We organized the Washington, DC protest against Amnesty International yesterday while dozens of other protests happened at their other offices around the world. Amnesty’s new policy teaches men and boys that it is ok to buy women for sex and teaches women that they are just commodities. This policy increases demand for prostitution and sex trafficking, sets womens’ rights back centuries, and will certainly increase sexual violence.
As we gathered in front of their offices, a crowd started to look on in curiousity. We put on our masks and tried to bravely hold up these messages of truth. My courage soared though as the crowd moved closer and then I heard from 5 passers-by, “That is true!” and “Thank you.” One woman with her young grandson stopped kind of at a distance and looked on with clear pain in her eyes. I walked over to explain why we were there but she just thanked us with tears and explained that her daughter was prostituted for years starting as a teenager. She told me that everything we were saying was true and that her daughter is still hurting and trying to find hope and healing now years later. Another woman stopped by and told me about her homeless experience where she faced great abuse by a man who later became her pimp when he convinced her there was no other option but to prostitute. We talked for a long time and she told me more about the violence and abuses that these women face in the life — not at all glamorous or a desired form of work as Amnesty is pushing.