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I am doing research into legislative and community efforts to help women who are prostituted find lives of safety, health, and better jobs. Many women in the industry are not really willing participants, and are physically, mentally, and criminally abused without society's real understanding of or compassion for them as human beings. Sadly, much of the mainstream women's movement doesn't seem to care either. 1n 1993, two bills addressing the protection and compensation of those (women and men) in these situations who want to get out and improve their lives were defeated in Congress--I can only assume that the pimp/organized crime lobby was effective. Is there any legislation of late addressing the needs of this population? New York City in particular (in contrast to L.A, San Fransciso, and Minneapolis) seems to have no interest in helping (mostly) women escape lives of violence and find better jobs and better lives. Any advice?

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. Specific to New York City, you should contact the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence, which has a program working with sex workers who go through the court system. (I know of other programs, but they are based on the West Coast.) Also, I disagree that "the mainstream women's movement doesn't seem to care." If you're a feminist, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't--what about Laura Lederer, a pioneer of anti-pornography legislation; Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, Diana Russell? Contacting any of these--and more--and/or reference their work might also help with your work.

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