San Francisco Sex Workers Demand Police Protection

Carrie Hodousek
December 18, 2018 - 8:20 am

SAN FRANCISCO — Police crackdowns in the Mission neighborhood have created a hostile and dangerous climate for sex workers, according to protesters who demanded more protection for the members of the underground industry. 

Rachel West from the U.S. PROStitutes Collective said sex workers are more likely than other groups to be attacked, yet they do not feel comfortable reporting crimes.

"Instead of enforcing the safety policy, the Mission police are dramatically increasing arrests against sex workers and others on the street," said West outside of the station house on Monday. "As a result, sex workers who are victims of violence are intimidated and are running from the police."

The San Francisco Police Department said to KCBS Radio that their officers protect everyone in the city, including prostitutes, from violence. 

That's hard to believe, according to Mission resident Tessa Brown, who said police have killed sex workers and had sex offenders in their ranks. 

"We reject the police as the move to make sex workers or any women more safe," she said. 

The group stormed the door of the police precinct station, shouting "let us in," as they sought to deliver a letter calling for the end of the department's Sex Work Abatement Unit. They want to see the money from that unit spent to help women leave the industry.