December 17th, The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
December 17th is the 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. This day was originally thought of by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and started by the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA as a memorial for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington.
7:30PM Thursday December 17th
Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill
Please join us in gathering to call attention to this day, it’s purpose and those who have been lost. All participants are encouraged to wear masks to preserve anominity! Bring a poem, a song, a few words to share in remembrance…
Please follow the link for more information about December 17th and events in other cities:
An Anonymous Written Contribution
I Am A Sex Worker
I’d like to introduce myself to you. Well, it isn’t an introduction exactly because chances are you already know me. I am your neighbor, your co-worker, a friend of a friends, your best friend, your hairstylist, your sister, your brother, your cousin, aunt, mother, uncle. I am your girlfriend, your wife. I am beside you in your world on a daily basis, but you rarely notice me. I am a person, male or female, old or young, like any other person in your world. I am you under different circumstances, or maybe I simply am you. Who am I that I can be all of these things?
I am a sex worker.
I am the invisible stigma, all to often summed up by an array of judgment-laden stereotypes. I proudly choose my occupation as a sex worker, just as you choose your occupation. Alternatively I am forced into sex work either by coercion, physical force or cercumstance. I am many things, but I am not the nameless, faceless victim, without family or friends, portrayed by the media. I am not the vulnerable woman, discarded by others who goes unnoticed when missing. I am not a worthy victim of violence simply because of my work. And I hope, because you can see that I am a person, just like you, you will no longer allow the world to believe that I am disposable. You will not allow the myth to continue. The myth that violence, murder, torture and unspeakable harm against me, is somehow more acceptable when directed at me because I am a sex worker.
Each year numerous sex workers are murdered in the United States and in other countries around the world. Many others are subject to violence such as rapes and beatings. A hard truth that we must face is that we are all culpable for the death of sex workers everywhere. By continuing to stigmatize sex work, we force victims of violence into silence due to fear of legal and social repercussions. This leads to the belief that all people who are involved in sex work are less wanted, less needed, less noticed and therefore more disposable.
Meet Jarniece Hargrove, age 31, a victim of murder. Missing for two months in N. Carolina before she was found, Jarnice’s family is distraught at the loss of their daughter. Jarnice’s father expresses that the person who killed Jarnice “took our love, our joy from us” http://www.ncwanted.com/ncwanted_home/story/5520849/.
Meet Shabana, a woman from Palestine and a celebrated traditional Palestinian “dancing girl.” Shabana was killed by members of the Taliban following their denouncement of the traditional dance as a form of prostitution. Shabana’s body was found in a public square, pierced through many times over with bullets and strewn with money and photographs from her personal albums and other emblems of her craft
Both Jarniece and Shabana were sex workers, although their life circumstances were undoubtedly very different. Both were victimized because of their occupations. Stand with me to protest these deaths, this senseless violence occurring everywhere. Stand with me to end the stigma of sex work and to end the fear of violence for sex workers everywhere. December 17th, 2009 is the intentional day to end violence against sex workers. Stand with me, a sex worker. Stand with me your neighbor, your friend, your daughter, your brother, your wife.
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