Last week SWOP Behind Bars launched its chat for support feature on its website. This feature will help us reach more sex workers who are unwilling to call traditional hotlines for crisis support. Within a few minutes of launching, we were able to connect with a network of sex workers in Illinois who are working on getting sex workers released from their local jail in response to the COVID 19 crisis.
Unlike the support line, the chat-for-support feature allows our community members and allies to chat with peers who understand what they are going through and are best able to connect them with local resources if they need them. Additionally, we believe the chat-for-support feature is going to be popular with a younger demographic of sex workers who are more tech savvy and prefer a more anonymous method of communicating.
The chat feature is optimized for mobile but can also be used on a laptop, desktop or mobile and is quick and easy to use.
We continue to work to build our resource list and connect with other sex worker organizations throughout the United States and while our primary demographic is always going to be sex workers who are incarcerated, we will continue to advocate for all sex workers and will work tirelessly to fight bad legislation that further marginalizes our live, threatens our safety and health and puts us at risk for arrest and violence.