Support House Bill 112!!!

We need your help to get HB 112 passed!

The bill, which introduced today, expands 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 HB 112 here and listen to Rachel’s story and sign the petition here.

Currently HB 112 is waiting to be heard in House Judiciary and State Affairs. Send your letter of support NOW to Representative.Matt.Claman@akleg.gov and copy us at sextraffickingalaska@gmail.com 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 close your letter by asking them to vote for HB 112.

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,
Rachel

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.