Much of this is taken from the Sex Worker Outreach Project. Let me tell you that sex workers are people. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, offspring. They are friends, lovers, scared, excited, in love, loving, caring, hurting, sharing, and much more. I have been a sex worker, and often consider myself one as I work as a sex coach and a sex educator, teaching hands on workshops, and making my living by helping to improve others sex lives. Sex workers are people, like you, and her, and him. You probably know at least one sex worker, whether or not they are out to you. They are escorts and porn stars and phone sex operators and pro-dommes and street workers and sex surrogates and more. And sadly, sex workers have an incredibly high incidence of violence against them. Today, we need to think about what is it we can do to protect these members of OUR communities. Please, stand up and do your part.
Read Stopping the Terror: A Day to End Violence Against Prostitutes by Annie Sprinkle from On The Issues Magazine.
December 17th is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This event was created to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe. Originally thought of by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and started by the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington. International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has empowered workers from over cities around the world to come together and organize against discrimination and remember victims of violence. During the week of December 17th, sex worker rights organizations will be staging actions and vigils to raise awareness about violence that is commonly committed against sex workers. The assault, battery, rape and murder of sex workers must end. Existing laws prevent sex workers from reporting violence. The stigma and discrimination that is perpetuated by the prohibitionist laws has made violence against us acceptable. Please join with sex workers around the world and stand against criminalization and violence committed against prostitutes.
TEN WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST SEX WORKERS
(EVERYONE IS INVITED)
- Organize a vigil/memorial/gathering in your town. Simply choose a place and time. Invite people to bring their stories, writings, thoughts, related news items, poems, lists of victims, performances, and memories. Take turns sharing.
- Organize or attend a candlelight vigil in a public place.
- Do something at home alone which has personal meaning, such as a memorial bath, or light a candle.
- Call a friend and discuss the topic.
- Send a donation to a group that helps sex workers stay safer. Some teach self-defense or host web sites that caution workers about bad Johns. Donate to Sex Worker Outreach Project.
- Read the Sex Workers Outreach Project’s web site, www.swop-usa.org, Do let others know about any planned Dec. 17 events by listing them on the site. (Although sadly this site is not current and I’m not sure if someone is following through on this.) There is also a wikipedia entry about Dec. 17 which you can read.
- Spread the word about the Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and the issues it raises; blog, email, send a press release, forward this text to others.
- Attend a Dec. 17th Day to End Violence event/action/memorial. Everyone is welcome.
- Organize a panel discussion about violence towards sex workers. Procure a community space and invite speakers like sex workers, police, and families of victims.
- Create your own way to participate. People have done celebrations, Xmas caroling, protests at jails, lobbying at City Halls, naked women reading whore writings, performance art, visual art projects, and other creative, fun and moving things.