Jezebel highlights the controversial practice of characterizing condoms as instruments of crime, and using this characterization to file charges against sex workers.
But cracking down on sex work and ending human trafficking isn’t necessarily a causal relationship, according to Jessie and PJ Sage of Sex Workers’ Outreach Project (SWOP), whom DA Zappala characterized in his statement as “a group that represents an industry that is illegal in Pennsylvania.”
At one of their meetings, they heard from a woman who said she had been charged years ago for possessing condoms; she set up the appointment with an officer, and only after he asked her for a condom did he arrest her.
“She then had to decide what was a greater risk–not using condoms and endangering her longterm health or getting more charges,” Jessie said.
The woman ultimately decided to use condoms, but even then, she said that carrying them had put her life in peril.
“Because she had to hide the condoms in her car [in case the client was a police officer], one of her clients escorted her to her car at gunpoint,” Jessie said. The client had apparently wanted to make sure she didn’t drive off with their money.