Printable 2017 Memorial Names

2017 December 17th Memorial Names Printable List

List Contributors~ Bella Robinson, Alex Andrews, Briq House

This list is being added to daily. If you have a name to contribute please email [email protected]

USA

Alphonza Watson aka Peaches, 38years old, Baltimore MD, Dec 14th, 2017

April Ellis, 34 years old, Baltimore MD, March 28th, 2107 

Ashley Brandeberry, 29 years old, Honolulu, HI, April 21st, 2017

August Ames, 23 years old, Dec 5th, 2017

Brittney Taylor, 19 years old, Ft Lauderdale FL, May 25th 2017

Brandie Seals, Age unknown, Houston TX, Dec 13th, 2017

Patricia Phelps aka Peppermint Patty, 48 years old, Anchorage, Alaska, August 11, 2017

Jessica Newcomb, 21 years old, Mobile AL, June 16th, 2017

Isabell  Pam  43  years  old,   Huntsville,   Al,   Feb   26th

Jennifer Ann Wilson, 50 years old, Sept 18th, 2017, Tucson AR

Gemmel Moore, 26 years old, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, July 27th, 2017

Jarrae Estepp 21 years old, found dead March 14, 2017

Josephine Vargas 34 years old, last seen Oct 24th, 2017

Kianna Jackson 20 year- old, last seen Oct 2st, 2017

Martha Anaya 28 year- old, last seen Nov 28th, 2017

Sable Pickett, 19 year- old, Murdered by a serial killer in Anaheim CA, identified April 14, 2017

Brittney Taylor, 19 year-  old,  May  25th,  2017,  TAMARAC.  FLA

Essence Owens, 23 year- old, Body found August 22st, 2017 Groveland FL

Amber Elizabeth Carruthers, 32 years old, Orlando FL, June 17th, 2017

Hannah Darlene Midyette, 21 year- old, Jacksonville FL, March 30th, 2017

Olympia Cerutti, 34 year- old, Daytona Beach, FL,  Sept 23rd, 2017

Bridget  Shie,   a   19-year-old,   Atlanta   Georgia,   Feb   1st,   2017

Ashley Brandeberry, 29-year-old, April 24th, 2017,  Waikiki  Hawaii

Desiree  Robinson  15  year-   old,   Dec   24th,   2016,   Chicago,   IL

Kayla Denham  25  year-  old,  Livingston  Louisiana  June  9th,  2017

Renia  Rodriguez,  19  year-   old,   June   22st   2017,   Braintree   MA

Tobi Lynn Stanfill, 20 year- old, Albuquerque, NM May 19th, 2017

Unidentified woman found murdered in the Bronx NY, Jan 17th, 2017

Yang Song, from Shenyang, China. 38 year- old, falls from her death from a 3rd story building during prostitution raid, Nov 27th, 2017 in Flushing NY

Ashley Ugoletti, 27 year- old, Westmoreland County, PA, August 31st, 2017

Rhonda Wells 44 year- old, Jan 13th, 2017, MEMPHIS, TN

Jessica Lewis, 28 year- old, Jan 13th, 2017, Memphis TN

Unidentified woman, who is described as being Hispanic and between 18 and 35 years old. Found Jan 22st 2017 in SAN ANTONIO, TX

CANADA

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, 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

AFRICA

Chiamaka Ndubu, 18 years old, Agege Nigeria, August 24th 2017

Unidentified Women, age unknown, Guruve Zimbobwe, August 5th, 2017

EUROPE

Sabrina Oosterbeck, date of death unknown, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Newest additions we have been sent, bio and photos to come:

Additional note:  To honor privacy some names shared are the victims chosen or pseudo names. Some wanted their loved ones to be honored but did not want to out them or use dead names in the process.                                                                                   

Rebecca (No other information was given)
Tina (No other information was given)
CC (No other information was given)

                                                                                                                                              

SEX WORKERS WHO PASSED AT THE END OF LAST YEAR:

Robin Edwards 19-year-old December 21st, 2016 Philadelphia, PA   (Serial
killer in custody) (Image to be added soon)

Sara Butler 20-year-old, last seen alive Nov 23rd, 2016 Montclair,
NJ (serial killer in custody) (Image to be added soon)

Joanne Brown 33-year-old,  Last seen live October 22st 2016, Montclair, NJ
(Serial killer in custody)  (Image to be added soon)

Its 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.”

