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26th June 2019, 11:35:04 UTC

“If they can have her, why can’t we?” The police are raping and torturing sex workers in the Dominican Republic.

The police are routinely raping, beating and humiliating sex workers in the Dominican Republic – often at gunpoint.

“If you do sex work, they (the police) consider you as the worst kind of woman…They (the police) pull your hair, they hit you, and push you. They treat you like a dog. As if we are dogs in the street, with four paws… They call you ‘dirty whore’, that’s normal.”

This is torture.

Demand their protection and rights now.

A culture of machismo among the National Police, along with the intense social stigma and discrimination against sex workers, embolden the police to unlawfully abuse their powers. They torture women sex workers as a form punishment and social control.

Transwomen women suffer particularly extreme forms of sexual abuse and humiliation due to the additional transphobia they face. Sex workers are calling for an anti-discrimination bill which would be a first step towards addressing the root causes of this extreme form of violence and discrimination.

Some of the sex workers are also women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the Dominican Republic, fighting for their rights. But they are often excluded from human rights and feminist movements because they sell sex.

For all women to be free, we must begin by fighting for the rights of the most marginalised women. When we raise our voices in support of women sex workers, we raise our voices for all women.

Sign your name and demand the Dominican Republic government to approve an anti-discrimination bill and other concrete measures to protect these women from gender-based torture and ill-treatment.

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