A Toolkit for Organizing on December 17

A Toolkit for Organizing on December 17

2016-2017 December 17 Organizer Resource Folder 

Includes Organizer Guide, Info-graphics, Fact Sheets, Hand-Outs, Posters, & Event-Promotion Design Templates

2015 December 17 Organizer Resource Folder

Information About and Ideas for Dec 17th – Learn more about this day and what groups do to observe it. This document includes the following information:

  • Background on Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
  • Forms of Violence Against Sex Workers
  • Statistics on Violence Against Sex Workers
  • Guiding Principles of December 17 Events
  • 10 Ideas for December 17 Events
  • Logistical and Cost-Saving Tips

Submit Your Event Here – We will release a map of all Dec17th events happening that we know of.

Event Organizer Resource Folder – A folder full of resources to help you raise awareness about violence against sex workers. The folder includes:

  • Info-graphics
  • Fact Sheets & Hand Outs
  • Posters
  • Event-Promotion Design Templates


More Important Resources

2017 Memorial Names List [working list] 

 Local Press Release Template

Poems, Speeches, Songs & Poetry  |  Event Organizer Resource Folder

Additional Questions: Contact our December 17th Coordinator at [email protected] with any questions.

Canada- Events & Memorials – 2017

Montreal, Quebec-Canada- International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Témoigner pour Agir and  Stella l’amie de Maimie present:

After C-36:  Still Battling to End Violence Against  Sex Workers

Sunday, December 17th, 2017 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.


Maison de la Culture Frontenac  Salle de spectacle

This public conference serves as a rare moment to move beyond divisive debates about sex work and to hear from those directly placed on the front lines of activism for sex worker’s human rights. A panel discussion with Jenn Clamen, Viviane Namaste, and Grace Van Ness will be followed by a performance by Sasha Van Bon Bon entitled Selected Monologues from Les Demimondes and Neon Nightz.

This panel is part of a series of public discussions for Témoigner pour Agir, a project that brings together experts from the arts, community, and university milieus.

Get to know the expo:

December 17th, 2:00 to 2:45 p.m.


Guided tour of the exhibition, with time for discussion about the messages of the exhibited works.

Maison de la culture Frontenac, Studio 1  RSVP the tour at temoignerpoura

RSVP la visite à http://temoignerpouragir.com

Where will you be on December 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers?? There are many ways to stand in solidarity with sex workers… Actions and events with sex worker and allied groups across Canada listed below.

CALGARY, AB : Blogs to mark Dec 17th. One will be a Q & A with our Calgary police “anti-exploitation” unit, and hopefully another from our advisory committee/clients. It will be published here: http://www.hivcl.org/blog/ and on our social media.


December 17th, 12pm-1:30pm

Cabot Square

Please come join Iskweu Project for a gathering at Cabot Square for December 17th, the International day to end violence against sex workers.
SVP, venez nous joindre au Square Cabot pour la journée internationale pour mettre fin à la violence contre les travailleuses et travailleur du sexe


December 17th, 3-4:30pm

Maison de Culture Frontenac

On December 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, the Témoigner pour Agir exhibition and Stella, l’amie de Maime present “After C-36: Still Battling to End Violence Against Sex Workers”.

This public event is a rare moment to move beyond divisive debates about sex work and to hear from those directly placed on the front lines of activism for sex workers’ human rights. It will take the form of a panel discussion with Jenn Clamen, Viviane Namaste, and Grace Van Ness followed by a performance by Sasha Van BonBon entitled Selected Monologues from ‘‘Les Demimondes’’ and ‘‘Neon Nightz’’.

This lecture will be given in English with translation in French and in LSQ.





