The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) has issued an urgent call to action for the adult industry community, as well as friends, family and fans of adult entertainment and adult entertainers, regarding SESTA.
SESTA (S.1693) is the companion bill to FOSTA, which passed the House last week (388 to 25) and goes to floor vote Monday, Mar. 12.
Read YNOT’s coverage of FOSTA here.
Per APAC, SESTA (S.1693) would close online platforms for the sex industry. Being able to work online — and thus, indoors — is the best harm reduction. This applies to everyone trading sex, wherever they are on the spectrum of choice, circumstance or coercion. Taking away one of the very few tools sex workers have to stay safe will only make our community more vulnerable to traffickers and those who wish to exploit people working in sex work occupation.
When sex workers are pushed offline, they face increased risk of violence — including death.
SESTA will also impact adult performers.
If this bill passes, according to APAC, we are likely to see performers’ social media accounts dramatically censored, if not shut down entirely. It is also highly likely that platforms that allow performers to upload their own content – such as Clips for Sale, NiteFlirt, Only Fans, IWantEmpire, Model Centro, etc – will be targeted and shut down.
This is a moment for all sex workers and community members to stand in solidarity. For years, lawmakers have hoped that criminalizing the sex industry will stop trafficking, but it hasn’t. Instead, according to APAC, it has made our community more vulnerable to trafficking, as well as more difficult to identify and support trafficking victims.
APAC is asking for support in their efforts to combat SESTA.
To help protect vulnerable workers and victims of trafficking, call your Senator TODAY (find who your Senator is here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact) and urge them to VOTE NO ON SESTA, Senate Bill 1693.
APAC has provided a call script:
“Hi, my name is ____________ and I live in ___________ (state). I’m calling to urge Congressperson ____________ to vote NO on SESTA, Senate Bill 1693.
I am a [loved one of a/parent of a/service provider to/an ally of] sex worker[s] and this bill would compromise the lives of people who trade sex, including trafficking victims, by taking away the platforms people are using to stay safe. I am calling to ask you not to put [me/my community/my loved one/my child] in danger of greater violence and victimization. Please vote no on this terribly misguided bill, which is expected to be voted on March 12. Thank you for your time!”
The time to reach out to your Senator is NOW through Monday Mar. 12,
especially from 11 am – 2 pm EST.
APAC has also suggested using the following hashtags to help create a unified voice on social media:
They have also provided sample tweets that you may use (verbatim or as inspiration):
POWER HOUR against #SESTA starts NOW! Support sex workers, survivors and free speech online by demanding your reps say NO to Senate Bill 1693! #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #LetUsSurvive
URGENT! Call your senators TODAY, #SESTA (S.1693) would shutter sites we use to work safely! Don’t force us out of work! #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #LetUsSurvive
SWers, allies, co-strugglers! We need YOU to call/text senators! Tell them to vote NO on #SESTA! It hurts survivors, prevents us from sharing information freely online! Who is your rep? Find out here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #LetUsSurvive
#LetUsSurvive Like with any other job, we work to pay rent and bills. SESTA won’t stop us from working, it will just make us less safe. #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA
When you call: “Hi, my name is ___and I live in ___(city in district). I’m calling to urge Senator ____to vote NO on #SESTA, S. 1693 because it will lead to harm to people who trade sex, including victims of trafficking.” #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #LetUsSurvive
Don’t like calling your senators? We don’t blame you! But we still need you to take action against #SESTA Use this link to find your senator’s contact info! https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #LetUsSurvive
Support survivors? sex workers? Online free speech? Harm reduction models of community best practices? SAY NO to #SESTA. It will NOT protect trafficking survivors. It WILL further criminalize them and sex working people! #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA #LetUsSurvive
We do NOT need more criminalization! No more online policing or surveillance! We need community methods that keep us safe! Stop targeting sex working people! #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA
Consider including the following image with your posts:
The Free Speech Coalition will be opening its doors on Thursday Mar. 8 from 9:30 to 5:30 pm PST in Canoga Park for anyone who would like support/education around making those phone calls. Please contact them at (818) 348 – 9373 for location details.
Here is a PDF of a graphic that breaks down SESTA and FOSTA: SESTAFOSTA_1p_Senate