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Does The Decriminalization Of Prostitution Reduce Rape And Sexually Transmitted Disease? A Review Of Cunningham And Shah Findings, Lily Lachapelle, Clare Schneider, Melanie Shapiro, Donna M. Hughes Aug 2019

Does The Decriminalization Of Prostitution Reduce Rape And Sexually Transmitted Disease? A Review Of Cunningham And Shah Findings, Lily Lachapelle, Clare Schneider, Melanie Shapiro, Donna M. Hughes

Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence

In 2013, research findings by Cunningham and Shah claimed that rape and sexually transmitted diseases were reduced by decriminalized prostitution in Rhode Island. The original unpublished claims have received wide media coverage which have gone unexamined. This review finds errors in their analyses. One error is the date when prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island. Cunningham and Shah claim that prostitution was decriminalized in 2003. Our analysis finds the date of decriminalization of prostitution was 1980. The change in the start date of decriminalization significantly alters the analysis and the findings. Another error results from Cunningham and Shah using an ...


Bibliography Of Sources On Prostitution Decriminalization In Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Melanie Shapiro Esq Feb 2017

Bibliography Of Sources On Prostitution Decriminalization In Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Melanie Shapiro Esq

Donna M. Hughes

A bibliography of sources on the research we did on prostitution and sex trafficking and the advocacy work we did to end decriminalized prostitution. For 29 years prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island (if it occurred indoors). Sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls were integrated into economic development. The number of sex businesses grew rapidly and organized crime groups operated brothels and extorted money from adult entertainment businesses. Rhode Island became a destination for pimps, sex traffickers, and other violent criminals. The lack of laws impeded police from investigating serious crimes, including sex trafficking


Decriminalized Prostitution: Impunity For Violence And Exploitation, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Dec 2016

Decriminalized Prostitution: Impunity For Violence And Exploitation, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

This paper is a case study of decriminalized prostitution. For 29 years (1980 to 2009) prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island. Lack of laws or regulations created a permissive legal, economic and cultural environment for the growth of sex businesses. During this time, sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls were integrated into the economic development of urban areas. The number of sex businesses grew rapidly during this time period. Organized crime groups operated brothels and extorted money from adult entertainment businesses. Rhode Island became a destination for pimps, traffickers, and other violent criminals. The lack of laws impeded ...


Analysis Of Cases Of Human Trafficking In Rhode Island, 2009-2013, Faith Skodmin, Rachel Dunham, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Mar 2016

Analysis Of Cases Of Human Trafficking In Rhode Island, 2009-2013, Faith Skodmin, Rachel Dunham, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

This article is an analysis of law enforcement identified cases of human trafficking in Rhode Island from 2009 to 2013. Information was collected from police and court records, prosecutors’ press releases, and reports in the media. During this period, there was one case of forced labor of a domestic worker and six cases of domestic sex trafficking. Many of the characteristics of the Rhode Island cases were consistent with other human trafficking cases in the United States. Discussions of key findings include (a) outcomes of a criminal case using a new human trafficking statute on fraud in foreign contracting and ...


Flawed Analysis Of Prostitution In Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Margaret Brooks Jul 2014

Flawed Analysis Of Prostitution In Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Margaret Brooks

Donna M. Hughes

Did decriminalized prostitution in Rhode Island lead to an expansion of the sex industry and to significant decreases in rape and gonorrhea?


Federal Hill Protest Targets Landlords, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Melanie Shapiro Esq Mar 2010

Federal Hill Protest Targets Landlords, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Melanie Shapiro Esq

Donna M. Hughes

Landlords who rent space to spa-brothels were the target of a protest on Atwells Avenue on Federal Hill in Providence on the evening of March 28th. About two dozen neighbors, friends, and anti-trafficking activists gathered to condemn landlords who rent to spa-brothels.


Men Still Visiting Brothels, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Mar 2010

Men Still Visiting Brothels, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Wednesday night, I gave a talk at Brown University, as part of the Human Trafficking Awareness Week. After the talk, I stopped for a coffee on Atwells Avenue on the way home. One Spa, an illegal spa-brothel, is next door to the coffee shop and just above the office of the Federal Hill Gazette. From the time I got out of my car and returned with my coffee, I saw three men go into the brothel—one white man in his late thirties dressed in carpenter pants, a flannel shirt, and baseball cap, one older balding white man with glasses ...


The Citizens Were Heard, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Oct 2009

The Citizens Were Heard, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Congratulations to the citizens of Rhode Island and national anti-trafficking advocates for the legislative victory in Rhode Island. This past week, the Rhode Island Assembly passed an unprecedented pieces of legislation that will protect victims from sex industry predators and give law enforcement the tools they need to arrest pimps, traffickers, and “johns.” 


