If an officer of the New York Police Department thinks that a woman’s skirt is too short and she happens to be carrying condoms, they may arrest her.
Molly Crabapple of VICE looked at a study released last year by the Sex Workers Project and the PROS Network. The report revealed horrendous stories of police stopping, searching, and hauling away women who are minorities or transgender and have condoms in their purses.
Police say that they are taking these actions in the interest of discouraging prostitution. The problem is, by making these arrests, police aren’t stopping sex; they are just making it more unsafe. Half of the people who had their condoms taken away still engaged in sex work after they were back on the street, reports Business Insider.
An increasing amount of sex workers are becoming afraid to carry condoms because they fear that they are more likely to be arrested. 46 percent of those surveyed by PROS said that they didn’t carry condoms while working because of fear of police harassment. That number rose to 75 percent amongst transgender prostitutes.
“Why is the city giving me condoms when I can’t carry them without going to jail?” one woman asked Human Rights Watch, which interviewed 200 sex workers across the country.
At least one New York judge doesn’t want to see condoms used as evidence in his courtroom. “I find no probative value at all in finding a condom,” Judge Richard M. Weinberg of Manhattan Criminal Court said. “In the age of AIDS and H.I.V., if people are sexually active at a certain age, and they are not walking around with condoms, they are fools.”
Source: (Business Insider)