December 17th, 1-2pm

Canadian Tribute to Human Rights, Elgin Street

Please join us to remember sex workers we’ve lost to violence and renew our commitment to ending violence against sex workers. Guest speakers TBD




We will meet at the Court House at 2:30pm on Sunday December 17th, 2017. We will have a small community discussion in regards to ending the violence against Sex Workers, full decriminalization of Sex Work, and Sex Workers Rights. Bring open minds and warm hearts. After the gathering, we can walk down to the Gore Street Cafe for some warm coffee ️ & treats. 

Please bring signs, red umbrellas, and your voice ️ (but not a must).

December 17th, 2:30pm-4pm

426 Queen St E, Sault Ste Marie




December 17th, 7-9pm

Ernie Checkeris Theatre

Project ArmHer is a collaborative multi-media performance produced in partnership with women who have lived experience in sex work. This is Project ArmHer’s first locally public performance. We chose December 17th as our event date in respect and recognition of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. 

International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers is a global day dedicated in recognition of the need for sex workers’ human rights and to acknowledge that decriminalization is the only way to address and end the violent targeting of sex workers and commercial sexual exploitation of women and youth.

Groups around the world are participating in this event in ways that represent their own unique communities, but the overall message is zero tolerance for violence perpetuated against sex workers. Sex workers and allies are joining on December 17th to organize against discrimination and to remember all of the sex workers who have been murdered, assaulted, or stolen. These people are community members and will not be forgotten.




International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers: Sex Worker Wisdom Chapbook Launch

Join us for an intimate night of storytelling inspired by Sex Workers’
Wisdom: Writing Workshops with writer Amber Dawn. Wine and appetizers to be

December 17th, 7-9pm PACE Society 148 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

Link to our facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/309069266241785/



December 17, 2-5pm

Bastion Square and City Hall

Red Umbrella Day (December 17th) is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Please join us! 

2PM, meet at Bastion Square to gather and march to City Hall 
2:45PM, we will arrive at City Hall for performances, speakers, open mic. and a free meal. 
4:30PM, Closing 

*Wear Red (if you have it and want to!) 
*Support Resources and Safer Sex Supplies Available 

This event is supported by Peers Victoria, the anti-violence project and Third Space. 

Accessibility Info: 
(Basic accessibility info below, we are gathering a more thorough accessibility assessment of the space at City Hall, and will post a link to that information ASAP). 

*Our event will be in the antechamber room of City Hall. 

*ASL interpretation: An interpreter from IDHHC will be present from 2:30-4:30PM at City Hall, for the performance and speaker section of the event. 

*Winding Staircase the the 2nd floor 

*Elevator access 

*2-single stall gender neutral washrooms 

*Children are welcome at this event. Childminding available at City Hall. 




This year, the Sex Workers of Winnipeg Action Coalition is coordinating a chain of warmth, love and solidarity between the different groups who are, include, serve and/or care for sex workers, sex trade workers, experiential and sexually exploited people in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 territory. We are celebrating our shared commitment to end violence against everyone involved in the sex trade by exchanging cards, notes and art that honours and respects everyone’s experience and stories. 

Photos of the art will be posted on our website on Dec. 17sexworkwinnipeg.com





Josie Glenn  26 years old, southeast London Oct. 27, 2017

Nicole Bell   31-year-old last seen in September in Sicamous, B.C.,

Sharon Baron indigenous, 27-year- old, Montreal,  Sept 2st 2017

Siasi Tullaugak indigenous, 27-year-old, Montreal,  Sept 2st 2017

Sisi Thibert  Trans-women, 26 years old St. Charles, Sept 18th, 2017

Shyla Stylez, 35 years old, B.C. Nov 9, 2017

Tammy Le  25-year-old, Hamilton, Jan 26th, 2016

Traci Genereaux 18 years old, North Okanagan- Shuswap region, October 19th, 2017

Valerie Maurice  29 years old, Edmonton, August 31st, 2017

Victoria Head  36 years old, St. John’s, NL, Canada, November  11th, 2017

Unidentified women between 25 and 35 years of age, found dead in Kelowna BC, Oct 12th, 2017

