Support House Bill 112/Senate Bill 73!!!

We need your help to get HB112/SB73 passed!

The bills are companion bills (ie, identical) that expand Alaska’s current sexual assault statute to prohibit peace officers from sexually penetrating or having sexual contact with those they are investigating. Currently, it is only illegal for police to sexually penetrate those who are in their custody. The bill will close a loophole that currently leaves it up to individual police departments to decide whether peace officers should have sex with sex workers or sex trafficking victims during prostitution stings, but also extend protection to other crime victims, witnesses, or others under active investigation.

For example, the Alaska Supreme Court found that an Alaska State Trooper who had sex with a domestic violence victim after arresting her husband should not have been fired, saying: “Blinkered to the breadth of the allowable inquiry, the court today looks for—and fails to find—‘‘any explicit, well-defined, and dominant public policy requiring termination, rather than suspension, as the only proper discipline for a trooper’s consensual and noncriminal sexual misconduct.’’”

Watch news coverage about HB112/SB73 here and listen to Rachel’s story and sign the petition here.

You can listen to the Alaska State Troopers following up with a woman who had reported that she was a victim of sex trafficking here and read a report about the necessity of the bill here: Expanding Protections.

Currently HB 112 is waiting to be heard in House Judiciary and House State Affairs and SB 73 is waiting to be heard in Senate State Affairs and Senate Judiciary. Send your letter of support NOW to and and copy us at so we can make sure your letters make it into the packet of support. Be sure to open your letter by asking legislators to support HB 112 and SB 73 and close your letter by asking them to vote for HB 112 and SB 73.

Here’s are some other people’s letters to help inspire you:

Dear Legislators,

I am a current Sex Worker who has lived and worked in Alaska and I am in support of HB 112. I’d like to remain anonymous due to the risk of retaliation and anonymity. Please consider the importance of the bill and do the right thing. Won’t you vote for HB 112? Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, “Jane”

Dear Alaskan legislators,

I am writing in support of house bill 112.

My name is Rachel and I had a police officer have sex with me to completion and was going to arrest me afterwards but was unable to because I had not technically broken the law.

Unfortunately because at the time it was not illegal for him to do there was and is nothing I can do about it. This made me feel very violated on many different levels, it also made me not trust the police.

I think it should be illegal for the police to have sex of any kind while a person is under investigation. I am doing this not for myself but trying to help to make sure it does not happen in the future. I have heard many times from many different people about similar situations happening to them.

Please vote yes on house bill 112 to prevent this from happening again.

Thank you in advance,

Dear Alaska legislators,

I am writing in support of house bill 112.

Our state has appalling rates of sexual abuse, child molestation, rape and domestic violence. Sex trafficking contributes to and capitalizes on this violence, yet the law has made sex workers the criminals and used that vulnerability to justify further violation and distrust. This needs to stop.

Police should not be allowed to use their power and position to have sex with sex workers. Period.

Like many women, I am very aware of the short and long-term impact of sexual violence on those who experience it. What police are now allowed to do is exactly the kind of power-based violation and manipulation that has harmed Alaskans across our state.

Please vote yes on house bill 112.

Thank you,

Dawnell Smith

Dear Alaskan Lawmakers,

I’m writing in support of HB 112.

As the founder of SWOP Behind Bars it is my job to advocate on the behalf of vulnerable people who are often abused, discriminated against and all too often exploited by police. As a human being, I find it deplorable to even have to write a letter asking you to make it illegal for a police officer to have sex with prostitutes, victims of crime or witnesses to crime. It is beyond me how this could be happening and yet I know that it does because it happened to me and it has happened to many other people I know.

In a 2010 study in New York*, more than 51% of minors in the sex trade said their number one fear was being raped or abused by a police officer. Our government officials and law enforcement officers have an obligation to protect and serve all of the people they come in contact with and taking advantage of someone who is vulnerable and afraid is not something that should be tolerated by any community. Having your most vulnerable and marginalized community members protected by a law that prohibits this kind of misconduct is what is best for everyone.

