Bella – July 2021

Law enforcement failed to protect me when I was attacked and robbed because consensual sex work is illegal. Law enforcement targeted me in a facilitated human trafficking operation, then arrested me and charged me with prostitution although I’m a consenting adult.

This created a series of misfortunate events. I was thrown in jail. I had to pay a bond. The process took 8 hours during which time my children were with our paid nanny whom I could afford only because of sex work, or else my kids would’ve been in state custody. I retained an attorney. The court hearings spanned 6 months. Ending in court fines and documentation of my arrest.

I’m a single mom with no family support. I’ve exhausted every option available to my situation in order to survive. I’ve endlessly committed to training courses and 9-5’s time after time I was always short on the bare minimum of providing food and housing for my family.

Consensual work has been a game changer and the only opportunity to put me in a position of being able to pay my rent. My work life does not overlap my home life. I’m able to buy food, my kids school supplies. Give them presents on Christmas morning and not have the fear of being homeless.

Law enforcement says I should get a real job. As if I don’t have a real job. I’ve counseled married couples on things they were too embarrassed to talk to anyone else about. I’ve offered consensual touch and comfort to single people with 60+ hour work weeks and I’m their only source of close human contact. I’ve gained tremendous amounts of knowledge on interactions with humans through my work.

The law says I’m a criminal and at times I did try to obtain legal employment but I was denied because of my background. I’ve also been denied housing because of my background. The current laws have suppressed me into a life of never ending poverty and criminalization.

I’m not violent, I’m not addicted to drugs. I was not sexually abused as a child. But I was exploited and trafficked in a domestic violence situation as an adult and law enforcement did nothing to help me because apparently I’m not a victim if I want to continue consensual swork on my own.

My clients are the ones who saved me from being victimized. My clients allow me a stable life. My clients have been the only ones to offer me meaningful support and if it weren’t for my clients I would be homeless.

The law says I’m a criminal for utilizing the only asset available to me. I say my body my choice. The Law says my clients are criminals for supporting me. How is justice served? The only true justice is decriminalization.