Global Event List 2017

This event page is being added to daily so please check back soon to find events in your area. Want to add an event? Email [email protected]

UNITED STATES

FLORIDA                                                                                                                                                            Contact Information: Sex Workers Outreach Project, Tampa Bay Area Chapter                                    Local Contact: Jill McCracken, [email protected], 512.415.0603 .                                            SWOP Tampa Bay’s Cabaret Fundraiser in Honor of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.                                                                                                                                                                       On Sunday, December 17th, 2017, Tampa 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 a cabaret—to include a documentary film screening, burlesque show, and open mic— to raise awareness about the violence sex workers face. The event is will be held on Sunday, December 17, 2017, from 8pm to 11pm, at the Mermaid Tavern, 6719 N Nebraska Ave,Tampa, Florida                                                                                                                                              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 Ridgeway’s victims were sex workers, and their murders initially went largely uninvestigated, allowing Ridgeway’s violence to continue. Ridgeway 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, 2017, highlight the vulnerability of sex workers around the world. The victims’ identities highlight the intersection of different marginalized identities: 42% of victims in the United States were Black and 48% 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%). Information about Tampa’s December 17th event can be found at swoptampabay.org. More information about December 17th and worldwide events can be found at www.december17.org.                                                                                                                          SWOP Tampa Bay Area .                                                                                                                                        877-776-2004

NEW YORK                                                                                                                                                          Contact-Judson Church Reproductive Rights [email protected] Date/Time- December 17, 2017, 7:30p-8:30p.

Info: On the front steps of Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC 10012. Candlelight Vigil to remember all, with special mention of Ms. Yang Song aka CiCi. Masks and wigs provided for those who need them. All are invited. Additional to info to follow as it becomes available.”This is the beginning of a Judson Task Force on Sex Work with a goal of decriminalization.
Judson has long been a supporter of sex workers’ rights. Former Minister Howard Moody and Judson administrator Arlene Carmen wrote “”Working Women”” based on their experiences offering food and support to street workers via a Judson van. Judson also offered space to P.O.N.Y. throughout the 80’s for meetings. It was at Judson that I met Margo St. James and Gale Phederson when they came to announce the Second World Whores’ Congress which took place at the European Parliament in Brussels in the mid 80’s and which Annie Sprinkle and I attended as delegates and journalists.

** Int’l Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Vigil & Benefit, Contact- Saucy Marketing ~Date/Time- Sunday, December 17 at 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM EST Location- Brooklyn Bazaar 150 Greenpoint Avenue Basement Level Brooklyn, NY 11222

Info- Tickets provided by Eventbrite: Suggested Donation $33.72 All proceeds will be donated to G.L.I.T.S Inc. and are tax deductible. Free tickets for low income individuals. FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/490644228001244/

MASSACHUSETTS                                                                                                                                     Date/Time -Sunday, December 17 at 12 AM – 10 PM EST, Location: Center Stage 265 Dwight St, Springfield, Massachusetts 01103 FB Event://www.facebook.com/events/523652481327195/

Info:Dec 17th is the international day to end violence against sex workers.
This day has special meaning to Me and is something I would love to see more awareness of in western MA
I am also aware that most sex workers I know in this community really can’t afford to take the day off.
So this December 17th I will be working it
at My favorite local stripclub
Club Centerstage in downtown springfield, MA
Center Stage

I will be dancing from noon til 7 possibly abit later if yall are around and tipping Me!
Come put your money into the hands of local sex workers and support us.

