Rape is not an occupational hazard
Rape is not “theft of services”
Rape is not justified by the way a woman keeps food on the table as a single mother
Rape is violent
Rape is a community problem
Rape is not inevitable
Rape is something you can help to stop
Sex workers are not expendable people
Sex workers are not less entitled to make decisions about their own bodies than anyone else
Sex workers are not less human than you
Sex workers are particularly targeted by rape culture
Sex workers are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and precious loved-ones
Sex workers are speaking bravely in solidarity with Our Sister Survivor in Philadelphia
Sex workers deserve peace and justice, even if Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni thinks otherwise
People you know are sex workers
People you know are survivors of sexual violence
People you know are targets of sexual violence even now
What are you going to do about it?
Find out more here:
- Fetch me my axe (many thanks for the link round-up!)
- Black Amazon
- women of color blog
- Renegade Evolution
- Renegade again
- Reclusive Leftist: Rape = “theft of services”
- Judge in Philidelphia Throws Out Rape Charges Because Victim Is A Prostitute
- When is a rape not a rape? When it’s “theft of services”
- What’s Wrong Around Us?
- Jill Porter
- Bound Not Gagged
- In Contempt of Humanity, Judge Deni, and definitions
- Sex Workers Against Rape
- Where are you?
- Deep throated
- Why not say what you really mean?
- From Matilda at the Deny Deni! Campaign in Philadelphia
- Right Then
- Questioning Transphobia
- Bint Alshamsa
- Shakespeare’s Sister
- Group News Blog
Thursday November 1, 2007
Outside Municipal Court (Criminal Justice Center)
1301 Filbert St, Philadelphia
Monday October 29, 2007
To the Editor:
We were appalled to learn that on Oct 4 Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni dropped all rape and assault charges in the case of a woman gang-raped at gunpoint. Because the woman was working as a prostitute, Judge Deni decided that she could not have been raped and changed the charge to “theft of services.” Deni later said that this case “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”
As groups organizing against rape and in support of victims, we could not disagree more. All women have the right to protection from violence. The idea that any woman is “asking for it” is a lie that we fought for decades to destroy. It is especially offensive to see it revived by a female judge, who reached her position as a result of the women’s movement and is now using her power to deny justice to the most vulnerable women.
Deni told Daily News columnist Jill Porter that the victim met another client before reporting the rape. We have learned that this is completely untrue; the transcript of the hearing proves it. For a judge to make a false (and self-serving) accusation against a victim in the press, in addition to her prejudiced and reckless contempt for women’s safety, confirms that she is unfit to serve. The outcry following Deni‘s decision shows how out of step with public opinion she is and that most people believe that prostitute women deserve the same protection from violence that we all have a right to expect.
No woman is safe when prostitute women aren’t safe. Serial rapists and murderers often target prostitute women knowing that they are more likely to get away with it. Labeled criminals by the prostitution laws, women are less likely to report violence for fear of arrest themselves. When sex workers do report, the violence is often dismissed. Here, the same man and his friends gang-raped another woman four days later. Decisions like Deni‘s are a green light for further attacks.
The victim in this case was a Black single mother with a young child. In Philadelphia, where one in four people lives in poverty and welfare has been almost completely dismantled, many women have been forced into prostitution to survive. This should not make them fair game for rapists.
We are glad that the District Attorney is pursuing the original rape charges. The public can make our voices heard in the November 6 election: vote “No” on the retention of Teresa Carr Deni as Judge of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia.
On behalf of
Global Women’s Strike
Women Against Rape
US PROStitutes Collective
Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP)
Legal Action for Women
Every Mother is a Working Mother Network
Wages Due Lesbians
Payday Men’s Network
Posted on November 2, 2007 by staceyswimme
For immediate release
Contact: 877-776-2004 info@DesireeAlliance.orgRape is NOT an Occupational Hazard!
Sex Workers Join Women’s Groups and Sexual Assault Survivors’ Groups to Urge PA Voters to Vote ‘No’ on the Retention of Judge Teresa Carr Deni
Judge Teresa Carr Deni spawned outrage from all directions after ruling on October 4th that a sex worker that was raped at gunpoint by multiple men was NOT sexually assaulted, rather she was just robbed. Deni commented in an Oct. 12th interview that this case “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”
Grassroots activists around the country, including nationwide sex worker-led organizations such as the Desiree Alliance and regional advocacy groups from coast to coast responded with anger and disgust for Deni’s disregard of the basic human rights of the rape victim in this case. “Deni’s decision in this case sends a message that sex workers can be targeted for violence with impunity. Rape of sex workers is common, alarmingly under-reported, and rarely taken seriously by authorities,” Kitten Infinite of Sex Workers’ Outreach Project said. “Violence against sex workers is perpetuated by the state through discriminatory laws and judicial rulings such as this.”
Sex workers in the US and abroad are organizing and becoming more vocal about the violence and discrimination that they face. “Because prostitution is criminalized, our human rights and our boundaries are clearly not respected,” Mariko Passion, a board member from the Desiree Alliance commented, she continues, “…forcing or manipulating sexual intercourse by fraud, fear or coercion is rape.” On Oct 30th, after considerable pressure from sex workers and feminists around the country, the PA Bar Association issued a statement condemning Deni’s action, stating that, “The victim has been brutalized twice in this case: first by the assailants, and now by the court.”
The Desiree Alliance applauds Association Chancellor Jane Dalton’s review of the matter and we find some satisfaction in the fact that the District Attorney’s office has re-filed rape charges against the perpetrator of this despicable crime. However, we still call on voters to vote ‘No’ on retaining Deni in the election on November 6th. The Desiree Alliance will hold a virtual press conference and rally on Monday, November 5th at 5pm Eastern for sex workers and allies to comment publicly about this case and how to prevent further discrimination against sex workers.
Who: Desiree Alliance and Affiliates
What: “Rape is NOT an Occupational Hazard!” Virtual rally
Why: Judge Teresa Carr Deni should not be retained as a Municipal Court Judge in Philadelphia
When: Monday, November 5, 2007 5pm Eastern, 2pm Pacific