Chelsea Gauthier, 22 years-old,  Abbotsford, BC: August 30th, 2017

Alloura Wells, 21-year-old trans women, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has not been seen July 2017

Tess Richey, 23-year-old, found dead in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Dec 2st, 2017







United States Events 2017

Anchorage Alaska

International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers 2017

A Memorial for Peppermint Patty

Sunday, December 17, 2017, at 1 pm at the Alaska Center for Alternative Lifestyles at 420 West 3rd Ave  Anchorage Alaska (The large brick building on the corner of E and 3rd downtown. The entrance is in the large parking lot side of the building. Located inside the old Potluck Events.)

For more info contact [email protected]

Brooklyn, New York

The Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers presents the Glits Ball

Sunday, December 17th, 2017 from 6 PM to 11 PM

Location: Brooklyn Night Bazaar 150n Greenpoint Ave Brooklyn,  NY

DJ Frankie paradise door hostess and personality Daisy Lopez, two quest performers, several different rooms of events.

Kinky karaoke room of reflection,  BDSM room along with a lot of other treats for the night.

We are in need of red umbrellas flowers candles swag and the 500.00 venue price for this amazing space and we promise to make this event not only the best event ever and to bring attention to a large level to end violence and change the minds of many when it comes to sex work…

For more information contact Ceyenne at [email protected]

NYC, NY – Candelight Vigil -International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Event Location: On the steps of Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC, 7:30-8:30 pm.

Hosted by: The Reproductive Rights Committee of Judson

Contact Person: Veronica Vera [email protected]

All are invited.Wigs and masks provided available for those who need them. We will also have candles but you are encouraged to bring one or use your cell phone or flashlight. Additional info will be sent as it becomes available.


Emergency Rally for our Fallen Comrade- Flushing, NY

Hosted by Justice for Alisha Walker and Lysistrata

Sunday, December 17 at 12 PM – 1:30 PM

NYPD 109th Precinct 37-05 union Street, Flushing, New York 11354

The NYPD has murdered one of our community members. On Sunday, a 38-year-old woman died after a raid on her workplace in Queens the previous evening. If these massage parlor raids continue more workers will die, be incarcerated, deported. Stop criminalizing sex work. Stop criminalizing working people. Stop targeting parlors.

Shame on the NYPD! Your raids are killing women! Your raids are destroying families, criminalizing survivors, deporting hard-working people and terrorizing our communities! Get out of parlors and stay out!

How can these massage parlor raids be justified when women are dying?!

Meet at the 109th Precinct at NOON for speak out and moment of rage. Allies, accomplices, friends, family all welcome.

December 17th is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, join us to demand an end to police terror.

***We will have scarves on hand if you need to protect your identity, send us a message before the event.***

Swop MI – High Park, Michigan

Community Vigil: Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers


***We are seeking donations of food and toiletries to give away at this event, as well as performers (artists, musicians, dancers, etc)!! Contact Zee St. James at [email protected] for information***

December 17th Event     2pm-5pm

Ruth Ellis Center   77 Victor St, Highland Park, Michigan 48203

We will open with a brief history of the date, observance of those lost to violence, then open the mic to anyone who wants to share or read, poetry, stories of hope, etc.

We will have a table set up to write holiday cards and letters for SWOP Behind Bars.

We are also doing a book drive for their libraries. They accept new or gently used, preferably less than 10 years old. They can not have any writing or highlight in the books. Self-help books and books on trauma and healing are often requested.

Also, Ruth Ellis Center is in need of winter attire. New or gently used coats, hats, gloves, scarves. They mentioned a particular need for L and XL ladies coats.

This is a public event. Significant others, family, and friends are all welcome and encouraged.

