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Indybay Feature
Sat Apr 25 2020
Coronavirus is a Disaster for Sex Workers
Sex Workers Demand Immediate Financial Support
Thousands of families in the US rely on the income from sex work to survive and have been thrown into a crisis by the coronavirus. Most sex workers are mothers, primarily single mothers. This crisis came on top of a crisis in poverty and homelessness. Much sex work inevitably involves close personal contact so the self-isolation rules and the shelter-in-place order mean that sex workers, like many other workers, can’t work safely. Yet there is still rent to pay and families to feed.

Sex workers are deliberately excluded on moralistic grounds from the coronavirus $2 trillion bailout bill if their work is judged to be of a "prurient sexual nature". Selling weapons means you get a bailout but selling sex means you don’t. Rachel West, spokeswoman for US PROStitutes Collective, states, “Sex workers are criminalized with no rights and therefore no safety net. How are women supposed to survive? Like other workers, we are forced to choose between earning an income and risking our and our loved ones’ health. Instead of support, we get criminalization.”

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