WASHINGTON                                                                                                                                                               CONTACT: SWOP Seattle                                                                                                                        On December 17th, we gather to remember sex workers who have lost their lives due to violence, stigma, oppression, and discrimination. Please join us as we honor our dead, gather as a community, and heal. For more information on this date, please visit: http://www.december17.org

Time: 5pm-9pm: Community Vigil & Dinner 
Location: Merchant Cafe, Pioneer Square 
109 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98104 
We will gather at 5pm at the Merchant, and depart for a walk to Westlake Center at 5:30, where we will hold a vigil. We will return to the Merchant and have a community meal at 6:30pm, and share thoughts and words about our reflections on this somber day.

We recommend that you bring your red umbrella, comfortable walking shoes, and dress warmly!

ADDITIONAL US EVENTS: http://www.december17.org/2017/10/30/united-states-2017/

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

Contact: Laura Dilley PACE Society [email protected] Date/Time: Sunday December 17, 2017 from 7-9pm. Location: PACE Society – 148 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8 CANADA

Info: Join us for an intimate night of storytelling inspired by Sex Workers’ Wisdom: Writing Workshops with writer Amber Dawn. Wine and appetizers to be served. Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/309069266241785/

 

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.

MONTREAL, QC

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

https://www.facebook.com/events/385762801855185/

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.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1725154920868439/

 

***

OTTAWA, ON

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

https://www.facebook.com/events/135908963786799/ 

***

SAULT STE MARIE, ON

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

https://www.facebook.com/events/1840894716170310/ 

***

SUDBURY, ON

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.

https://www.facebook.com/events/153557158708646/

***

VANCOUVER, BC

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
served.

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

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

*** 

VICTORIA, BC

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! 

Schedule: 
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. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/644383335731923/

***

WINNIPEG, AB

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

OTHER CANADIAN EVENTS: http://www.december17.org/2017/10/30/canada-2017/

PRAGUE

Contact: Jiri Kofron Bliss without Risk [email protected] Location/Date/Time: Palackeho namesti – Prague, 17th December 2017, from 12.30 p.m. till 16 p.m. Info: Bliss without Risk has been working with sex workers for 25 years now. This year we are going to focus on all forms of violence against sex workers in Czech republic. Domestic, institutional or public. We want to talk to ordinary people if they know, what sex workers has to go through, if they want to just do their job. Our main goal is open discussion, what can be done to end violence and prejudice towards sex workers and what they think about legalization of sex work in Czech republic.

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.

http://decriminalizesexwork.com/

Update Oct 21st 2017

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

ESPLERP vs Gascon (16-15927)

https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_video.php?pk_vid=0000012398

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.”

 

 

 

[Press Release] Budapest

Press Contact: Kinga Papp Reka 20-9912396
Budapest – Press Conference for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Budapest, Hungary | Szexmunkások ellen elkövetett erőszak visszaszorításának világnapja – Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Website [Weboldal]:https://www.facebook.com/events/464662467046018/

Esemény dátuma [Event Date]: csütörtök, december 17at 11:00

A rendezvény helyszíne [Event Location]: Nagyar Nők Szövetsége 1062 Budapest, Andrássy út 124

(English Below) A törvény ad lehetőséget arra, hogy a rendőrség zaklassa a szexmunkásokat. Számos olyan esetet tart számon a Szexmunkások Érdekvédelmi Egyesülete, amikor hatósági személy bántalmazza, megalázza vagy félretájékoztatja a hozzá forduló vagy a hatókörébe került szexmunkást, illetve visszautasítja a segítségkérést. Ezekből, és az összes regisztrált, szexmunkások sérelmére elkövetett erőszakesetből készített Erőszaktérképet jövő csütörtökön, december 17-én mutatjuk be. December 17-e a szexmunkások elleni erőszak visszaszorításának világnapja. Ebből az alkalomból sajtótájékoztatót tart a Szexmunkások Érdekvédelmi Egyesülete (SZEXE), ahol megszólal dr. Makó Klaudia, az SZEXE jogsegély szolgálatának jogásza, Földi Ágnes, a SZEXE elnöke, és több szexmunkás ügyfelük. Bemutatják az Erőszaktérképet, a jelenlegi szabályozás hibáit és a jellemző visszaéléseket, és a SZEXE legújabb kisfilmjét a hatósági erőszakról. Ezt követően kerekasztal beszélgetést tartunk a hatósági erőszaknak hasonlóan kiszolgáltatott csoportok érdekképviselőivel. A beszélgetés kiindulópontja, hogy az utóbbi években újra felerősödött a szegénység által érintett csoportok kriminalizálása: ilyen csoportok a szexmunkások mellett például a hajléktalan emberek, a drogfogyasztók.

