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ErikaG @egonz15
, 18 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I have a personal story to share about how #SESTA could affect me as an advocate and a legal representative for survivors of human trafficking.
When I first started working in this movement I had a client who had in fact been trafficked as a minor and forced into commercial sex.
As an adult she really struggled to get stable and on multiple occasions she disappeared on me while in the midst of having immigration issues.
As her attorney I had to keep her abreast of all the legal happenings for her case. Because she was struggling financially and she had no work authorization and no ID she often went back to sex work too just to be able to eat.
Sometimes the only way I could get ahold of her was by finding her through Backpage so that I could get her most recent number.
Once we were finally able to get her an ID she was able to stabilize and start working. Without Backpage I would have lost all contact with my client and she probably would not have been able to stabilize because of all the legal appointment she was missing.
I understand why people are concerned that there are web pages that host commercial sex activities but for law enforcement and for Advocate it can be a very useful tool to help find our client and potential victims.
Advocate and sex worker partners I've been saying for years that there is a lot of benefit to keeping these internet providers active and the biggest reason has been tracking of victims.
Celebrities don't know what it's like when you can't find your client and the only way to find them is through one of these hosting websites.
Don't ignore sex workers because you have a stigma against them. Understand that they're coming from a place of safety and concern.
#SESTA is bad law. Period.
I feel bad that I'm only just remembering this story now. I wish I could have share this story sooner so you all could understand the impact beyond the words of the ACT.
And before you focus on the fact that she was an immigrant that struggled because of her lack of ID, I want you to know that many US citizen often lack identification or even proof of their citizenship.
For those people sex work might be their only form of survival and it does not necessarily mean that they are being trafficked.
Sesta would take away one of the only forms of engaging in commercial sex in a safe way. Don't let the hype convince you that taking down those websites are going to stop trafficking.
People without ID whether that be US citizens or immigrants often have to resort to alternative means to be able to provide for themselves and most service agencies either do not serve people who are not victims or are over capacity.
If you want to help survivors please listen to experts (e.g. @FreedomNetUSA) who have actually served victims of human trafficking don't just listen to outreach and awareness organizations that haven't gotten their hands dirty in this field.
My boss always says that if there was an easy way to end trafficking, we would have already done it already. #SESTA sounds like a solution, but it's not. It will just push trafficking more under ground and make it harder for us to find victims!
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