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Sunday, September 24, 2017
HomeAlaska NewsPhone survey is for sex worker law changes

Phone survey is for sex worker law changes

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Hays Research performed a telephone survey across Alaska last week with some unusual questions.

The survey explanation to the respondent was posed this way: Community United for Safety and Protection is investigating if Alaskans support Amnesty International’s policy position to not arrest people for prostitution, which would stop the State from spending money, as there are already laws on the books to address rape, robbery, theft, coercion, extortion, assault, battery, sex trafficking, kidnapping, and murder.

The surveyor continued: The following questions relate to this position and how it may affect the State’s budget.

Here are four related issues currently being dealt with in Alaska. Which is most important?

  • Arresting minors for prostitution.
  • Arresting consenting adults for prostitution.
  • Investigating cases of murder or missing sex workers.
  • Processing Alaska’s backlog of rape kits.
  1. Are you aware under current Alaska law police officers are permitted to have sexual contact or intercourse with women before arresting them for prostitution?   Y / N
  2. Do you think it should against the law for police officers to have sexual contact or intercourse with individuals they are investigating?  Y / N
  3. Should the State stop spending resources arresting consenting adults for prostitution?  Y / N
  4. Sex trafficking is commonly understood to mean forcing people into prostitution, but in reality it has many legal definitions. Here’s a list of situations. Let me know if you think they should be charged with sex trafficking:
  • Should someone who forces a child into prostitution be charged with sex trafficking?  Y /  N
  • Should an abusive partner of a sex worker who pressures them to serve more clients than they want to serve be charged with sex trafficking?
  • Should landlords or roommates of adult sex workers, even if they are not aware of prostitution occurring on the premises, be charged with sex trafficking?
  • Should adult sex workers who carpool back and forth between Fairbanks and Anchorage be charged with sex trafficking one another?
  • Should outreach workers who provide adult sex workers with condoms be charged with sex trafficking?
They are sex workers and former sex workers who are lobbying to decriminalize aspects of prostitution. Last year they sent one lobbyist to Juneau and this year they plan to send three.
Last year, the lobbyist for the group left material on the tables during a State Chamber of Commerce reception, which…wait for it…got a rise out of some attendees. The materials were quickly gathered up by the organizer of the event and tossed, as CUSP is not a member of the State Chamber.

Be that as it may, at least one part of Alaska’s economy is growing.

Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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