A megszólalók között lesz:
Sárosi Péter, a TASZ drogprogramjának vezetője, Kováts Virág, az Alternatíva Alapítvány munkatársa, Sárközi Gábor, a Roma Sajtóközpont munkatársa, illetve a SZEXE egyik szexmunkás ügyfele.

A sajtó munkatársait szeretettel várjuk tehát december 17-én 11 órára az Andrássy út 124.-ben, a Magyar Nőszövetség székházában. Sajtókapcsolat: Papp Réka Kinga 20-9912396

The law allows for police harassment of sex workers. Frequently, when sex worker organizations report public officials abusing, humiliating, or lying to sex workers, these reports are rejected or ignored. On December 17th, we are giving a press conference and releasing new mapping project by Szexmunkások Érdekvédelmi Egyesülete (SZEXE), organizing a speakers’ panel, and also screening a short film.

Among the speakers will be: ** Sárosi Peter, the leader of TASZ drug program, **Flower Kovats, an associate of the Alternatives Foundation, **Gabor Sarkozi, the Roma Press Centre staff member and **one of the sexy sex worker clients. The event is opened to the public and press is welcomed.

Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers Video Series

 

 

You’ve probably seen these on our homepage… or on our event page.

But incase you’ve missed the videos:

VIDEO CAMPAIGN – APNSW release series of video clips featuring members of  the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers  [APNSW] speaking out about the various forms of violence sex workers experience in their countries.

Link to YouTube Playlist here

Violence by police is a major issue for many sex workers in the Asia Pacific region.

 

 
From Nepal to Papua New Guinea to Fiji – problems with police, including arbitrary arrest, condoms as evidence, and physical and sexual violence, are major problems. In Myanmar and Malaysia, police often fail to respond appropriately when sex workers report crimes against them, but relations with police are dramatically different where sex work is decriminalised, such as in New Zealand. And in Vietnam and Australia, APNSW members speak about how laws and policies, as well as stigma and discrimination, are a form of violence in themselves because they increase the risks sex workers face and decrease sex workers access to justice and health care.

India December 17th Events

Media contact: [email protected] | National Network of Sex Workers (India)

   

Together We Stand – Candle Light Vigil, Meet the Press and Police, Peace March

https://www.facebook.com/nnsw.india/posts/1733036556918207?fref=nf

Date: 17th December 10-18:00

Location: Six States in India – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala & Telengana

National Network of Sex Workers (India); NNSW members are organising various initiatives to observe the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers; across 10-12 locations in six states of India (Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telegana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala).

Activities undertaken by the members include peace march, candle light vigils, meet the press, group discussions amongst sex workers to pay tribute to members who have faced violence and discuss strategies to advocate, organise interactions with local police and government bodies.

The demands of the National Network of Sex Workers across the cities and districts includes the following:

