International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

December 17 marks the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and is observed annually by sex workers, their advocates, friends, families, and allies. The day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers worldwide as well as the need to remove the social stigma and discrimination that have contributed to violence against sex workers and indifference from the communities they are a part of. Sex workers are disproportionately affected by all kinds of violence: research has shown that 73.5% of sex workers in Liverpool have experienced violence in the course of their work, with 48% of those having been raped at least once (Stoops & Campbell, 2008). Because of the especially high levels of sexual violence sex workers are at risk of, EC is a critical component of their health care and needs to be readily accessible and available to them. We need to make a concerted effort to ensure that services are “sex worker friendly” and open and welcoming to this community, as with all communities. There is a continued need to ensure that all women who need EC can access it in a timely fashion and free from judgment or condemnation. In light of this, let’s make December 17 the day we take action to improve services for sex workers.

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