Response stories

Rights violations and police misconduct against a female sex worker

The woman client, a sex worker, has a job as a sales clerk at a private store. Having found out that the woman provides sex services, the owner of the store asked a police officer he knew to help him fire her without paying her anything. Together with a colleague, the policeman came to the woman’s home, conducted an illegal search, seized her personal belongings, and took her in handcuffs to the district police department. They threatened her saying that if she did not quit, the law enforcement officers would tell her neighbors that she had AIDS (which had no basis in fact). When the woman chose to make a statement to the police about the police misconduct that was taking place, her request for getting the case officially recorded and acted on was declined.

The client happened to get in touch with the REAct project when she was taking an HIV test during a conversation with the case finder of CO CF Hromadske Zdorovia. The woman’s eye caught the REAct poster explaining how the system works and helps capture and record the rights violations of key communities, including sex workers, and adequately respond to them. 

The woman was linked to primary legal assistance on the police misconduct and referred for further legal actions to the organization’s counsel. 

Currently, after having discussed the situation at hand with her employer, the client continues to work in the store.