Washington, DC (June 21, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is urging California Governor Gavin Newsom to veto SB 357, a bill that repeals loitering laws related to prostitution, because the demand for prostituted persons will inevitably rise and cause even more harm to marginalized communities.
“If SB 357 is passed, sex buyers will more easily be able to purchase prostituted persons. This will increase sex trafficking in the state of California because the demand for prostituted persons will inevitably rise. We urge Governor Newsom to veto SB 357 and instead seek smart solutions to reduce prostitution and sex trafficking,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
Dr. Stephany Powell, director of law enforcement training and survivor services at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and a former LAPD Vice Sergeant, explained why this bill would be harmful if signed into law. “SB 357 assumes that loitering laws are used to merely harass marginalized people, and by repealing them, these people will experience less discrimination from police. In reality, repealing loitering laws will only cause further harm to communities with existing poverty and high crime,” Powell said.
“If signed into law, SB 357 would severely limit law enforcement’s ability to identify victims of human trafficking – even if the victims are minors. Many officers rely on the loitering laws to initiate trafficking investigations that have led to serious convictions for traffickers and pimps,” Powell said.
About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.