On 17 December we remember and commemorate the more than 140 sex workers who have been killed in the past year across the globe. Many others have lost their lives who have never hit the headlines. But we also acknowledge and count the ongoing struggle, led by sex workers to win safety and protection from rape and other violence, first of all by decriminalising sex work and getting the laws off our backs. Here in the UK we are demanding that the police do their job and prioritise protection over prosecution of sex workers. Fear of arrest and, if we are immigrant, deportation deter most sex workers from reporting. Some victims have been arrested for prostitution offences while their attackers go free. That’s how serial rapists and murderers are enabled and encouraged.
Alongside this we are fighting for acknowledgment for those of us who are mothers who are working to support and protect our families from harm in increasingly harsh economic times. We support the #makemumsafter film and campaign which highlights this important but hidden truth.
“These tears are both a token and a vow of combat.”