SWOP Minneapolis

Candlelight Vigil for Dec 17th

It will be at RARE house (the upstairs at cafe southside in Minneapolis) at

7 pm on 12/17/2017

3405 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Contact- [email protected]


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Memorial Vigil

Sunday, December 17th, 2017 from 3-5

Thomas Paine Plaza (Across from City Hall)

1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Please let me know if you will participate in the form of creating art including helping with posters or a banner, or

If you would like to speak. We have a private sound system donated. You do not need to be a sex worker to come or to be involved. You just need to care. All are welcome. We place aside our differences to come together with respect and love to honor those not here to share their story.  Facebook page is being set up now. More details to come after Thanksgiving.  Contact [email protected]

Thanks so much – https://dec17philly.com/

Facebook event page




COYOTE RI (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics)  joins Sex Workers, allies and advocates from around the world in recognizing “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers”

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Time: 12:00pm-3:00pm

Location”  10 Davol Square Unit 100, Providence RI 02903

Free community event – light lunch & childcare will be provided.

Contact: Bella Robinson at [email protected]  401-525-8757

International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers San Francisco Bay Area event

December 17, 2017 at Center for Sex & Culture 1349 Mission Street  {between 9th& 10th Sts.}

film show, discussion &potluck,  2-4 pm     *workshop 4-7 pm {see below}

Les Prostitutées de Lyon Parlent  – The Prostitutes of Lyon Speak by Carole Roussopoulos On June 3, 1975, 150 prostitute women occupied one of the main churches in the center of Lyon, France.  A banner was hung over the church façade ‘Our children don’t want their mothers in prison.’  The occupation was sparked by the brutal torture and murder of sex workers, and a police crackdown.  Instead of going after the murderer/s, the police were handing out fines and threatening women with prison.  Within weeks churches had been occupied all over France including in Paris.  The church occupations sparked the modern day sex workers rights movement.

45 min  Tales of the Grim Sleeper by Nick Broomfield (excerpts) Clips from Tales of the Grim Sleeper – a devastating expose of the lack of value police placed on the lives of Black women, many of whom were sex workers working the street in Los Angeles.  It documents the case of the serial murders of Black women in LA, & law enforcement and officials’ criminal neglect, also campaigning by the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders for police accountability and justice for the victims and their families.    sponsored by US PROStitutes Collective & In Defense of Prostitute Women’s Safety  [email protected],  www.uspros.net ( http://www.uspros.net )(415) 626-4114

Washington, DC-  End Violence Against Sex Workers

Saturday, December 16th, 2017 from 1: pm- 5: pm

The Reeve’s Center- (main hallway)

2000 14th St. NW

Washington DC 20009

GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/me49kt

Asia-Pacific -Events-2017



Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) will join NSW sex workers in commemorating two
key days of importance to our communities with a morning tea, candle lighting
ceremony and forum.

When: Monday, December 18th, 2017

Time: 11:00am-12:30pm

Location:  SWOP Building, Room 3.07, Level 3, 414 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW

Free community event - light refreshments provided.

Contact: SWOP at [email protected]
(02) 9206 2166

International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers Press Release

by Bella Robinson – Executive Director, Coyote Rhode Island


I want to talk about memorials and obituaries for a minute.  Usually, an obituary describes the person that has passed away.  It also includes loved ones that were left behind. It usually includes the person’s accomplishments.   It often includes the person’s ties to their community.

However, society and the media haven’t been very kind to sex workers.  Usually, the mentioning of sex workers occurs when they have been arrested, murdered or a victim of violence.  Rarely does the media bother to describe them as people?

Sex workers are mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins and loved ones.  They shop at the same stores, and their kids attend the same schools.  Many of them have achieved a lot in their lives, and sadly these accomplishments are usually left out of the conversation.

“Once a whore, always a whore”

“Bad women get what they deserve”

Society has stigmatized sex workers and pushed them to the edges of society.  Sex workers are often seen as subhuman.  Law enforcement refers to sex workers and the homeless as, NHI  for “No human Involved”

The media often stigmatizes and disrespects sex workers.  Rarely do these publications show us any compassion for our situation.  Instead, they reinforce these irrational notions that people are somehow at fault for poverty and violence.   It becomes a circus, with people passing judgment on the less fortunate.

