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Dangerous Nonsense: Countering the Sex Trade's Decriminalization Fantasy

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About this talk

No one believes victims should be criminalized. As we've learned more about the inherent violence and exploitation in prostitution, it is ever more clear that arresting and stigmatizing marginal and vulnerable people is a bad response. Yet, across the country, in the guise of improving the lives of people in prostitution, proposals are being introduced at local and state legislatures to normalize acts of pimping, sex buying, and brothel keeping. Bills to decriminalize the sex trade have popped up in DC, HI, NH, NY, RI, and VT with proposals rumored to be in the works in several other states. Having collaborated with key local allies in DC to defeat a decriminalization bill at the DC Council, Eleanor Kennelly Gaetan will review winning arguments critical to defeating these misguided proposals as well as the stance of solidarity and concern most appropriate to the task.

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Rebecca Burney, Esq. (USA)

Rebecca Burney is an attorney and advocate at Rights4Girls, where she focuses on the intersection of female sexual abuse and juvenile justice system involvement in Washington, DC. She has extensive experience working with survivors of violence and trauma and serves as faculty for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ) judicial institute, where she helps train judges on domestic child sex trafficking.

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