In the Booth with Ruth – Tara Burns, Survivor of Labor Trafficking in the Sex Industry, Sex Worker and Sex Workers’ Rights Activist

Tara Burns, a sex trafficking survivor, sex worker and sex workers’ rights activist, discusses the advantages of the sex workers’ rights and anti-sex trafficking movements working together.

Ruth Jacobs

Tara Burns

Could you share how you became involved in the sex workers’ rights movement and why it’s so important to you?

There are so many moments that have added up to my becoming an activist. When I was sixteen a District Attorney declined to prosecute my father for abusing me and pimping me out because she thought a jury would not believe a teenage prostitute, even in the face of physical evidence. When I was an eighteen year old stripper I was raped and the police made fun of my dress and threatened to arrest me for making a false report. A decade ago when the Internet seemed young I discovered blogging, and sex worker bloggers like Audacia Ray helped me think critically about sex work and my life for the first time. In 2009 Carol Leigh explained the sex trafficking laws to me and I realized that a lot of…

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In the Booth with Ruth – Meg Munoz, Former Sex Worker, Trafficking Survivor, Ally and Rights Advocate

Former sex worker, trafficking survivor, ally and rights advocate, Meg Munoz, discusses the advantages of the sex worker rights and anti-human trafficking movements working together and why she advocates for decriminalisation.

Ruth Jacobs

Meg Munoz

How did you become involved in the movement against sex trafficking and sexual exploitation?

Following my time in the industry, connecting with the sex worker rights and anti-trafficking movements was just natural. I started escorting at 18, but due to drug and alcohol issues, I took a break after about 2 years. A few years later, I found myself suddenly supporting myself and going to school so I went back. The reality is, I liked what I did. I loved the economic independence and personal freedom I felt. I had nice clients and good money rolling in, but based on social stigma, a lack of real support, and my family upbringing, I felt like hiding everything was my only choice.

About 2 years back into the industry, I had a close friend turn on me. He blackmailed me, threatened me, and literally terrorized me for the next 3 years while…

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Lori Adorable

In the Booth with Ruth – Lori Adorable, Sex Worker and Sex Worker Rights Advocate

This brilliant interview with the very wise Lori Adorable, a sex worker and sex worker rights advocate, is great reading not only for those in the sex worker rights movement but also for those supporting the Swedish model.

Ruth Jacobs

Lori AdorableWhy are sex worker rights important to you?

Obviously a good amount of it is self-interest. My job is hard enough without the stigma and criminalization, and I know I deserve better. But I’m not the one hit the hardest by whorephobia. I’m white, cis, from a middle-class background, work indoors, and don’t do full-service. I’m not the one usually targeted by police and rescue orgs and serial killers. Sex work, as an underground economy, attracts a lot of the most vulnerable from every marginalized group, and I am very much here for them as well.

What legislation do you think would be best to ensure sex workers have all the same rights as all other citizens?

I’m not particularly in favor of any legislation at this point. I think sex work should be fully decriminalized. If the state does need to be involved, it should regulate sex work via…

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Coming Back from Soul Destruction – Ruth Jacobs interviewed on Women Move the Soul

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Published on Women Move the Soul – 29 October 2013

We know them. We all know a woman who struggles with drugs and alcohol. Perhaps she’s a woman in your family, a friend or even a co-worker, but we know them. If you have not been a drug addict then you cannot know what they go through. You can’t imagine the pain they feel from moment to moment and the things that they are driven to do because of that addiction…. Ruth Jacobs has been there – in the very recesses of hell – and she came back to us… Read the full article on Women Move the Soul here.

In the Booth with Ruth – Kevin Jaffray, Drug Harm Reduction & Recovery Activist

Drug harm reduction and recovery activist, Kevin Jaffray, shares his experience of how harm reduction saved his life while he was in the depths of his addiction, about his work in the field now, and why he advocates for safe consumption rooms and the life saving medication, Naloxone, and much more.

Ruth Jacobs

Kevin Jaffray

How did you become involved in supporting harm reduction for drug users?

Firstly I must be clear that the harm reduction ethos does not just relate to those living with drug addiction issues or substance users. It is also concerned with the issues that surround addiction more generally and a number of other related and non related issues, public health issues, social and economic issues, evidence based policies, fighting stigma, reducing risk of blood-borne viruses (BBVs), safe rights of sex workers etc. (this list is not exhaustive).

Harm reduction is self explanatory in its title and can relate to anything that is harmful to the individual or the community in general. Its core is firmly based in practical rather than idealistic beliefs. Harm reduction (harm minimisation) can also be used in relation to human behaviours and actions towards either themselves or other human beings.

Some of the issues addressed by the…

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Niki Adams of the English Collective of Prostitutes discusses decriminalisation & the Merseyside model

Ruth Jacobs

“Since 1975, the International Prostitutes Collective has been campaigning for the abolition of the prostitution laws which criminalize sex workers and our families, and for economic alternatives and higher benefits and wages.

No woman, child or man should be forced by poverty or violence into sex with anyone. We provide information, help and support to individual prostitute women and others who are concerned with sex workers’ human, civil, legal and economic rights.”

More information about the vital work of the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) can be read on their website http://prostitutescollective.net.

“In the Booth with Ruth – Niki Adams, English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP)” Produced by Matthew Lynch (www.jlfilmandmedia.com)

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My most in depth article arguing for the Merseyside model to be made UK wide – The F-Word

protest as part of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers uploaded by Flickr user Steve Rhodes.

Protest as part of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Image by Flickr user Steve Rhodes

Published on The F-Word – 19 August 2013

Most sex workers find it difficult to report rape or violence because of the stigma associated with prostitution. Ruth Jacobs argues for a model that treats crimes against sex workers as hate crimes, a model that has been successful in increasing reporting of crimes and convictions in Merseyside. Read the full article on The F-Word here.