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Stripper safety bill would give dancers panic buttons, customer ‘blacklists’

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From Q13 News.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Exotic dancers across Washington are celebrating a bill they say would bring desperately needed safeguards to their workplace.

HB 1756 gives dancers protections like panic buttons, mandatory lists that bar customers with violent histories and more training for workplace rights.

The bill passed out of committee Tuesday and is headed to a vote in the full House.

Working Washington, an advocacy group for workers, said the bill would give dancers protection from sexual assault that other workers take for granted.

“An unfortunate reality of my job is the high risk of sexual assault,” dancer Eliza said in a release from Working Washington. “I have been assaulted both in private lap dances and while on stage, with varying responses from management every time.”

The bill would help adult entertainers feel safe while earning a living, said sponsor of the companion bill Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle.

An advisory committee of dancers would work with the state Labor and Industries department to make further recommendations if the bill is signed into law.

“It’s important for us to have health and safety be a focus inside the club,” said dancer Susan. “This includes having working bathrooms available, running water and dressing rooms that are private and heated.”

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