Contact Information: Sex Workers Outreach Project, Tampa Bay Area Chapter
Sex Workers Outreach Project, USA
Briq House, Communications Director
SWOP Tampa Bay’s Cabaret Fundraiser in Honor of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Tampa] — 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.