On December 17th, 2014 we will commemorate the 12th Annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. On this day we honor our dead and injured and raise awareness about the institutions and stigmatization that make sex workers vulnerable to violence.
Participants of our organization are in a struggle for labor rights and freedom from discrimination that denies us access to safe housing and living wage jobs. This struggle is confounded by racism and white supremacy. Racism and white supremacy contribute to the use of “No Human Involved” as a label for murder cases that will remain un-investigated because the victim is a sex worker. Racism and white supremacy contribute to the police brutality that some sex workers face on a daily basis. Racism and white supremacy contribute to the indifference that many Americans have toward the struggles of sex workers, poor people and people of color.
Women of color, including transgender women, number the highest among sex workers whose lives were taken by violence. We are declaring our support of the demands made by movements led by people of color who are struggling against police violence, economic injustice and institutionalized racism. We recognize that as an organization with more white than non-white representation, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and our participants about white supremacy and the oppression of people of color, immigrants and gender non-conforming individuals.
We recognize the struggle that is bravely led today by young black organizers in the wake of the murders of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner. We are awake and we are listening.
Stacey Swimme,Sex Workers Outreach Project of Sacramento
Savannah Sly,Sex Workers Outreach Project of Seattle
Jennifer Reed, Sex Workers Outreach Project of Las Vegas
Lisa Mellott, Sex Workers Outreach Project of Las Vegas
If your organization would like to sign on, please leave a comment below. Thank you.