.Paralegal and Accounting Scholarships for incarcerated Sex Workers will be distributed on December 17, 2020
We have distributed more than 60 scholarships since 2016 and ALL of our scholarship recipients have completed their courses successfully. This year we will be granting advanced scholarships for 10 of our previous recipients so they can continue their educational journey. As always, incarcerated scholarship applicants who identify as trans and people of color with be prioritized, but your generosity has always allowed us to provide scholarships for every qualified applicant. We hope to provide 25 scholarships this year at a general cost of $900 each for course material, proctoring and postage.
Its that time of year again!
December 17 is right around the corner. Last year, sex worker rights organizations were widely recognized for the 16th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in both mainstream press as well as all of the listserves and blogs posts and social media was just LIT UP with images of events from a round the world.
As we approach the end of 2020, our community both decimated by COVID 19 and yet more connected than ever – we are continuing to see sex work conflated with trafficking and harm inflicted by law enforcement, health officials, public safety, legislators and the ever present anti trafficking rescue industrial complex discussing our lives without the courtesy of actually speaking with us. But they can’t deny that our community surged to protect its own through one of the most viral mutual aid drives throughout the world. Completely organic in design and implementation – sex workers rallied to the task of caring for each other using harm reduction protocols that we are all too familiar with. We supplied each other with masks and condoms and safety and health information and even worked to provide emergency funds to help community members who didn’t even know we existed.
In politics, alongside conversations about COVID 19 – “Do you support decriminalization of sex work?” is a question being asked of every single candidate and the responses vary. Some have written it into the fabric of their campaign and others are intentionally choosing not to answer the question. We know many of the candidates have a pretty dismal record when it comes to their treatment of sex workers and most of us who are fighting stigma and discrimination on a daily basis would rather eat dirt than vote for them.
We also know that throughout the country, police departments and the FBI have increased their efforts to arrest and cage us under the guise of anti-trafficking rhetoric, even though they know very well that consensual sex work is “a thing” and they are trying to look like the heroes that they definitely aren’t. It must be really confusing to our allies – and even our fence sitting would-be allies – to try to determine what exactly is the difference between sex work and sex trafficking.
The FBI has “rebranded” its annual search for the elusive child victim of trafficking because it was becoming general knowledge that they were only arresting consensual adults and the general public is starting to get a little miffed that police resources are being spent on the low hanging fruit of prostitution stings and the complicated narrative that is sex trafficking. Couldn’t these resources be used better? Like testing the thousands of rape kits and really focusing on ending mass shootings?
From South Florida to Seattle, we have seen immigrants and migrant workers targeted by law enforcement in massage parlor stings where law enforcement doesn’t even try to be culturally competent and proceeds with these raids without interpreters and knowing they have no services to offer these adult workers – even if they were found to be forced or coerced. The Super Bowl myths continue to be proliferated and the 2021 event in Tampa is already being hyped as a sex trafficking Mecca for the invisible traffickers.
Violence against sex workers is worse than it has ever been and its impact will once again be recognized around the world on the week of December 17, 2020. Most of the events will be virtual and we urge our community members to both join SWOP and to continue to keep each other safe by prioritizing safety and health – just like we always do!HOLIDAY LETTER WRITING PARTIES START HERE!.Want to host a letter writing party to incarcerated sex workers before, during or after your December 17 event?
It’s easy to do and lots of fun! Getting mail over the holidays can make a person feel like there is someone out there who cares and connected. Please consider signing up to send holiday mail to incarcerated sex workers this year!Donating money to SWOP Behind Bars helps us fight for incarcerated sex workers as well as fight to keep folks OUT of jail!VOLUNTEER with SWOP Behind Bars on our community support line or chat for support line!Copyright © *2020 SWOPUSA Behind Bars, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
340 S Lemon Ave
Walnut CA 91789