SWOP - Chicago

Location

Chicago
United States
Contact email: 
sexworkchicago@gmail.com
Who do you work with?: 
1.) Sex workers with internet access and English language competency (via resource referrals, safety and harm reduction tips, and legal information published online; organizing meetings; and trainings). 2.) Social service providers (sex work sensitivity trainings and information aggregation on our website) . 3.) The general public (education, web-publications, materials distributed at events).
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?: 
Our director and all board members are current or former sex workers.
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 the social and occupational effects of criminalization– Fear of arrest is the primary concern for nearly all of the indoor sex workers we work with. Our membership and the people we are connected to also do not feel they have access to therapists, health care professionals, lawyers and case-workers who can provide non-judgmental services to individuals in the sex trade.
Describe other areas of your work: 
SWOP-Chicago is a membership-based, grassroots organization devoted to improving the lives of current and former sex workers. We seek to achieve our mission by addressing the stigma associated with sex work and institutional abuses against sex workers through public education, resource advocacy, peer-support, and direct action campaigns.