December 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Join Sex Workers Outreach Project Denver in remembering sex workers who have been survivors and victims of violence. We ask that you stand with us in the fight against criminalization, incarceration, oppression, assault, and murder of sex workers and those perceived as sex workers. We will be  holding a vigil and speak-out at 7pm on December 17th at the 6th Avenue United Church of Christ, 3250 E 6th Avenue, Denver.

December 17th, The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was first recognized in 2003, in memoriam for the victims of Washington State serial killer Gary Ridgway. [TW, CW: violence and extreme whorephobia]………… Ridgway preyed on sex workers and underage runaways, stating that he “picked prostitutes as my victims because I hate most prostitutes and I did not want to pay them for sex,” and that he “also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.” ……………………….

It is now recognized internationally as a day to come together as sex workers, advocates, allies, friends and family, and call for an end to violence rooted in misogyny, racism, transphobia, colonialism, xenophobia and economic oppression. Let’s end the stigma HERE and NOW.

The evening will include a vigil, presentation of the names and stories of victims in 2015, and a speak-out for sex workers and allies. Bring your poetry, words, or anything else you’d like to share in solidarity- but please keep in mind that space will be held at this event for those most affected by violence and marginalization.

This is a very heavy event, but SWOP Denver is committed to bringing warmth, levity and solidarity to all who attend. Please come if you can and show your support! And if you know any sex workers (or are one and know others) please be sure to hug them and tell them you love them on this and every single day.

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