Victory In Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Michael Horowitz Oct 2009

Victory In Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr., Michael Horowitz

Donna M. Hughes

In stunning culmination of a David-Goliath struggle that, at least until lately, few believed the David side had the slightest chance of winning, the Rhode Island legislature enacted three major anti-trafficking bills last night that the Governor will soon sign into law. 


Testimony On Prostitution Bill, Senate Judiciary Committee, Oct 2009, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Oct 2009

Testimony On Prostitution Bill, Senate Judiciary Committee, Oct 2009, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

I am here to support a bill that will give Rhode Island the prostitution law it needs to combat the growing sex industry and sex trafficking. 

Many letters and reports have been written describing the problems that decriminalized prostitution has created for Rhode Island. We know that women from foreign countries are here in the spa-brothels. We know that U.S teens are trafficked here from other states. We know there is much evidence of sex trafficking in the Asian spa-brothels and strip clubs. 


Testimony For Trafficking Bill, Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee, Oct 2009, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Oct 2009

Testimony For Trafficking Bill, Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee, Oct 2009, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

I am here to support a trafficking bill that will do two things: 
1) Criminalize forced labor as a form of human trafficking. 
2) Make it easier to prosecute sex trafficking of minors by removing the requirement to prove force, fraud, or coercion. 


Prostitution Destroys Families, Anonymous In Providence, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Sep 2009

Prostitution Destroys Families, Anonymous In Providence, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

The bill against indoor prostitution should be passed. [Prostitution] destroys many families. What happens when a wife catches her husband going to spa or strip clubs? Divorce usually, and then the children involved go to counseling and so does the wife. Medical costs rise, not including STD’s the men catch from these women. To worry about what jobs they’ll get if they can’t do sex acts, well dancing for men is one thing, having sex with them is [another]. If [prostitution] is no longer allowed, the club owners should pay the fines if they cannot control what ...


Senate Prostitution Bill Weakens Law, Jim Meyen, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Sep 2009

Senate Prostitution Bill Weakens Law, Jim Meyen, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

No abstract provided.


Behavior And Attitudes Of Johns, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Sep 2009

Behavior And Attitudes Of Johns, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

No abstract provided.


Levesque Misrepresents View Of Laura Lederer, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Sep 2009

Levesque Misrepresents View Of Laura Lederer, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Last week (September 4, 2009), Senator Charles Levesque (D-Portsmouth and Bristol) sent an email that misrepresented the view of Laura Lederer on the need for a prostitution law in Rhode Island. His email is reproduced in full below. Senator Levesque’s letter was printed in the Providence Journal (September 9, 2009) under the title “Anti-prostitution law means more deaths.” 


Senators' Prostitution Bill Is A Sham, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Sep 2009

Senators' Prostitution Bill Is A Sham, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

RHODE ISLAND needs a good prostitution law to halt the metastasizing problems of prostitution and sex trafficking. The growing number of spas and clubs are sordid destinations for foreign women and teens from around the Northeast. To address this problem, both the House and the Senate have passed bills they claim “close the loophole.” But the competing bills are profoundly different in their probable effectiveness. 


Speak Your Voice On Prostitution Bill, Donna L. Landry, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Aug 2009

Speak Your Voice On Prostitution Bill, Donna L. Landry, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Now is the time to speak your voice and urge your Senator to pass the House bill H5044A. Now is the time to close the loophole of indoor prostitution in Rhode Island. Negotiations are ongoing, so please write letters to your senator and circulate petitions now. 


Sex Radicals Target Rhode Island, Margaret Brooks, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Aug 2009

Sex Radicals Target Rhode Island, Margaret Brooks, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Citizens Against Trafficking responds to the letter from 50 academics who support the status quo of decriminalized prostitution (indoors) in Rhode Island.On July 31, 2009, a letter co‐authored by Ronald Weitzer and Elizabeth Anne Wood and signed by 48 other “members of the academic community” was sent to the Rhode Island General
Assembly opposing any bill banning prostitution indoors.


Updates From Middletown, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Aug 2009

Updates From Middletown, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Asian spa-brothel closes; Middletown Council passes anti-prostitution resolution


Rhode Island Left Out Of Fbi Initiative, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Aug 2009

Rhode Island Left Out Of Fbi Initiative, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Rhode Island has been excluded from federal law enforcement investigations of sex trafficking of children because there is no law against prostitution.


