United States: San Francisco Guidelines Protect Sexually Exploited Women and Girls from Arrest and Prosecution
Saturday, January 20, 2018 6:15 PM

New guidelines in San Francisco, California, prohibit city law enforcement from arresting sexually exploited women and girls when they are victims of, or witnesses to, a variety of crimes including rape, stalking, and human trafficking. City prosecutors also say they will not pursue charges against women and girls for prostitution and minor drug offenses because prosecutors want crime victims to “work with law enforcement as witnesses and victims of violence.”

The new policies, a first of their kind in the United States, were finalized in December 2017 by city police and prosecutors. The new strategy was “written in the spirit of encouraging sex workers to feel safe coming forward to law enforcement, with the knowledge that they will be treated with respect and their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated.”

Compiled from: Sernoffsky, Evan, New SF Policies Bar Arrest of Sex Workers Who Come Forward to Report Violence, San Francisco Chronicle (January 11, 2018).