Other Group

Sex Workers Educating and Empowering Texans (SWEET)

Website:

www.sweetatx.org/

Formation:

2018

Sex Workers Educating and Empowering Texans (SWEET), formerly known as the Sex Workers Outreach Project of Austin, Texas (SWOP ATX), is an advocacy group seeking to remove the negative stigmas surrounding prostitution and other sex work. Its advocacy is based in supporting sex workers in the greater Austin area through providing peer support, outreach, public education, and financial support; distributing safe-sex supplies; and teaching harm-reduction methods to sex workers. 1

Founding and History

SWEET was organized in May of 2018 through an online platform used by Austin sex workers. 2 The members met for the first time in the summer of 2018 after the passage of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. Once these acts were signed into law, websites such as Backpage and Craigslist Personals were shut down, and SWEET’s activism and organization was centered around giving sex workers new and safer avenues to find work. 3

Program Areas

SWEET’s primary objectives involve support and care for the needs of sex workers in Austin through the creation of a bail fund, financial fund, sex worker network and a support hotline. 4

Funding

In 2018 SWEET hosted an International Sex Worker Day Fundraiser that raised $595 on GoFundMe. In 2022, SWEET received an unknown grant from the Trans Funding Project. 5

References

  1. “Sweet: Sex Workers Educating and Empowering Texans: Austin.” SWEETATX. Accessed June 18, 2023. https://www.sweetatx.org/.
  2. Neddo, Charlie. “A Summer Shindig with Austin’s Sex Workers Outreach Project.” SWOP hosts a fundraiser for housing, employment, and safety – Qmmunity – The Austin Chronicle. Accessed June 18, 2023. https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/qmmunity/2018-08-24/a-summer-shindig-with-austins-sex-workers-outreach-project/.
  3. Neddo, Charlie. “A Summer Shindig with Austin’s Sex Workers Outreach Project.” SWOP hosts a fundraiser for housing, employment, and safety – Qmmunity – The Austin Chronicle. Accessed June 18, 2023.https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/qmmunity/2018-08-24/a-summer-shindig-with-austins-sex-workers-outreach-project/.
  4.  Neddo, Charlie. “A Summer Shindig with Austin’s Sex Workers Outreach Project.” SWOP hosts a fundraiser for housing, employment, and safety – Qmmunity – The Austin Chronicle. Accessed June 18, 2023. https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/qmmunity/2018-08-24/a-summer-shindig-with-austins-sex-workers-outreach-project/.
  5. “Sex Workers Outreach Project of Austin (SWOP ATX).” Trans Justice Funding Project. Accessed June 19, 2023. https://www.transjusticefundingproject.org/grantees/sex-workers-outreach-project-of-austin-swop-atx/.
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