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Long Island News

Opponents Of Decriminalizing Prostitution In New York State Speak Out

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Karen DeWitt
/
New York State Public Radio
Shandra Woworuntu, CEO/founder of Mentari and survivor advocate, speaks Monday against decriminalizing prostitution at the state Capitol in Albany. With her are advocates from allied organizations.

Opponents of bills to decriminalize prostitution in New York say it will only strengthen the worldwide sex trafficking industry and increase incidents of abuse in New York. Anti sex trafficking groups and their allies spoke out at the state Capitol.

Attorney Dorchen Leidholdt, co-chair of the New York State anti-trafficking coalition, has represented hundreds of women who were abused by domestic violence and sex trafficking.

“We see levels of trauma, physical trauma and psychological trauma, that are off the charts,” said Leidholdt, who said decriminalizing  “pimping and sex buying” would increase the industry and demand in New York, and that “tens of thousands” of women could be exploited.

Supporters of the measures to end the crime of “loitering” for purposes of prostitution says the law is used to harass sex workers who are already marginalized in society.