Fort Lauderdale March To Remember Murdered Sex Workers

Dec 16, 2015

They will sing songs, recite poetry and read the names of sex workers who have been killed this year.

All across the country, different events will take place on Thursday (Dec. 17), to commemorate International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers.

In Fort Lauderdale, the newly formed chapter of Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA) is hosting a one-mile awareness march.

Activists say violence against sex workers is widespread and largely goes unreported due to stigma and criminalization.

A 2011 study found that within a three-month period 34 percent of Miami-based sex workers say they were victims of violence committed by their clients.

“This is an opportunity for us to really reach out to each other and to build our community and to start participating and to be at the table on how we deal with sex work in South Florida,” said Diana Hemingway, Florida chapter representative for SWOP-USA.

On december17.org, a website about the day, organizers write, these events will simultaneously raise awareness around “violence against trans women, against women of color, against drug users, against immigrants.”

It continues, “We cannot end the marginalization and victimization of all sex workers without also fighting trans-phobia, racism, stigma and criminalization of drug use, and xenophobia.”

Hemingway says the Fort Lauderdale march will be an opportunity to start organizing local sex workers and assess the needs of the community.

“The violence that we suffer is not only the bad guy that wants to hurts or kill us or rape us,"  said Hemingway. "It’s also the system itself that universally makes it difficult for us to live.”

If you go:

International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers 1 Mile March

Dec 17, 10 a.m.

Sears parking lot, 901 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

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