  • Full Decriminalisation of Sex Workers in India. This includes removal of all laws  that criminalise sex work and their families and their support systems.
  • There is an urgent need to monitor the implementation of the ITPA across India, especially to prevent its application against adult consenting sex workers and their clients.
  • Immediate measures need to be taken including guidelines for the district and state judicial officers by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that practices such as; detaining adult consenting sex workers for their rehabilitation, “handing over” adult consenting sex workers into the custody of family or guardians, passing orders require adult consenting sex workers to provide undertakings that they will give up sex work as a pre – condition to their release; must be stopped immediately.
  • Complaints of illegal detention, abuse in detention or while in custody must be immediately registered and timely action must be taken against erring officers.
  • Consent should be taken at the time the women were found. Rescuing as trafficked victims after years in sex work and sending to a correction home is a faulty and inhuman policy. Adult women should be treated as adults. Denying them consent is a violation of their human rights.
  • Guidelines must be developed for law enforcement officers on handling arrests of sex workers, registering complaints of stigmatized people such as sex workers.
  • These complaints must be dealt with a sensitive manner and within a prescribed time frame. Compliance of these guidelines must be regularly monitored.
  • Further the confidentiality and privacy of sex workers approaching the law enforcement and judiciary for redress of cases of sexual assault, exploitation and violence.
  • Police personnel and counselors must be trained on handling these cases with sensitivity.
  • Strengthen National Human Rights Institutions to increase their accountability to respond to complaints of violence and rights violations by State actors and initiate suo moto action also.

List of participating members

– Maharashtra – VAMP, Muskan, Saheli Sangh
– Karnataka – KSWU, UKMO
– Tamil Nadu – Vadamalar Federation
– Kerala – KSNW
– Andhra Pradesh and Telegana – Me and My World

Global 2015 Press Release

Media Contact:
Sex Workers Outreach Project, USA
Briq House, Communications Director – December 17th Coordinator
[email protected]

December 17 – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Global conferences, vigils, film-screenings, protests, marches and die-ins planned on December 17th to Combat Violence Against Sex Workers

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]– On December 17, over 60 cities worldwide will hold events in recognition of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers [December 17th].

Events aim to raise indignation at violence against sex workers and strengthen sex worker communities and responses to the systematic, daily violence and exclusion sex workers experience. Events include conferences in Seattle, Barcelona, and Ankara, marches and demonstrations in Skopje, Vancouver, Toulouse, Adelaide, Paris, Newark, Austin and San Antonio, a photo campaign of African sex workers, allies and human rights defenders, and candle-lit vigils in Minneapolis, Lautoka, Fiji, and Goldcoast, Australia. (For additional event information, see the December 17th Map)

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers began in 2003 around the sentencing of Gary Ridgway, a serial killer who murdered over 70 women in Seattle, mostly sex workers, continuing with impunity for over twenty years.

According to Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA, over 160 sex workers were murdered in 2015 – at least 48 in the United States, 39 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 31 in Africa. Sex workers who were lost to violence this year include:

Globally, sex workers experience disproportionate violence and unique barriers in accessing criminal justice support:

  • Sex workers experience high levels of sexual violence. Globally, sex workers have a 45 to 75% chance of experiencing sexual violence at some point in their careers and a 32 to 55% chance of experiencing sexual violence in a given year.
  • Sex workers are especially vulnerable to police and state violence, as police officers can threaten victims with arrest or stage an arrest and assault victims.  
    • In South Africa, one in six sex workers reported sexual or physical violence at the hands of the police.
    • In former Soviet Bloc countries, a high proportion of sex workers report being sexually assault by police–with rates as high as 90 percent in Kyrgyzstan.
    • In the Caribbean and Latin America, sex workers often are arbitrarily detained by law enforcement, and police frequently extort money or demand coercive sex in interactions with sex workers.
    • In the United States: 17% of sex workers interviewed in a New York study reported sexual harassment and abuse, including rape, by police. In a Chicago study, 30% of erotic dancers and 24% of street-based sex workers who had been raped identified a police officer as the rapist.
    • In Bangladesh, between 52% and 60% of street-based sex workers reported being raped by men in uniform.

Violence against sex workers and other marginalized groups is tied to criminalization. “Criminalized populations–especially undocumented migrant workers and racial and sexual minorities– do not view law enforcement as safe institutions,’ Katherine Koster, SWOP-USA Communications Director and December 17th coordinator, said. “They don’t seek support after victimization because they fear arrest or further abuse…which allows…serial predators to continue victimizing people with impunity. And it’s across the board: police threaten to arrest sex workers and other criminalized groups. Abusive managers and tell victims they will be arrested if they leave. Abusive intimate partners threaten to call sex workers’ schools or landlords or bring sex work up in family court. Criminalization makes marginalized communities–including sex workers–incredibly vulnerable.”

