CUSP acknowledges we are on unceded Indigenous lands.
We are a group of current and former sex workers, sex trafficking survivors, and allies working towards safety and protection in Alaska’s sex industry. We educate and advocate for each other as individuals trying to access equal protection under the law or public services, and also at the legislative level.
Here are some things we have been able to change with support from lawmakers
- In 2016, as part of SB91, we were able to change Alaska’s prostitution law, so that sex workers and sex trafficking survivors can report crimes to police without fear of being arrested for prostitution. We also changed Anchorage Municipal prostitution law in 2017 so that sex workers in Anchorage can also report crimes without fear of arrest.
- Also in 2016, as part of SB91 we changed the sex trafficking law so that independent sex workers cannot be charged with sex trafficking themselves anymore.
- In 2017/2018 we lobbied for HB112 which would have made it sexual assault for a police officer to sexually penetrate, or have sexual contact with, a suspect during the course of an investigation. Unfortunately Anchorage PD was successful in its opposition. Read this article from Duke Law.
- We want to live in an Alaska where sex workers and people who are profiled as prostitutes can report being a victim of a crime, like robbery or sex trafficking, without fear of arrest.
- We want equal protection under the law instead of driving us underground, making us vulnerable to violence and exploitation.
- We want to be able to protect ourselves by working together or communicating with each other without it being called a sex trafficking ring.
- We want to be self determined and the right to negotiate for our own labor and work conditions.
- We want consequences for police who sexually exploit vulnerable sex workers.
- We want to be able to access housing, education, financial instruments, employment, child custody, and emergency and social services without discrimination.
- We want everyone in Alaska to have access to safe housing, and no one in Alaska to be forced into sex work by poverty or homelessness.
When discussing policies addressing sex trafficking, it is essential to include sex workers and sex trafficking survivors in the conversation. People in the sex industry possess key insights from firsthand experience. It is imperative to stop conflating all forms of sex work with forced labor. By listening to the perspectives of actual sex workers and trafficking survivors, those who say they care about sex trafficking can create effective strategies to prevent trafficking and support survivors with out stripping sex workers or trafficking survivors of rights.