The call to mark December 17 as the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers began in 2003 as a memorial for the victims of the Green River killer in Seattle.
This annual day of remembrance serves to raise awareness about the high level of violence sex workers face on a regular basis. The fact is sex workers face assault, battery, rape, and murder on a regular basis, and yet, there is this general attitude that violence against sex workers is somehow expected and therefore accepted.
Surely, we must agree that violence against anyone is not acceptable. Our current laws put sex workers at great risk of violence, and deny them equal access to justice and police protection when they are the victims of crime.
As we honour and remember the victims, we must also renew our commitment to end the violence by taking action to end the perpetuation of the stigmas associated with sex workers.