For sex workers, criminalizing third parties and clients of sex workers can result in evictions and deportation and the displacement of street-based sex workers to more dangerous areas. It also makes it more difficult for sex workers to access outreach services, result in sex workers working in isolation to avoid detection, and lead sex workers to “rushing” conversations with clients to evade arrest, ultimately jeopardizing safety (Source) and increasing violence against sex workers. (Source).

Sex Workers around the world are organizing against violence, not just on December 17th but around the year: they are operating peer-led hotlines, documenting and publishing reports on violence and human rights abuses, educating each other about rights, organizing freedom of information requests, and lobbying social service organizations, non-governmental organizations, and government officials for change.

“Globally, sex workers are calling on policymakers to address the conditions that allow such horrifying acts of violence to continue unabated, and insist on the inclusion of sex workers in the creation of new policies that will protect our various communities,” Savannah Sly President of the Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA’s Board of Directors said. “Sex workers are fighting against violence and working to protect each other. Now we need solidarity from the global community.”

###

More information about December 17,th  violence against sex workers, and worldwide events can be found at www.december17.org.

Photographs from past December 17 events can be found here: December 17th Event Images

 

US – National Press Release

National Contact:
Sex Workers Outreach Project, USA
Katherine Koster, Communications Director – Global December 17th Coordinator
[email protected]

160+ Sex Workers Murdered in 2015

Global conferences, vigils, film-screenings, protests, marches and die-ins planned on December 17th to Combat Violence Against Sex Workers

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]– On December 17, over 20 U.S. cities and 55 cities globally will hold events in recognition of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers [December 17th]. Events include conferences in Seattle, Barcelona, Spain and Ankara, Turkey, demonstrations at government buildings in Vancouver, Canada, Toulouse, France, Oakland, Newark, Austin and San Antonio, a photo campaign of African sex workers, allies and human rights defenders,  and candle-lit vigils in Minneapolis, Lautoka, Fiji, and Goldcoast, Australia. Events aim to raise indignation at violence against sex workers and strengthen response to systematic, daily violence and exclusion sex workers experience. (For additional event information, see the December 17th Map)

The event began in 2003 around the sentencing of Gary Ridgway. Also known as the “Green River Killer,” Ridgway murdered over 70 women, mostly sex workers, with impunity over a span of more than two decades. Ridgway mentioned he targeted the community “because I thought I could kill as many as I wanted without getting caught.”

According to SWOP-USA, over 160 sex workers were murdered in 2015. The largest number of homicides–41–occurred in the United States. 12 of 41 sex workers murdered in the United States were trans women (29% of sex worker homicides), and 11 were trans women of color. Female sex workers in the United States are murdered at 17.7 times the national murder rate of cis women, (Source) and transgender sex workers are more likely to experience violence than cisgender sex workers. (Source).

Sex workers who were lost to violence this year include:

Globally, sex workers experience disproportionate violence and unique barriers in accessing criminal justice support:

  • Sex workers experience high levels of sexual violence. Globally, sex workers have a 45 to 75% chance of experiencing sexual violence at some point in their careers and a 32 to 55% chance of experiencing sexual violence in a given year.

  • Sex workers comprised 8% of female North California Planned Parenthood Clinic clients between 16-27, and they were 5 times as likely to have experienced unwanted sex than non-sex workers.

  • 1 in 5 sexual assault police reports from an urban, North American emergency room were filed by sex workers. Sex workers were younger, poorer and suffered a greater number of injuries than other victims.

