Today's International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Today marks the 11th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, with sex workers and activists coming together in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, and around the world to highlight violence against sex workers and push for policies that make sex work safer. It's "also a time for the general public to acknowledge that sex workers are not faceless victims but people who deserve more than to die violently and be forgotten," writes Susan Rohwer at the Los Angeles Times.

Rohwer points out a recent horrendous instance of an attorney arguing that sex workers' lives are worth less than other people's. In a case in New York, the attorney argued that his client's sentence was to harsh because her murder victim, a transgender sex worker, was not part of “a higher end of the community."

The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was originally conceptualized by performance artist and adult film star Annie Sprinkle as a memorial for victims of the Seattle's "Green River Killer," who killed more than 50 women, mostly prostitutes. "Sadly some Seattle prostitutes, their boyfriends, or pimps knew the Green River Killer was Gary Ridgeway for years, but were afraid to come forward for fear of getting arrested, or the police didn't believe those that did come forward," wrote Sprinkle in a public letter.

Here are two resources (recommended by writer and sex work activist Audacia Ray) for finding out more about sex worker rights violations and activism:

Image: Sex Workers Outreach Project/Facebook