JAN 10 • Thank you so much for your fair and balanced coverage of the 15th Annual IDTEVASW. Since 2012 SWOP and SAFE have strived to stand up and speak out in Philly on issues specific to stigma and gratuitous violence against sex workers. Folks are always amazed at how hard and painful this event is to do, yet in the end how truly blessed we are to be able to come together to do it. Many households in most areas of Greater Philadelphia, if not all of PA, are touched somehow by this issue. Talking about sex work and prostitution is hard. Living in shame and silence is harder. D/17 is not fun, though it is full of love. Truly. We are here because we have been there, and we care. Our voice is their voice. Thank you for covering the memorial. Words cannot even express the gratitude I feel right now. Philly is proving we got LOVE!
The date of December 17th was selected for the observance because it was on that date in 2003 that Gary Leon Ridgeway, the notorious Green River Killer, was sentenced for his crimes. “Between July of 1982 and January of 1998 Ridgeway was responsible for the deaths of dozens of women and girls in King County, Washington, the county that includes the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. Many of his victims were prostitutes and others marginalized by society, such as runaways. Ridgeway was sentenced to 48 consecutive life terms for his crimes plus 480 additional years; a plea agreement eliminated the possibility of the death penalty. The first International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers was observed on the day he was sentenced and utilized art as sublimation through the conflicting emotions of relief, grief, anger and fear.
Support Safety: Oppose Bill SB 1204 that criminalizes sex workers associating with each other or with supporters for safety, information and support.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Inauguration: Today we start the long road towards empowering and protecting some of our most vulnerable witnesses and survivors: immigrants that lack legal status so that they like other vulnerable groups - young people, elderly people, sex workers - can participate in the criminal justice system that is there to protect them. Today we trade fear for sanctuary.
The HIV Criminalization Sourcebook includes the text, related case law, and analysis of statutory provisions that: 1. criminalize non-disclosure of HIV status or exposure of a third party to HIV; 2. make exceptions to confidentiality and privacy rights of PLHIV; 3. provide for sentence enhancements for PLHIV convicted of underlying crimes such as prostitution and solicitation; and 4. require sex offender registration for PLHIV.
Eris Vayle and M. Dante joined Representative Elizabeth Edwards with public television hostess Elizabeth Kopp and Granite Pathways Ryan Fowler for a live stream discussion on Public Safety & Harm Reduction after the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee had a subcommittee meet to work on HB 287, a bill retained by the Legislature for further work, with the fascinating title of “Establishing a Committee to Study Decriminalizing Sex Work.”
Global Women’s Strike testified in support of a bill to decriminalize prostitution in New Hampshire. A Sub Committee of the NH Legislature agreed to study the issue and are meeting on September 5. Please see Action Alert from the US PROStitutes Collective and write or call sub-committee members in support of decriminalization!