The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could be uniquely devastating for women in prison, as well as their children and families.
The pandemic has laid bare the many risks of carceral responses to domestic abuse. We can no longer blindly accept that arrest is best.
While FOSTA was an important step to protect victims of online trafficking, we must do more to protect marginalized people who engage in street- or survival-based sex trading, which has become more dangerous post-FOSTA.
The goal of shuttering U.S.-based commercial sex websites was both necessary and effective, but law enforcement is still struggling to adapt to FOSTA’s many unintended consequences in its broader fight against the commercial sex industry.
FOSTA conflates consensual sex workers with trafficking victims. As a result, it has made consensual sex markets more coercive and riskier, while hindering anti-trafficking efforts.
The sex trade is defined by exploitation. For survivors, FOSTA is a welcome step towards holding those who profit off of online exploitation accountable.
HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
301 19th Avenue South Minneapolis MN 55455
Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy
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