Please vote yes on HB 112.

Alex Andrews
Alex Andrews
Co Founder, SWOP Behind Bars

*Meredith Dank, Jennifer Yahner, Kuniko Madden, Isela Bañuelos, Lilly Yu, Andrea Ritchie, Mitchyll Mora, Brendan Conner. Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex.

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2016

The International Day to End Violence is held on the day that the Green River Killer was caught and confessed to killing dozens of sex workers. He said he thought he could kill as many of us as he wanted to, because nobody cares about sex workers. December 17th is our day to come together as a community and say that we DO care about sex workers and people shouldn’t kill us.

This year’s candlelight vigil will memorialize Jackie Goodwin, who was murdered here in Anchorage this year, and the 10 missing and murdered Anchorage sex workers who’s cases still remain unsolved.


CUSP Applauds Podcaster in Epic Review of Harmful Narratives

Today, the Community United For Safety and Protection (CUSP) would like to commend Chris Sowa, podcaster of Sex With Strangers, for his time and attention in addressing the false and misleading narrative of sex trafficking that leads to incalculable harm to sex trafficking victims in Episode 26: Fighting the Trafficking Narrative from Alaska to Rhode Island.

Sowa’s top to bottom review of the sex trafficking narrative as it’s been sold to the American public as well as across the globe dispels false and misleading information. The two hour epically reported in depth show features interviews with researchers and current and former sex workers and sex trafficking victims across the nation, including following Maxine Doogan and Terra Burns lobbying for anti-violence legislation in Juneau. A year in the making, the podcast features interviews of researchers shows how those in their profession routinely use outrageous research methodology and pre-disposed agendas to fabricate untruths used by religious and “radical feminist” lobbies to pass overbroad, poorly worded legislation like Alaska’s 2012 sex trafficking law. The show follows sex workers fighting against bad legislation which harm them even though it is typically crafted in their name. Alaskan activists and the recently enacted Senate Bill 91 are featured prominantly in this internationally distributed show. Sex With Strangers can be found on most podcast platforms and at

Senate Bill 91 Improves Safety for Sex Workers

The passage of Senate Bill 91 was a step towards enfranchising people in the sex trade into Alaska’s promise of equal protection under the law for all.

The omnibus crime bill contained language that allows a victim or witness to report some violent felonies to the police without being charged with prostitution under Alaska state law. This much needed fix will incentivize reporting and investigation of serious crimes and help police get dangerous predators off the streets instead of arresting us for trying to report.

“Senate Bill 91 took an important step towards clarifying the difference between prostitution and sex trafficking, closing loopholes that allowed law enforcement to spend Alaska’s finite resources arresting and charging folks for sex trafficking themselves”, said Maxine Doogan. “The threat of being convicted of felony charges had become a barrier preventing witnesses and victims from reporting serious crimes for fear of being charged with trafficking ourselves”.

It’s historic that Alaska lawmakers recognized the overbroad nature of the 2012 law and when presented with evidence of the unintended consequences moved quickly to correct it.

“While Senate Bill 91 altered the state’s prostitution statute to offer situational immunity for victims or witnesses reporting some violent felonies, the Municipality of Anchorage’s prostitution code can still be used against victims who are reporting serious crimes like sex trafficking,” said Terra Burns. Sex workers, sex trafficking victims, and advocates are calling on the Municipality to join the state in allowing victims and witnesses to report without being charged with practicing prostitution under Anchorage’s Municipal code.

Fixing Alaska’s Sex Trafficking Law

In 2012 Alaska passed a new sex trafficking law that redefined most things prostitutes do as sex trafficking. The second person to be charged under it was an independent adult sex worker who was charged with trafficking in the fourth degree: “aiding or facilitating” her own prostitution. Shortly after that CUSP advocates tried to help report a man to the police who was threatening Fairbanks sex workers with arrest if they did not pay him $1000, but police and an Assistant Attorney General could or would not give a victim who wanted to make a report immunity from being charged with trafficking herself.

Her lawyer explained the situation.

