Violence against local D.C. prostitutes has become alarming. A local transgender woman, “Jane,” who wishes to remain anonymous, shared her story with me.
As she describes it,”I was beat an inch from my life.” She said she was going to work as usual,”clocking in” as it’s called — those few moments that you take to get yourself ready for the long dreadful night to come. For some girls it’s a breather, for some it’s a drink or a drug and for others it’s simply a prayer to get them through the night, but this routine is done among co-working prostitutes to kind of put some ease into what will always be a harmful night.
On this night, Jane had just parked her car in her usual spot that on the local stroll. She took a moment to apply some lipstick and perfume before clocking in. Nothing seemed abnormal, “I looked around before getting out and everything looked fine” said Jane.
“The moment I stepped out, before the door could close I felt something hit me on the side on my head. Tthe moment I turned to see what it was, pow! another one, and before I knew it, I was down on the ground being attacked by multiple people. They beat and kicked me until I was unconscious. The blows were so severe that it was not possible for me to have been beat with only fist and feet.
“I awoke to a homeless man trying to help me. I can only assume he thought I was dead. I suffered a broken jaw, three cracked ribs, a twisted ankle, and more than anything, no understanding. They also took my keys and car. I cannot identify these people because I saw no one and of course no one on the streets will say who it was. I know that prostituting is not legal and in that sense, I’m wrong, but I like sex so I chose this profession and I don’t think it’s fair to just be attacked and robbed because I’m an easy target or easy mark. Everyone in the area knows me and for the most part everyone respects me. I give respect to everyone so this obvious set up attack on my life has wounded me deeply and I want justice,” says Jane. “I deserve it!”
So here we have it, a trans woman prostitute attacked and robbed. There has been a lot of speculation that there is a local gang that is known for committing these kinds of crimes in this part of the city. The police department knows who they are and have been frequenting the area showing pictures trying to pull this together, but it seems as if they’re getting nowhere.
I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to be in this kind of situation, that’s just me. Some people might think that because you choose to be a prostitute that you pretty much choose all that comes with it…How so? At the end of the day we are all human and we should be treated as such. I encourage those who might have witnessed this crime to come forward and help the police find who did this. This could be any one of us at any time of the day, in any part of the city, whether we are a trans person or a sex worked. This is not an isolated incident, just the beginning of me giving voice to it. This has to stop!
To all my local ‘”PROS”: Stay alert, be smart and stay safe.
Editor’s note: VenusPlusX is working with other grassroots organizations to make sex work legal in Washington, DC. We finally got rid of the unconstitutional Prostitution Free Zones (which were nothing more that police trans profiling zones). Now we have to seriously address both the abolition of laws interfering with sex work so that a much needed sexual healing industry can emerge that will foster much needed sex education and sexual healing for all who seek it.