December 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe and appeals to the conscience of those who thru their silence, indifference or ill informed judgemental and prohibitionist attitudes implicitly allow this violence to continue.
This day was originally started by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and other members of the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has empowered workers from over 30 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 worldwide will be staging actions and vigils to raise awareness about the violence that is commonly committed against sex workers.
The stigma and discrimination that is perpetuated by the prohibitionist laws has made violence against us acceptable! Existing laws prevent sex workers from reporting violence. The assault, battery, rape, and murder of sex workers must end!
To Find an Event in you area (world wide): 2007 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers: Locations
In New York City: Please join New York City area Sex Workers, Sex Worker Right's Advocates, Allies, Friends and Families including people from $pread Magazine, PONY (Prostitutes of New York & Friends) and SWANK (Sex Worker Action New York) as we join in with other worldwide to mark this day with a Vigil taking place from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Judson Memorial Church located on the South Side of Washington Square Park in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood.
Learn the truth about the issues (cause you've probably been seriously misinformed and what you think you know CAN kill US)
- go to the Prostitutes' Education Network Bookstore. We can and do speak for ourselves! Read these books to learn what WE really think, (not the few academics, social service professionals and other "poverty pimps" and "sob sisters" who earn their living by making us 'victims')
- go read and learn from the Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) (International)
- go read and learn from the Sex Workers Outreach Project-US (SWOP-USA)
- Look at this short video made by Sex Workers Outreach Project-Los Angles
On December 17th, people around the world will be calling attention to hate crimes against sex workers. Here are some suggestions and options for ways to participate. Or by all means, make up your own.
- Do something of personal meaning alone at home; take a ritual bath, or simply think about those who have died, light a candle, make a wish, have a cry, call a friend and discuss the topic, etc.
- Write a short personal quote or a statement about violence against sex workers and send to the SWOP web site for them to post.
- Send a donation to a nonprofit group that helps sex workers stay safer.
- Organize a public memorial event in your town. If not, choose a place, and time, where you can gather. Make an email letter and/or flyer and get it around with news of the event. Invite people to bring writings, stories, readings, thoughts, related news items, poems, performances, etc. Make a circle at the event. Take turns sharing. This will make for a wonderful memorial and be great for consciousness raising and outreach as well.
- Organize a panel discussion about violence towards sex workers. You can ask a church or other community space if you can do it there.
- Send news of this event to any and all press you know, so the word gets out that there are people who care about murdered sex workers, and who are concerned with the safety of sex workers out there today.
- Attend one of the events which is listed on the SWOP web site.
- If you know any sex workers, send them some information about self-defence.
- Send a personal email letter to people telling them how you feel about violence against sex workers and the women who were murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway. Or email (or x-post) this announcement around.
- Read Daisy Anarchy's poem" Green River Cry", to yourself or to friends, or at one of the public events. Or email it around.