A Step Forward for Sex Trafficking Survivors

The Cupcake Girls has never been a political organization…we walk a narrow path between organizations who seek to rescue and those who fight sex worker rights battles. We were created out of a desire to assist with the many needs in the adult entertainment community. We continually strive to meet those needs in a tangible way, without agenda, and with a heart of love and humility. We offer resources, respect, and relationships to the community we serve.
That said, we have identified a very real legal need among survivors of sex trafficking: the ability to vacate criminal trespassing and loitering charges, which required a political remedy. Often, when someone has been arrested for prostitution, they receive a charge of “trespassing” or “loitering” that lingers on their record and prevents them from obtaining employment and needed resources.
In the case of those who have been sex trafficked (defined as being coerced into doing sex work), we are very proud and deeply grateful to have been able to work with members of the state legislature in Nevada to change the law to empower judges to drop trespassing and loitering charges, resulting in the passage of Nevada Bill AB108. For those who have been exploited through sex trafficking, a criminal record has been a tremendous burden on a road to healing and independence, and we celebrate today a much brighter and more hopeful future for these individuals.
We are excited to share that Governor Sandoval signed the bill into law last week, on May 26th, and our President and Founder, Joy Hoover, was in attendance for the signing (due to the generous donation of her flight by a Cupcake Girls donor). Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the work that has been done and what has been accomplished! Our special thanks to Kerrie Kramer and Jon Leleu, of the law firm Greenberg Traurig, who worked tirelessly as pro-bono lobbyists for this legislation, and Assemblyman Elliott Anderson, who wrote and sponsored this bill while working with other Nevada lawmakers to get it passed.  They were an invaluable resource and true partners for us through this process.

We know that this is just the beginning, and we know we have a long way to go as we continue to fight for sex trafficking survivors, who make up approximately 15% of our clients. We are dedicated to helping provide the resources and support they need, including trauma recovery programs, financial grants, and more. It is our hope and dream to eventually have in-house programs and services for all of these needs, as well as a safe house for those leaving sex trafficking situations. This legislation is only one of the changes that need to be made, but it’s a very encouraging first step.
One of our core values is to be progressive, and over the past four years we have learned so much, and taken every opportunity to grow. We want the adult entertainment community to know, whether sex trafficked or doing sex work by choice, that we hear you, we see your needs, and we stand with you.
Every step forward is a victory.