SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A popular website advertising sex for money was shut down by the FBI, but advocates for sex workers say it will just make things more dangerous for the women.
MyRedbook.com was closed on Wednesday as part of a federal investigation.
Representatives from the US Prostitute Collective, an organization that’s been advocating for women in the sex industry since 1982, say the feds’ shutdown will just force more prostitutes to the streets.
“We see this as a crackdown against sex workers,” said spokeswoman Rachel West. “What it’s going to do is push prostitution underground.”
On Wednesday, the FBI seized the domains of the San Francisco-based site, accusing the owners of promoting human trafficking.
“The people that advertise is about consenting sex between adults and there’s no proof those ads encourage trafficking or promote trafficking,” West said.
She’s concerned if similar adult sites are seized by the government, that people will see an increase of prostitution in their neighborhoods.
“Redbook is a way that people found a way to work more safely so shutting it down is only going to push people in more dangerous conditions,” she said.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department was one of a handful of local law enforcement using MyRedbook to monitor the sex slave industry. The Sacramento region ranks No. 2 for sex trafficking in the nation.
“It’s too soon to tell if it will have an impact on us,” said Sgt. Lisa Bowman.
Federal agents say during the MyRedbook investigation, they rescued six Bay Area children advertised on the site.
The U.S. Prostitutes Collective told CBS13 it does not condone child prostitution.
“They are young people working in prostitution because they have no means to support themselves,” West said.
The organization is encouraging state lawmakers to decriminalize prostitution in the state.