(New York, NY, Friday, May 14, 2021) – The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) applauds the decision by prosecutors this week to charge the gunman who recently killed eight people at massage establishments in Atlanta with hate crimes. Six of the victims were women of Asian-American descent employed by these establishments. They were mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters. They were human beings whose inherent value and human rights were callously disregarded.
WBASNY acknowledges the exploitation of some women who work in the massage industry. Some of these employees are objectified and abused. In certain instances, the “employees” are human-trafficking victims, lured to this country by the promise of jobs and subsequently held against their will.
Regarding the shooting victims in Atlanta, what we know for sure is that these women simply were working to support themselves and their families. Instead, they became targets. WBASNY mourns the lives that were lost and honors the dignity of those who continue to work in the massage industry.
The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) is the professional membership organization of choice for more than 4,000 attorneys throughout New York State, and the largest statewide women’s bar association in the country. For four decades, WBASNY has been a singularly important resource for women lawyers, with professional networking, continuing legal education programming, leadership training, and advocacy for the rights of women, children, and families. Through involvement with WBASNY’s 20 regional chapters and its 40-plus substantive law committees, WBASNY’s members collaborate with one another on a variety of issues and perform public and community service, in furtherance of its mission to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and women in the legal profession; to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and women attorneys in particular. WBASNY holds United Nations NGO status with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, and Special Consultative status in association with the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). WBASNY is also a founding member of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.