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Published On: Tue, Apr 10th, 2018

Women’s March organizers are calling FBI’s seizure of backpage.com over human trafficking charges a ‘crisis for sex workers’

The top online human trafficking site, Backpage.com, was seized by the federal government two weeks after the U.S. House and Senate passed a bill to stop online human sex trafficking. Now organizers from the Women’s March are calling the shutting down of Backpage.com “an absolute crisis for sex workers” in a statement posted through their Twitter account.

photo/ Sammis Reachers

“Sex workers rights are women’s rights,” Women’s March said on Twitter.

“Sex work is consensual. Sex trafficking is coerced. The crackdown on Backpage is not about ending trafficking; it’s motivated by the patriarchal notion that women should not be free to do what we want with our bodies,” Safe Spaces DC said on Twitter.

Safe Spaces DC also sent out an informational blurb in response to the notion that “all sex workers are forced into the sex trade.”

The organization told their followers that “people choose sex work for a wide range of reasons — flexible schedules, higher pay than many other entry-level jobs, or because they enjoy it…..we want to make sure people have options and resources.”

The U.S. House and Senate passed a bill to stop online human sex trafficking. H.R. 1865, known as the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, targets online sex trafficking and subjects websites to federal criminal and civil liability when users misuse online personals. The bill awaits President Trump to sign it into law.
H.R. 1865 “amends the federal criminal code to add a new section that imposes penalties-a fine, a prison term of up to 10 years, or both-on a person who, using a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, owns, manages, or operates an interactive computer service (or attempts or conspires to do so) to promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person.”

The Washington Post reports prostitution was facilitated through advertisements that were placed on the website. 17 victims were involved with some as young as 14 years old.

In 2016, the CEO of Backpage.com was arrested on sex trafficking charges. At the time, it was reported Backpage.com took in $50 million in ad revenue between 2013 and 2015.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. President Trump signs FOSTA to fight human sex trafficking | The Global Dispatch | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] In shocking news, Women’s March leaders have spoken out AGAINST the bill, saying it hurts women, more HERE […]

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