International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

Today, the 17th December, is best known as International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers. We wish we didn’t have to have a day dedicated to raising awareness of the issue, but we do. Eager year we will see sex workers, allies, and advocates from around the world join forces to remember those we have lost and continue to fight for the rights of sex workers everywhere.

A red umbrella in a sea of grey

It is an important day to get involved in… whether you choose to to an event, go out sporting a red umbrella for support or even just get involved online. Want to know how you can get involved? We’ve got the details about the events in Ireland and around the world so you can do your part.

Why we need this day

When people talk about sex work, they often tell us how it is the oldest profession in the world. And yet it is also the one facing the most stigma. People think of selling sex as dirty. They don’t understand the reasons that someone might do it. And so, instead of supporting them, the law might change to make their job even more difficult.

In many different countries around the world, it is now illegal for a punter to pay for sex. Criminalising the client is supposed to make the demand for sex work go away. Get rid of the demand and the supply will follow… or that is what a lot of people believe.

In reality, this isn’t what has happened. Instead, sex workers are being put at risk by these laws. As we can see from the tweet below, which features information from the December 17 website, the sex purchase ban in Norway meant that sex workers faced more violence. Unfortunately the increase in violence seems to be a common thread in all countries where the purchase of sex is illegal.

International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers came about to show people the kind of dangers that sex workers face. They “aim to raise outrage at violence against sex workers and strengthen sex worker communities and responses to the systematic, daily violence and exclusion sex workers experience.” And it is for this reason you should get involved.

Raise awareness in Dublin

If you are in Dublin today and want to get involved, there is a free event for you to attend. It is a BYOB event and well worth attending. The Dublin SWAI are hosting the Sex Workers’ Opera, and it all started at 9pm tonight at The Complex, 15 Little Green Street, Dublin 7.

Need more information on the event? Their Facebook page has everything you could need. Just make sure you RSVP to attend, as spaces are going to fill up quickly.

Get involved in Belfast

Those of you in Belfast also have the chance to raise awareness by heading to the candlelight vigil. Head to Belfast City Hall between the hours of 7pm and 8pm and you’ll find a number of sex workers and allies there to talk to.

There is a Facebook event for those who want to get some more information, but it is well worth making your way there so that you can remember those sex workers we have lost to violence.

Finding an event near you

Not sure how you are going to get involved? The December 17 website has a full list of the other event locations so that you can do your part.

Even if you can’t be there in person, you can get involved on Twitter. Tweet your support and retweet messages to let others see just how big of an issue this is.

Will you be attending any of the events above? We’ve love to hear from you. Join us on Twitter using #December17 and see just what is happening around the world. Violence against sex workers has to stop.

Lara Mills
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Lara Mills

Lara Mills is a writer who has four years of sex industry expertise behind her. Since she entered the adult industry, she has worked on the Escort Advertising forums, before moving into her current role three years ago.

Since then she has gained a fine reputation with her blogs on sex advice, sexual health and amusing news stories from around the globe. She is also a campaigner for the rights of sex workers from all over the world.

In her spare time, Lara keeps herself active by going running, and is something of a film buff. She also loves to go travelling.
Lara Mills
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