It’s not just violent clients who abuse sex workers

Today is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. There are 21 events happening in the U.S. alone; more are listed on the site. Too many sex workers are killed, raped, assaulted and abused because, to paraphrase Oregon serial killer Gary Ridgeway, they’re easy targets. Their work is often done clandestinely, and they typically can’t go to the police to report abuse since their work is largely illegal.

But it’s not just violent clients who do harm to sex workers. As Audacia Ray explains in this great piece, human rights abuses from the state, denial of HIV and other heath services, crackdowns by police and limitations on organizing also do real, tangible and sometimes life-threatening harm to sex workers. She concludes, “But violence doesn’t just come in the form of bad clients – more often, it is delivered by the institutions that are supposed to protect and improve the lives of citizens.”

Today, support the rights of sex workers — the rights to organize, to work without abuse, and to seek help when they need it.

A great big thanks RD for spreading the word and keeping us informed.

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3 comments for “It’s not just violent clients who abuse sex workers

  1. RD
    December 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you Jill. All very true.

  2. makomk
    December 19, 2010 at 7:05 am

    As I recall, a lot of groups that claim to be helping sex workers also harm them, many of them feminist. This is particularly true in Western countries like the UK. Of course, you’re somewhat less likely to read about that in the Guardian.

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