The Massachusetts Sex Worker Ally Network (MASWAN) was born as an effort to collaborate with individuals who expressed a desire to aid SWOP’s mission to fight for the rights of sex workers. It began in October of 2016 after our first “Sex Work 101” workshop, which generated community interest in our mission. SWOP-Boston had long discussed having an ally network in order to allow for the membership of interested groups and individuals in the community who are not sex workers but are interested in contributing to the efforts of our local sex workers’ rights movement. Our members include academics, researchers, psychologists, and others–and SWOP-Boston members, working together towards our common objectives of striving for “safety, dignity and self-determination for all sex workers in their work and in our communities.”
MASWAN’s previous projects include:
- Lobbying the state legislature on behalf of sex workers on a number of bills regarding sex work currently in process.
- Establishing a working list of service providers in the Boston area who are sympathetic to sex workers as a resource to be published both on this site and elsewhere. Many local organizations hold on to stigma regarding sex work that can be harmful, both impeding access to services for sex workers and at times traumatizing or re-traumatizing them.
- Networking within our community to build a base of support on which to (a) educate the community at large, including the academic community, and (b) give a voice to sex workers in Massachusetts state politics.
- Supporting the sex worker population with the knowledge that they are not alone; that they have allies within the community who support them and will lend their voices toward harm reduction and greater visibility and human rights for this often-marginalized group.
- Read about some of our work in the press here.