December 17, 2008

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Posted in Activism, Feminism, Human rights, Sex at 10:16 am by The Lizard Queen

From the Sex Workers Outreach Project website:

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.

The site goes on to list a number of ways people can participate; perhaps most notable is the march in DC.

As things currently stand in this country (and elsewhere in the world), this is what often happens if sex workers attempt to report the violence done to them:

Back in April, a law student at the University of Michigan who was doing sex work to put herself through school was hired by Yaron Eliav, a professor there. She agreed to let him spank her, but then without her consent, he whacked her in the head twice, hard enough to give her temporary vision problems.

Not only did the police decline to go forward with charges, they charged the victim with a misdemeanor for the sex work.

Sex workers are human beings (I can’t believe I even have to say that!), and therefore sex workers’ rights are human rights.  Again, the assault, battery, rape and murder of sex workers must end.

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