Using blame to stay in the problem rather than support solutions.

Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps

I guess that’s easy for people in power to say.  You know the lucky ones.

All these actors contribute to stigma, violence and human rights violations to marginalized populations who are vulnerable. It is easy for those in powerful positions to bully and discriminate. 

The US government has never been known to stand up for oppressed civilians.

The government plays the actor of the bad parent who refuses to take responsibility for creating a system that has failed so many people.  They stay on course with this rhetoric and the majority of society follows suit.  

When it came to Native Americans, African Americans, women fighting for their right to vote, and LGBTQ rights.   We had to sue the government to gain these rights.  So why is society waiting around for the government to acknowledge human rights for sex workers and other marginalized populations?

US sex workers have organized and they have filed a constitutional challenge to CA prostitution laws 647 (b)

ESPLER v GASCON is now in the 9th district court of appeals.  This case could set legal presence and allow sex workers to access equal protection under the law.  This case was funded by small private donations and ESPLERP.org has ongoing legal bills.  Please make your tax-deductible donation today.


Update Oct 21st 2017

9th Circuit oral argument Highlights – challenge of prostitution law 10/19/2017

ESPLERP vs Gascon (16-15927)


As we read the list of 132 Sex workers that were lost in 2016, let’s remember that…..

It is time to change the social perception that she wasn’t a person, she was a “prostitute”. No one wants to feel a sense of community or sameness with her. She was something other than us and therefore we don’t need to feel fear or grief at the fact or the manner of her death.”




Local Press Release Template

Copy and past this template press release into emails to local news outlets.
Be sure to type in the information for YOUR event into this email.



Contact Information:

Local Contact:



National Contact:

Sex Workers Outreach Project, USA
Briq House, Communications Director
[email protected]


TITLE [eg. Sex Workers March 12/17 in Talahassee to Denounce Over 50 Murders in the U.S. This Year]


[City] — On Saturday, December 17th, [YOUR  CITY] will join more than 20 other cities in the United States and 40 cities internationally to recognize the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This year, local organizers are planning [THIS TYPE OF EVENT EXAMPLE: march, vigil, lecture, dance party, bike ride, whatever] to raise awareness about the violence sex workers face. [REPLACE WITH CITY EVENT INFORMATION DETAILS –The march will begin at 5:30 at the north Entrance of Harold Washington Library and proceed north along State street. The vigil will begin at 7:00 pm at Jane Addams Hull House, 800 S. Halsted.]

Known as December 17th, the event originated as a response to the sentencing of Gary Ridgeway who confessed to murdering more than 70 women over two decades. Most of Ridgway’s victims were sex workers, and their murders initially went largely uninvestigated, allowing Ridgway’s violence to continue.  Ridgway mentioned he targeted the community “because I thought I could kill as many as I wanted without getting caught.”

A memorial list including the names of sex workers who died as a result of violence is often read at local memorial vigils. The list of over 150 sex workers murdered between January 1 and December 1, 2016, highlight the vulnerability of sex workers around the world. Victims in 2016 included two prominent trans and sex worker activists: Alessa Flores of Mexico City and Handi Kader, of Istanbul;  [ADD SEX WORKERS IN YOUR STATE AREA]

The victims’ identities highlight the intersection of different marginalized identities: 42% of victims in the United States were Black, 48% of whom were Black trans women. The list also highlights dangers of lax gun laws in the Americas: over 70% of victims were murdered in the United States (35%), Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America (35%) [ADD STATISTICS FOR YOUR AREA OR ISSUES OF YOUR COMMUNITY HERE]

Information about [YOUR CITY’S EVENT] December 17th events can be found at [YOURS WEBSITE OR THE DEC 17TH SITE]. More information about December 17th and worldwide events can be found at www.december17.org.

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