Sex Trade Survivors Act

An Act to Strengthen Justice and Support for Sex Trade Survivors (H.1597/S.983)

Lead Sponsors: Representatives Keefe and Farley-Bouvier and Senators Edwards and Friedman

An Act to Strengthen Justice and Support for Sex Trade Survivors (H.1597 / S.983) is a survivor-led, comprehensive, and proven approach to reducing commercial sexual exploitation and systems of prostitution. This bill ends the criminalization of people being bought and sold in the sex trade — overwhelmingly women and girls, and disproportionately BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals — while still upholding current anti-trafficking laws. Additionally, it expands access to critical resources for the majority of those who are seeking to exit the sex trade.

END CRIMINALIZATION OF PEOPLE IN THE SEX TRADE

Repeals the crime of selling sex, including common nightwalking and streetwalking.

ADVANCE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Expunges the criminal records of prostituted people and sex trade survivors for all previous prostitution charges, thereby removing barriers to housing and employment.
Fines collected from buyers will be directed to the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA).

CREATE AN INTERAGENCY SPECIAL COMMISSION

This commission will publish recommendations on existing programming for survivors and current prevention efforts. This report will recommend ways to improve access to housing, healthcare, education, job training, legal assistance, and compensation for survivors, provide strategies for education and prevention campaigns, and recommend ways to increase organizations’ ability to support survivors.

Endorsements

MA ATTORNEY GENERAL

  • Andrea Campbell

MA SHERIFFS

  • Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association:
    • Donna Buckley, Barnstable County
    • Thomas Bowler, Berkshire County
    • Paul Heroux, Bristol County
    • Robert Ogden, Dukes County
    • Christopher Donelan, Franklin County
    • Nicholas Cocchi, Hampden County
    • Patrick Cahillane, Hampshire County
    • Peter Koutoujian, Middlesex County
    • James Perelman, Nantucket County
    • Patrick McDermott, Norfolk County
    • Joseph McDonald Jr., Plymouth County
    • Steven Tompkins, Suffolk County

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS

  • Joseph Early, Worcester County
  • Marian Ryan, Middlesex County
  • Kevin Hayden, Suffolk County
  • David Sullivan, Franklin & Hampshire County
  • Michael Morrissey, Norfolk County
  • Robert Galibois, Cape & Islands
  • Timothy Shugrue, Berkshires

ELECTED OFFICIALS

  • Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2)

GOVERNMENT

  • Worcester City Council
    Worcester Commission on the Status
    of Women
  • Metrowest Commissions on the Status of Women

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

  • Bethany House Ministries
  • BME Ten Point
  • Boston Uncornered
  • Boys & Girls Club of Worcester
  • Brazilian Workers Center
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters
  • Common Purpose
  • Coalition for Social Justice
  • Children’s Advocacy Center of
    Suffolk County
  • Edwina Martin House
  • Girls Incorporate Affiliates Statewide
    • Girls Inc of Greater Lowell
    • Girls Inc of Lynn
    • Girls Inc of the Berkshires
    • Girls Inc of the Valley
    • Girls Inc of Worcester
  • Heading Home
  • Hopewell Inc.
  • Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, Inc.
  • Justice Resource Institute (JRI)
  • La Colaborativa
  • Main South CDC
  • Massachusetts Children Alliance
  • Open Sky Community Services
  • Planning Office for Urban AffairS

  • Progressive Massachusetts
  • Recovery Homes Collaborative
  • ROCA Inc
  • Roxbury Youthworks
  • Strategies for Youth
  • United Way of Central MA
  • Worcester Human Rights Commission
  • You Inc

SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  • Jane Doe INC
  • Casa Myrna Vazquez
  • Pathways to Change
  • Sanctuary for Families
  • YWCA of Central MA

HEALTH

  • Boston Medical Center’s Domestic Violence Program and Project TRUST
  • Annie Lewis O’Connor
  • Family Health Center Worcester
  • Greater New Bedford Comm Health Center
  • Greater Springfield Campaign Nonviolence
  • Lake Ave Recovery
  • Latin American Health Alliance
  • Partners in Health
  • Project Worth – Community Healthlink
  • Seven Hills Behavioral Health
  • Spectrum Health Systems
  • Worcester Addresses Childhood Trauma
  • Worcester Dept of Public Health
  • Massachusetts Nurses Association

EDUCATION

  • American Federation of Teachers (MA)
  • Boston Teachers Union

FAITH ORGANIZATIONS

  • Interfaith Council of Greater Springfield
  • Public Church Boston
  • Sisters of St Joseph (Boston)
  • Sisters of St Joseph (in Springfield)
  • US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT)
  • Worcester InterfaitH

NATIONAL

  • Shared Hope
  • Rights 4 Girls
  • NCMEC
  • Polaris
  • WorldWE

HIGHER EDUCATION

  • BU Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Program
  • CSE Institute at Villanova Law

SURVIVOR-LED EXIT PROGRAMMING

  • EVA Center
  • LIFT & LIFT – Jana’s Place
  • My Life My Choice
  • Ready Inspire Act (RIA) Inc
  • Amirah Inc

Join our movement in Massachusetts.