Her lawyer explained the situation.

Things that were defined as sex trafficking under the 2012 trafficking law included aiding or facilitating prostitution (including your own, and potentially including harm reduction workers who provide condoms) and having a place of prostitution, including your own prostitution. The first and fourth cases to be charged under the sex trafficking law were against sex workers who were accused of sharing space and information about clients, something that sex workers do to increase their safety. Sex workers who became victims of violent crime became even more reluctant to report it to the police when they had been sharing a hotel room or information with other sex workers, out of fear of being charged with trafficking each other.


A solution was proposed in House Bill 349 and then as an amendment that became Sections 37-40 of Senate Bill 91. When Governor Walker signed SB91 yesterday this section became law, but he immediately put removing sections 39-40 on the agenda for special session, citing concern from a religious group that these sections essentially decriminalized sex trafficking.

Here is the language that was added:

10 (c) A person does not institute, aid, or facilitate prostitution if the person
11 (1) engages in prostitution in violation of AS 11.66.100(a) in a location
12 even if that location is shared with another person; and
13 (2) has not induced or caused another person in that location to engage
14 in prostitution.
(Read the whole bill here:

This was added to the third and fourth degrees of trafficking (aiding/facilitating and having a place of prostitution) but was not added to trafficking in the second degree (having a prostitution enterprise) or the first degree (forcing people into prostitution or involving minors).


Removing these sections would once again leave sex workers and sex trafficking victims unable to report violent crimes out of fear of being charged with trafficking themselves or each other.

The Good News: Situational Immunity from Prostitution Charges

Yesterday Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 91, which included a section providing situational immunity for who are making a good faith report that they were a victim or witness of a list of several crimes.

We expect this to increase reporting of crimes like robbery, assault, and sex trafficking and ultimately improve public safety. It is our hope that this will also lead to the resolution of one or some of the 11 currently unsolved murder, missing person, and suspicious death cases of sex workers in Anchorage.

Here is the specific wording of Section 36:

Sec. 36. AS 11.66.100 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
05 (e) A person may not be prosecuted under (a)(1) of this section if the
06 (1) person witnessed or was a victim of, and reported to law
07 enforcement in good faith, one or more of the following crimes:
08 (A) murder in the first degree under AS 11.41.100;
09 (B) murder in the second degree under AS 11.41.110;
10 (C) manslaughter under AS 11.41.120;
11 (D) criminally negligent homicide under AS 11.41.130;
12 (E) assault in the first degree under AS 11.41.200;
13 (F) assault in the second degree under AS 11.41.210;
14 (G) assault in the third degree under AS 11.41.220;
15 (H) assault in the fourth degree under AS 11.41.230;
16 (I) sexual assault in the first degree under AS 11.41.410;
17 (J) sexual assault in the second degree under AS 11.41.420;
18 (K) sexual assault in the third degree under AS 11.41.425;
19 (L) sexual assault in the fourth degree under AS 11.41.427;
20 (M) sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree under
21 AS 11.41.434;
22 (N) sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree under
23 AS 11.41.436;
24 (O) sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree under
25 AS 11.41.438;
26 (P) sexual abuse of a minor in the fourth degree under
27 AS 11.41.440;
28 (Q) robbery in the first degree under AS 11.41.500;
29 (R) robbery in the second degree under AS 11.41.510;
30 (S) extortion under AS 11.41.520;
31 (T) coercion under AS 11.41.530;
01 (U) distribution of child pornography under AS 11.61.125;
02 (V) possession of child pornography under AS 11.61.127;
03 (W) sex trafficking in the first degree under AS 11.66.110;
04 (X) sex trafficking in the second degree under AS 11.66.120;
05 (Y) sex trafficking in the third degree under AS 11.66.130; or
06 (Z) sex trafficking in the fourth degree under AS 11.66.135;
07 (2) evidence supporting the prosecution under (a)(1) of this section
08 was obtained or discovered as a result of the person reporting the crime to law
09 enforcement; and
10 (3) person cooperated with law enforcement personnel.