A memorial page to remember all sex workers who have been lost to or experienced violence
Thursday 17th of December, will mark the 17th anniversary of the International End Violence Against Sex Workers Day. This day was first recognized in the United States in 2003 in response to the murders of sex workers in Seattle, Washington by Gary Leon Ridgeway, the 'Green River Killer'.
Each year sex workers around the world use this day to remember all those from the sex industry who have been murdered or affected by violence and to highlight the need for action to end violence and hate crimes against sex workers. The issues faced by sex workers can vary around the world due to different laws and social contexts, but one common issue faced by all sex workers is their vulnerability to and experience of violence.
We urge everyone to remember all who have been affected by violence, discrimination and stigma and raise awareness of the importance of decriminalisation to make the industry a safer place. While activities within the sex industry continue to be criminalised such as working together sex workers will continue to experience violence and stigma; all sex workers have the right to feel safe and have their voices heard.
Messages of Remembrance
"Today we remember sex workers whose lives were lost due to violence and everyone affected by violence against sex workers. We must work together to challenge stigma." Basis Yorkshire
"Thinking of all those who have been lost to or experienced violence on 17th December. A day to remember but also to challenge those UK laws that continue to create barriers for sex workers when reporting violence- placing sex workers at risk". Alison
“We remember those women sadly no longer with us, victims of Hate crimes. They were a mum, a sister, a wife, a daughter, they all have names. We remember to give them a voice and to never be forgotten.” Liberty Team, A Way Out
"In memory of the women we have lost but have not been forgotten and the strong and resilient women we continue to work with who have the right to feel and be safe from violence, harm and abuse" Sarah McManus, CEO A Way Out
"My heart goes out to all sex workers in the next 17 days - and everyday, in memory of those who have lost their lives and loved ones.
"Oh God, well its life and death isn't it? It is your life, you are facing death every day." "I'm Scared of getting raped and battered, because I have been before." '"Include our voices and listen to us" What we can do: Decriminalize sex work Address safety and violence; domestic violence and coercion and control Provide Non-judgemental services; Increase reporting and trust in the police; Maintain safer working practices and to help women feel safer in reporting violence to the police; Decriminalize sex work"
Maggie O'Neill, NESWF
"This IDEVASW I’m thinking of sex workers lost to violence and also sex workers battling violence today, whether that comes from individuals, society, policing, policy, discrimination, inequality or poverty. Special mention to NGOs that silence sex workers and push for policies that further endanger us while claiming to act in our interests. We see you." Adeline Berry
'Remembering Linda, Danielle, Chantelle, Julie, Sharon, Hanane, Pauline, Adele, Ann Marie, Maxine and Suzanne. I will remember you all for eternity and forever there will be a gap where you should be. Amazing, vibrant beautiful women taken from us too soon. I mourn the others in the sex industry whose lives were taken in the most wicked way and affirm my commitment to sex workers to always stand with you as an ally, to campaign for decriminalisation of sex work, for rights not rescue, and for a world where you don’t have to sex work if you don’t want to because of poverty. I will always fight for justice for those without any and support those left behind. In love and solidarity" Shelly Stoops, Liverpool UK
"I'll always remember the strong, amazing women I walked with and laughed with from A Way Out but who sadly are no longer with us. I stand against hate and discrimination for all sex workers" Gaynor, NESWF x
Planned events for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2020
17th December 2020
ECP - English Collective of Prostitutes
No Bad Women, Just Bad Laws.
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 17 December 2020, 5pm GMT
Women from Hull and Mayfair on their similar struggles against poverty, violence and criminalisation.
An Untold Story – Voices, a collective of women with experience of street sex work speaking on their determined struggle to end the no-prostitution zone in Hull. and their exhibition ‘Absence of Evidence‘ (w/ Henry/Bragg) in honour of 14 fellow sex workers who lost their lives.
A group of sex workers in Mayfair, who are migrant and/or women of colour, describe their battles over decades against eviction & gentrification.
Q&A with An Untold Story-Voices and English Collective of Prostitutes. Questions for panelists can be submitted here.
A Way Out - Stockton-on-Tees
A Way Out are hosting their annual event to mark International End Violence towards Sex Workers Day on the 17th December 10:00-11:30. (Online event)
This day is recognised internationally as a day to reflect on sex workers experiences, the levels of violence, social stigma and discrimination they endure. Many women have lost their lives. We will hear from partner agencies who work with us to deliver vital local services and reflect on the last 12 months service delivery to sex workers, the impact of COVID and look towards the next 12 months. It is an opportunity for you to increase your awareness and knowledge of the experiences of local sex workers, reflect on your service offer and delivery to this vulnerable group and expand your connections with other agencies.
SWAI - Sex Workers Alliance Ireland
The Sex Worker Alliance Ireland (SWAI) will hold a candlelit vigil outside Leinster House at 6:30pm on Thursday 17th December to mark International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Sex Workers. This will be a small, socially distanced gathering.
This year the review of the sex work laws has begun and we worked to ensure that sex worker’s voices were heard in the policy decisions that govern our lives. These laws have increased violence against us and only by full decriminalisation of sex work will we begin to remedy that and centre the safety of sex workers.
Photographers/journalists are invited to attend.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/384174262793313
Details are as follows:
Event: Candlelit vigil to mark International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Sex Workers
Date: Thursday 17th December
Location: Gates of Leinster House
This year Basis are asking for their supporters to make a pledge to stand against violence towards sex workers.
Access the link to details of Basis Yorkshire's 2020 Campaign here.
Changing-Lives outreach service provides a safe, confidential and supportive service for those who have experience of sex work, survival sex and/or sexual exploitation. www.changing-lives.org.uk
International End Violence towards Sex Workers is an annual event and every year Changing Lives and our Partners gather to reflect on the violence and stigma many people face daily. We use this time to be together as we remember and honour the men & women we have lost historically and in recent years.
This year our usual walk and service cannot go ahead and no gatherings will be taken place. However, we will be united by lighting the Gateshead Millennium Bridge Red to Remember and Reflect. We aim to share this view virtually alongside our messages of support to you all.
Photographs of the remembrance wall from the event at A Way Out on 17th December 2019:
Remembrance Wall 2019 - A Way Out