December 17th, 2008

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

While I’m a little late in the day with this, I want to post an acknowledgment of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, which is today, December 17. As originally conceived by Annie Sprinkle in 2003, this day has been named so to commemorate sex workers who have experienced violence in their line of work or lost their lives as a result of it, especially amidst society’s woeful historic propensity to misunderstand such violence as either less tragic than violence against those who are not sex workers or something simply “to be expected” in such a line of work — a harshly erroneous conception. Correlatively, it is also a day to support the rights of sex workers as professionals and as people, both of which have historically been denied by various governments (and society).

I offer my support to my fellow professionals who work or have worked in all areas of the sex industry, thanking them for their service, acknowledging their rights, reiterating my advocation for the decriminalization of all areas of the industry, and deeply wishing for their health and safety.

With love and support for all,

“We are outraged that those who provide [professional sexual] services . . . carry the burden of sexual shame and punishment in our society while the very people who use our services are creating and enforcing legislation that violates our human rights. . . . There is a great deal of expertise from our communities defining safe work environments, identifying abusive situations and establishing a culturally appropriate community-based response to these problems.”
-From the list of demands proposed by Sex Workers Outreach Project USA in a letter to President-Elect Obama, 2008

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