Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (Coyote RI) joins sex workers, allies and advocates from around the world in recognizing December 17th, as International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers. As we approach Dec 17th, we come together to publicly honor sex workers that we have lost to violence and we renew our commitment to the on-going struggle for empowerment, visibility, and rights for all sex workers. We also renew our commitment to solidarity. The majority of violence against sex workers is not just violence against sex workers- it’s also violence against transgender women, against women of color, against people who use drugs, against the people who are undocumented, and the homeless. We cannot end the marginalization and victimization of all sex workers without also fighting transphobia, racism, stigma and the criminalization of drug users and xenophobia.
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is observed by sex workers, their advocates, friends, families, and allies. Originally conceived as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington, United States (US), it has evolved into an annual international event. The day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers worldwide, as well as the need to remove the social stigma and discrimination that have contributed to violence against sex workers and indifference from the communities they are part of. Sex worker activists also state that custom and prohibitionist laws perpetuate such violence. In fact, on April 11, 2018, President Trump signed SESTA/FOSTA into law. This legislation shuts down websites where sex workers advertise and removes the online safety tools that sex workers used to ensure their safety.
When sex workers cannot vet their clients online, they don’t know if they’re a potential risk. Sex workers around the world have immediately felt the effects of the new law – loss of work, bodily autonomy and an increase in violence, murder, and HIV infection. The new law also threatens those seeking or posting about harm reduction for sex workers on websites.
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