Sex workers are facing an exceptionally difficult time as brothels close due to COVID-19. Many have been left without an income, support or a route to accessing help. The most vulnerable – among them trafficked women – face a choice of homelessness or living in perilous circumstances. Safe houses are dealing with waiting lists 100 deep and an immediate, desperate need that outstrips what they can offer.
Joy Hoover, founder and CEO of the Cupcake Girls, a not-for-profit organization that provides non-judgemental support, referral services and resources to people affected by sex trafficking, recently appeared on KSNV News 3, Las Vegas, speaking with Krystal Allan about the crisis.
Joy explained that pre-COVID-19, The Cupcake Girls HQ would usually receive 10 calls a week on average, asking for help. In recent weeks, they are now handling 15 requests for support per day.
In the case of many trafficked sex workers and those in marginalized groups, once they can’t work, they are no longer providing income to their traffickers. They often have no family nearby to turn to, and their situation is dangerous, putting them at risk of abusive behavior.
The Cupcake Girls – which began with Joy visiting clubs in Las Vegas, toting a box of pink cupcakes to open up conversations with adult entertainers – has been featured in TEDxWomen, The LA Times, Huffington Post, Fox News, and The Leadership Journal. Joy has long been on a mission to help others overcome fear, achieve their goals, and live with authenticity and hope. The challenges now are unprecedented, but Joy and her team are rising to meet them, reaching out to partners in the community to provide shelter, safe spaces, food, clothes and essential items.
Bighorn Law is honored to enjoy a long-standing association with Joy and The Cupcake Girls, and the incredible work they do. If you want to offer practical help during these intensely challenging times, then you’ll find quarantine-friendly ways of doing so at The Cupcake Girls website.
All of us here in the Bighorn family sign up with our whole hearts to the philosophy that informs the work of The Cupcake Girls, and that appears on their website: People matter. Justice matters.