF THE SAN FRANCISCO YOUTH COMMISSION to support Resolution #001564 passed in September 2000, and to recognize of its sponsors, Supervisors Ammiano and former Supervisor Bierman. We join the Supervisors, along with the community, in urging the San Francisco Police Department and Office of the District Attorney to prioritize the rigorous prosecution of violent crimes against women and men in prostitution and to reallocate resources that are currently being expended to prosecute sex workers to community services.
Based on the presentation given to us on October 3, 2005, by Rachel West from US PROStitutes Collective and Nell Myhand from Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike, we concur with the initiatives to mitigate the violence against prostitutes. Resolution #001564 outlines the problems of a system that has an apparent mind in only prosecuting prostitutes in the City and County, further endangering them from whatever they had cause to turn to city police officers and thus perpetuating the cycle of violence and poverty that led to prostitution.
We further support the implementation of the recommendations in a full report made by the 1996 San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution, the 1998 Commission on the Status of Women, and the Human Rights Commission.
According to the resolution, it is found that this is definitely a topic regarding youth, although not entirely directly to all youth as a body, these include:
- That many sex workers [male and female] “have limited or no employment history and…are often under age,” then temporarily turn to this profession to “obtain a room for the night or a meal for the day…”
- That the majority of the women convicted of prostitution [under the age of 18] are currently located in the Youth Guidance Center
It is therefore in the best interest of the San Francisco Youth Commission to urge the San Francisco Police Department and associated law enforcement agencies to rigorously prosecute those that violate sex workers and to reallocate resources that currently prosecute prostitutes to establishing service programs to enable sex workers and their families to leave prostitution and become independent.
December 5, 2005