R-I Sex Workers React to Foxy Lady Arrests

                                      ADVOCACY GROUPS CONDEMN LAST WEEK’S ARREST
                                            OF SEX WORKERS AT THE FOXY LADY

Joined by a number of local and national organizations, the sex worker advocacy group
COYOTE-RI today blasted Providence city officials for their arrest last week of three sex
workers on charges of soliciting for prostitution at the Foxy Lady adult entertainment


In a statement issued today, the groups called for the charges against the women
to be dropped and an end to “the ongoing harassment of sex workers.”

COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) Rhode Island is a group of sex workers, former sex
workers, trafficking victims and allies that advocates for policies that promote the health and
safety of people involved in the sex industry.


The group’s statement today calls last week’s
police raid “a grotesque misuse of taxpayer dollars to oppress adult women whose only alleged
crime is selling services to consenting adults in a private location.”


Local groups joining in the
statement included RICARES, TGI Network of Rhode Island, and the ACLU of Rhode Island.
The Providence Licensing Board is today considering revoking the Foxy Lady’s license based
solely on these arrests, which is a harsher punishment, the establishment’s lawyers have pointed
out, than that meted out to nightclubs where shootings have taken place.

COYOTE-RI’s statement, which has also been signed online by hundreds of individuals, adds:
“Criminalization of sex work has done absolutely nothing to curtail ‘the oldest profession.’

Instead, it has led to increased rates of violence and stigma against sex workers, and even
adverse health outcomes. A recent study showed that that repressive policing was associated
with having three times the odds of experiencing sexual and physical violence from clients or
other parties. That is why such diverse and respected groups as the World Health Organization,
United Nations AIDS, and Amnesty International all recommend decriminalization of sex
work to reduce violence against, and incidence of HIV among, sex workers.”

The statement concludes by saying that “moralistic raids on sex workers trying to
provide for themselves will not ‘save’ them, but rather will contribute to long-term harm and
their continued marginalization. Arrests like these don’t stop crime, but instead only create
more victims. We urge City officials to drop the charges against these women and end the
ongoing harassment of sex workers.”