On this day, December 17, 2014, Positive Women’s Network-USA stands with our sisters in recognizing December 17 as the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers. This Day to End Violence against Sex Workers originated in response to acts of extreme interpersonal violence against and brutal murders of sex workers. December 17 has since evolved to a worldwide recognition of the routine, institutionalized, and normalized violence experienced by sex workers, including violence perpetrated by the very institutions that are allegedly in place to protect and serve.
From state-sanctioned violence in the form of laws that criminalize sex work, to programs and practices that discriminate against sex workers, to interpersonal violence experienced within communities, sex workers endure egregious levels of violence. Policies criminalizing sex work, including “condoms as evidence” laws fuel stigma and can obstruct access to legal recourse and critical health services in instances of sexual assault, harassment, and other experiences of violence.
Sex work is work, and everyone deserves a life free from stigma, violence, and discrimination.
Positive Women’s Network-USA stands with sex workers worldwide against laws that criminalize sex work and violence that impacts sex workers.
For more information on the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, and to learn about events commemorating December 17, please visit: http://www.december17.org