D.C. City Council Abandons Vote to Decriminalize the Commercial Sex Industry

Press Releases / October 23, 2019

After More than 150 Testify, Bill that Would Protect Buyers and Pimps Gets Tabled

October 23, 2019 – New York, NY – With prostitution and human trafficking survivors testifying to the harms of the sex industry, the chair of the D.C. Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee announced that the Council is taking no further action.

The announcement follows 14 hours of testimony in a marathon hearing held on October 17th.

NOW-NYC partnered with World Without Exploitation to bring survivors and advocates to D.C. to testify on the long-term harms and violence of prostitution, the need for exit strategies, the dangers of normalizing sex buying and how decriminalization will lead to more sex trafficking.

Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW-NYC said, “It’s imperative that lawmakers listen to survivors of prostitution and human trafficking so that they hear firsthand about the violence that takes place in this abusive industry.  Decriminalization will lead to the exploitation of the most marginalized women and girls and LGBTQ individuals.”

NOW-NYC ignites change for the women and girls of New York. We advance laws, promote women in politics, fight for reproductive justice, challenge discrimination and violence against women, and act NOW.


For press inquiries call 212.627.9895