Decriminalizing Sex Work in Vermont
July 4, 2022
The case for decriminalizing sex work has been made, over and over and over. The criminalization of sex work facilitates the policing and surveillance of women, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ folks; it endangers sex workers’ health.
Across the country, different bills are putting decriminalization on the table, from Oregon to New York to Vermont. Hallie Lieberman focuses on the fight in Vermont, led by sex workers and advocates including the Ishtar Collective. The fight is motivated by the desire to support sex workers’ right to respect and safety.
In 2021, the Collective helped pass an act that provides immunity from criminal liability for a person reporting a crime that arose from their involvement in sex work. Now, the Collective is advocating for a bill that would remove all legal penalties for sex work. If the bill passes, Vermont would be the first state to decriminalize sex work.
We at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation offer our full support to the Ishtar Collective among the many sex worker advocates who are pushing to make the Vermont bill a reality. The fight to decriminalize sex work is a fight to protect our fundamental human rights to sexual freedom and bodily autonomy. In light of the devastating, terrifying Dobbs decision, this fight is more important than ever before.