  • 65% of transgender individuals murdered globally were sex workers, according to Transgender Europe. According to a recent report on trans sex workers in the United States, 53.8% of incarcerated trans sex workers reported sexual assault from other prisoners and 52.6% reported sexual assault from officers and staff, twice the rate of transgender individuals who were not sex workers

  • Sexual assault against individuals engaged sex work (especially criminalized forms of sex work) in the United States is high. In Phoenix, AZ 37% of prostitution diversion program participants report being raped by a client, and 7.1% report being raped by a pimp. In Miami, FL, 34% of street-based sex workers reported violent encounters with clients in the past 90 days. In New York, 46% of indoor sex workers reported being forced to do something by a client that they did not want to do, and over 80% of street-based sex workers experienced violence.

  • Vulnerability to violence varies across contexts. Criminalization, insecure work environments, and broader contexts of extreme poverty and gender inequality are correlated with increased violence against sex workers (source).  Youth, homeless individuals, individuals who previously been arrested for prostitution, migrant sex workers, sex workers who use drugs, and street-based sex workers are especially at risk of violence.

  • In many states, sex workers are ineligible for rape victim compensation funds or receive reduced amounts. In some states, sex workers are not protected by rape shield laws.

  • Sex workers are especially vulnerable to police violence, as police officers can threaten victims with arrest or stage an arrest and sexually assault victims.  17% of sex workers interviewed in a New York study reported sexual harassment and abuse, including rape, by police. In a Chicago study, 30% of erotic dancers and 24% of street-based sex workers who had been raped identified a police officer as the rapist. Approximately 20 % of other acts of sexual violence reported by study participants were committed by the police.

Violence against sex workers and other marginalized groups is tied to criminalization. “As we saw throughout the Holtzclaw trial, criminalized populations–especially communities of color– do not view law enforcement or hospitals as safe institutions,’ Katherine Koster, SWOP-USA Communications Director and December 17th coordinator said. “They don’t seek support after victimization because they fear arrest or further abuse…which allows these serial predators to continue victimizing people with impunity. And it’s across the board: police threaten to arrest sex workers and other criminalized groups. Abusive managers and tell victims they will be arrested if they leave. Abusive intimate partners threaten to call sex workers’ schools or landlords or bring sex work up in family court. Criminalization makes marginalized communities–including sex workers–incredibly vulnerable.”

Criminalizing the clients of sex workers also result in displacement of street-based sex workers to more dangerous areas, make it more difficult for sex workers to access outreach services, result in sex workers working in isolation to avoid detection, and result in sex workers “rushing” conversations with clients to evade arrest, ultimately jeopardizing safety (Source) and increasing violence against sex workers. (Source).

“There is a word for when the government’s policies contribute to the killing of populations at such high rates — and that word is genocide,” remarked Savannah Sly, President of the Sex Workers Outreach Project’s Board of Directors, “We call on policymakers to address the conditions that allow such horrifying acts of violence to continue unabated, and insist on the inclusion of sex workers in the creation of new policies that will protect our various communities.”

More information about December 17th and worldwide events can be found at www.december17.org.

Infographics and fact sheets can be found here: December 17th Organizer Folder

Photographs from past December 17 events can be found here: December 17th Event Images

###

Join us on Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in 2015

On December 17, cities across the country and the world will hold events to recognize the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This year, over 20 events are planned across the United States, and over 40 events are planned globally.

If we are missing your activities or events, please email us ([email protected]) or use our online form. If you are interested in organizing an event, we’ve created a number of additional resources–you can find them in our organizer toolkit.

Over 160 sex workers were murdered in 2015. The largest number of homicides–41–occurred in the United States. 12 of 41 sex workers murdered in the United States were trans women (29% of sex worker homicides), and 11 were trans women of color. Female sex workers in the United States are murdered at 17.7 times the national murder rate of cis women, (Source) and transgender sex workers are more likely to experience violence than cisgender sex workers. (Source).

