FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 30, 2020

St. Louis, MO. — The ACLU of Missouri, in partnership with the MO Ho Justice Coalition, announces the release of a new report in support of sex work decriminalization and kicks of its 3rd annual #10DaysofTransDemands campaign today.

The 46-page report, State of the Hustle: Sex Workers Speak Out in the Show-Me State, represents the
most extensive and public outreach effort ever for sex workers in Missouri. Today,  at 7 pm, the MO Ho Justice Coalition will host an online release of the report and launch this year’s #10DaysofTransDemands campaign. The campaign will include six online events focused on destigmatizing and decriminalizing sex work.

The State of the Hustle details Missourian's experiences as sex workers contextualizes state and municipal legal practices and includes policy recommendations.  Report recommendations highlight the necessity of destigmatizing sex work, broadening health and wellness opportunities for sex workers, and ending the prosecution of sex workers.

This report is part of the ACLU of Missouri’s Trans Justice Program. Nationally, 1 in 5 trans people engage in sex work. Nearly 40% of those surveyed for this report are transgender. Whether or not they participate in sex work, LGBTQ people and trans women specifically are regularly profiled, harassed, and criminalized based on the presumption that they are sex workers, contributing to the disproportionate internet surveillance, incarceration and police brutality experienced by these communities. The American Civil Liberties Union has held the policy that sex work should be decriminalized since 1973.

Report findings affirm that sex workers in Missouri are professionals who are financially sustained by their work and choose it with full agency and options. Survey results underscore that police use outdated prostitution laws to harass sex workers, disrupt their personal and professional lives, and create hardship. Of those surveyed for this report 47.8% reported engaging in sex work as their full-time employment and 77.7% reported having a professional, undergraduate, graduate degree, or some college.

To join the release event - RSVP: bit.ly/moedmonthly

To read the report, visit the website: mohojustice.com

To plug into the Ten Days events: https://fb.me/e/dcUS9FJHu

For a press kit, email dspradley@aclu-mo.org