December 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Sex workers and their allies hold vigils all over the world on this day, and we would like you to join our local vigil and educational opportunity.
Our goal is to create a gathering where we can learn more about sex work, honor sex workers we have lost, and discuss and celebrate new advocacy efforts. More information about December 17th is included below.
December 17th 2019, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church
100 Mirror Lake Drive
St. Petersburg, FL 33791
When: 12/17/19 5pm — 9:30pm,
Feel free to join us at any point in the evening! And please bring a dish to share for our potluck (wine, beer, and other drinks will be available for a suggested donation).
5:00-5:45 Potluck and conversation
5:45-6:05 Mini teach-in about sex worker rights
6:05-6:15 Q & A Session
6:15-7:00 Community craft project to be used in our lighted procession
7:00 – 8:45 Lighted procession with our community craft project; We will begin at the UU church, march up to Central Avenue and walk along Central Avenue to ____ and then return to the church; During this procession, we will share the names of the sex workers who have been lost to violence this year;
8:45-9:30 Dessert and coffee, open mic, letter-writing opportunity fr incarcerated sex workers.
All activities are optional. Those not interested in walking in the procession can stay at the venue and continue with other activities.
The event is FREE, but please consider bringing:
- A dish or snack to share (for the potluck)
- Items to donate for street outreach (unopened hygiene supplies, tampons, snacks)
- Cash or check donation
- Art donations (we need lots of black and red paint, glitter)
- Flowers and candles
Please reach out to SWOP Tampa Bay to RSVP or have any questions.
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is observed annually on December 17 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 (a serial killer who targeted sex workers, killing dozens and dozens, because “no one would care”). Rapes or murders of sex workers often go unreported or uninvestigated. Similar to the way the Unites States treats and criminalizes drug use(rs), the policing of sex work exacerbates stigma, compromises access to resources, justifies violence, and is steeped in racial disparities. Women of color, especially Black cisgender and transgender women, girls, and femmes, are particularly vulnerable. Because sex work and sex trafficking are conflated, interventions are focused on abolishing the sex industry instead of eliminating structural issues that drive violence for adult consensual sex workers. In August of 2015 Amnesty International voted to recommend full decriminalization for global consensual sex work. More information can be found at https://december17.swopusa.org/