Sunday, December 21, 2008

International Day to End Violence against sex workers

Bringing sex workers into the light

See media related to Sydney-based activities to commemorate this Day (17th December)

Originally conceived in 2003 as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle, it has become an annual international event.

The day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the world, as well as the need to remove stigma and discrimination perpetuated by sex negativity, conservatism and prohibitionist laws that has in effect meant that violence against sex workers is treated less seriously as violence against other people.

Personally, I haven't experienced much in the way of violence in my sex work, and I have experience more stressful work environments in community health organisations than in sex industry workplaces. Most of the sex workers I have met have not experienced violence at work, and many of us go along with the belief that we have just gotten lucky, and all the other hookers must be regularly dealing with hideous stuff.....

I think the myth that sex work is inherently violent has emerged from anti-sex work rhetoric, and every time something happens - like one of those 'Ripper' killers, it reinforces this belief. The reality is that most sex work clients want no-strings-attached pleasure, touch, company, without drama; a very understandable desire, that doesn't make anyone a dangerous psychopath, however, hate crimes committed against marginalised communities have a nasty habit of not being as vigilantly prosecuted as other crimes, so it is really important that these issues are discussed, and our communities losses are mourned.

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