Citizens Confront Officials In Middletown, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Aug 2009

Citizens Confront Officials In Middletown, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

The parking lot was overflowing for the Middletown Town Council meeting on Monday evening. Dozens of citizens, including local business owners and parents, were there to express their concern about the presence of spa-brothels in the community and the loss of a children-centered business as a result.


Prostitution At The Strip Clubs In Providence, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jul 2009

Prostitution At The Strip Clubs In Providence, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Ruth moved to Providence six years ago when she was 18. Young and on her own, she was swept up by a rough crowd of guys who dealt and used crack and cocaine. Hanging around the strip clubs with them until early in the morning was “the thing to do when you were bored.” After hours, her friends would sell cocaine to the women working at the clubs. 

They visited Club Fantasies, Club Desire, Satin Doll Gentlemen’s Club, Cheater’s, the Sportsman’s Inn and Club Balloons. Over a period of several years, Ruth “hung out” at the strip ...


Asian Woman Fled Middletown Brothel Last Year, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jul 2009

Asian Woman Fled Middletown Brothel Last Year, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

A business owner has told Citizens Against Trafficking that late last year, an Asian women fled a spa-brothel nearby and came to their shop to ask for assistance.


Salon 657 American Brothel In Middletown, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jun 2009

Salon 657 American Brothel In Middletown, Melanie Shapiro Esq, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Most of the spa-brothels in Rhode Island are run by Asians with Asian women engaging in prostitution. Salon 657 is one of the increasing numbers of prostitution venues with American women. Salon 657 advertises in the “adult entertainment” section of the Providence Phoenix that it offers “erotic massage and hair cutting services” for men only. 


Rhode Island's Carnival Of Prostitution, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jun 2009

Rhode Island's Carnival Of Prostitution, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

AFTER MY EXPERIENCE at the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, I believe Rhode Island is headed for a human rights disaster and nationwide political embarrassment. It is becoming apparent that the Senate is not going to pass a much-needed prostitution bill. Rhode Island will continue to have an expanding number of spa-brothels, prostitution of minors in clubs, and no law that will enable the police to stop it. 


Action Alert For Senate: Comments On Human Trafficking Bills, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jun 2009

Action Alert For Senate: Comments On Human Trafficking Bills, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Rhode Island Senate President Paiva-Weed has said that she is “confident that we will address the issue of prostitution and human trafficking” this session (, Sunday, June 21, 2009, p A6). The votes in the Senate are crucial to Rhode Island getting a prostitution law and improving our trafficking law! There are competing bills, so it can get confusing. Remember, there are two versions of the prostitution bill (a House and Senate version) and two versions of the trafficking bill (a House and Senate version). 


Governor Carcieri Calls For Passage Of Prostitution Bill, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jun 2009

Governor Carcieri Calls For Passage Of Prostitution Bill, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

On Thursday (June 18, 2009), Governor Carcieri held a press conference to support Gianinni’s prostitution bill (H 5044A) and her House trafficking bill (H 5661A). Giannini’s bill will create laws against prostitution to “close the loophole” as it is often referred to. Joining the governor were Representative Joanne Giannini, the sponsor of the bills, Stacey Pires Veroni, Assistant Attorney General, Col. Doherty, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, Representative Roberto DaSilva, and Donna M. Hughes, Professor at the University of Rhode Island. 


Testimony In Support Of "An Act Relating To Criminal Offenses--Prostitution" At Governors Press Conference, Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jun 2009

Testimony In Support Of "An Act Relating To Criminal Offenses--Prostitution" At Governors Press Conference, Rhode Island, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Prostitution is harmful to individuals involved, their families and the community. It is not a victimless activity or just a private sex act. Up to 90% of women in prostitution are beaten and raped by pimps and the men who buy sex. Approximately 90% are addicted to drugs and alcohol. They suffer depression and hopelessness; suicide attempts are common. For visual, physical evidence of the harm caused by prostitution, please look at this collection of serial photographs of prostitutes as they are being destroyed over time by prostitution and drug use. 

Because of decriminalized prostitution indoors, the sex industry is ...


Testimony On Human Trafficking Bill, Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Jun 2009

Testimony On Human Trafficking Bill, Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

 In 2007, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed an anti-human trafficking law. To date, there have been no prosecutions. There are three serious problems with the present Rhode Island law that need to be remedied in order to effectively combat human trafficking. 


Rhode Island Take Back The Night, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Sep 2005

Rhode Island Take Back The Night, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

It is an honor for me to be here for the 27th Annual Take Back the Night March. Women uniting to take back the night in marches have symbolized women’s resistance to sexual violence and their declaration of freedom and dignity for decades. “Speaking out” against violence is the way we break the conspiracies of silence that the perpetrators try to impose on us.