HIPS 906H Street, Washington, DC, 20002, USA
Who do you work with?:
HIPS offers harm reduction, strength based serves to sex workers, drug users and their communities (including clients, third parties, families, parents and friends) to female, male and trans individuals in the DC Metro area.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
HIPS prioritizes the participation of current and former sex workers at all levels of the organization including board, staff and volunteers. HIPS works to ensure that sex workers in the DC area are both informed and active in the conversations about their work through education, advocacy training and policy activities.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Criminalization and Stigma against sex workers are the most common issues faced by sex workers who come to HIPS. Criminalization of sex work leads not only to arrest, incarceration and loss of livelihood, but can affect personal relationships, housing status and the ability to get help when experiencing violence. Stigma against sex work often results in unnecessary policing, loss of housing, isolation, poor and non-existent medical care and lack of access to other forms of employment.
Describe other areas of your work:
HIPS promotes the health, rights and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use due to choice, coercion, or cirumstances. HIPS provides compassionate, harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement that is respectful, non-judgemental and affirms and honors individual power and agency.