  • Sex workers experience high levels of sexual violence. Globally, sex workers have a 45 to 75% chance of experiencing sexual violence at some point in their careers and a 32 to 55% chance of experiencing sexual violence in a given year. (Source).
  • Sexual assault against individuals engaged sex work (especially criminalized forms of sex work) in the United States is also high. In Phoenix, AZ 37% of prostitution diversion program participants report being raped by a client, and 7.1% report being raped by a pimp. In Miami, FL, 34% of street-based sex workers reported violent encounters with clients in the past 90 days. In New York, 46% of indoor sex workers reported being forced to do something by a client that they did not want to do, and over 80% of street-based sex workers experienced violence. 
  • Women who had exchanged sex for money, drugs or other goods comprised 8% of Planned Parenthood clients between the ages of 16 and 27 in Northern California. 23.5% of these women had experienced unwanted sex, compared with 6.7% of women who had not exchanged sex. (Source).
  •  In many states, sex workers are ineligible for rape victim compensation funds or receive reduced amounts. In some states, sex workers are not protected by rape shield laws. (Source).
  • Sex workers are especially vulnerable to police violence, as police officers can threaten victims with arrest or stage an arrest and sexually assault victims.  17% of sex workers interviewed in a New York study reported sexual harassment and abuse, including rape, by police. In a Chicago study, 30% of erotic dancers and 24% of street-based sex workers who had been raped identified a police officer as the rapist. Approximately 20 % of other acts of sexual violence reported by study participants were committed by the police.
 

A memorial list, compiled by SWOP-USA, lists the names of those sex workers who have died as a result of violence and is often read during local memorial vigils. The list highlights the diverse forms of violence that sex workers experience. Attacks against sex workers in 2015 included 10 women murdered and mutilated in a single month in Nakuru, Kenya, 9 women raped and murdered in San Jose, Costa Rica,  a mother in South Africa who was struck in the face with an axe, a transgender woman in Cuba who was stoned to death by a group of boys, and a migrant living in Seattle who was repeatedly stabbed during a robbery and had her apartment later set on fire.

Violence against sex workers –around the world– is tied to the criminalization of commercial sex. Sex workers frequently do not view law enforcement or hospitals as safe institutions, and often, sex workers do not not seek support after victimization because they fear arrest or further abuse. Practices of criminalizing the clients of sex workers often  result in displacement of street-based sex workers to more dangerous areas, make it more difficult for sex workers to access outreach services, result in sex workers working in isolation to avoid detection, and result in sex workers “rushing” conversations with clients to evade arrest, ultimately jeopardizing safety (Source) and increasing violence against sex workers. (Source).

“There is a word for when the government’s policies contribute to the killing of populations at such high rates — and that word is genocide,” remarked Savannah Sly, President of the Sex Workers Outreach Project’s Board of Directors, “We call on policymakers to address the conditions that allow such horrifying acts of violence to continue unabated, and insist on the inclusion of sex workers in the creation of new policies that will protect our various communities.”

Info-graphics and fact sheets can be found here: December 17th Organizer Folder.

Photographs from past December 17 events can be found here: December 17th Event Images.

 

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:
[ADD YOUR INFORMATION HERE]

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[City] — On 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 faced by sex workers. [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 was first organized by the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA) in 2003 to respond to the sentencing of Gary Ridgway. Also known as the “Green River Killer,” Ridgway confessed to murdering over 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. Over two decades, Ridgway murdered over 70 women, most of whom were sex workers.  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, compiled by SWOP-USA, highlights the diverse forms of violence that sex workers experience. Sex Worker victims in 2015 included 9 women who were raped and murdered in San Jose, Costa Rica, 10 women murdered and mutilated in a single month in Nakuru, Kenya, a transgender woman in Cuba who was stoned to death by a group of boys, and a migrant living in Seattle who was repeatedly stabbed during a robbery and had her apartment later set on fire.

According to SWOP-USA, over 100 sex workers were murdered globally in 2014. The largest number of homicides–41–occurred in the United States. 12 of 41 sex workers murdered in the United States were trans women (29% of sex worker homicides), and 11 were trans women of color. Female sex workers in the United States are murdered at 17.7 times the national murder rate of cis women, (Source) and transgender  sex workers are more likely to experience violence than cisgender sex workers. (Source).

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.


# #