Yesterday, for the second year in a row, I participated in Red Umbrella Day (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers ). I learn so much from these events, and there is still so much work to do when it comes to making sure sex workers are safe, and respected.
We walked down one of our city’s main roads, carrying signs that read “Consent is Sexy,” “Sex Work is Real Work,” and “Respect Sex Workers.” We then participated in a candle light vigil and read off the names of victims who were killed in the last year.
Here are the names I read, and some info :
January Marie Lapuz –Age: 26 –From: Westminster, BC, Canada –Date: September 30 2012 –info: Transgender sex worker
Jessie Anne Wilson –From: Mt. Gambier, Australia –Date: October 1, 2012
15 Women –From: Rwanda –Date: September, 2012 –info: Unknown if connected mostly sex workers.
Julia –From: Kirovograd, Ukraine –Date: 2012
Karima –From: Limoges, France –Date: 2012 –info: Transgender, suicide
Maria Felix –From: Antigua and Barbuda –Date: 2012
Marland Anderson –Age: 39 –From:Los Angeles, CA –Date: April 8, 2012 –info: Undetermined cause of death, following altercation with LAPD.
Mike –From: Vancouver, BC, Canada –Date: 2012 –info: Vietnamese male escort.
You can find the full list of names from this year here: 2012 Names
The cumulative list of names can be found here: List of Names
Violence against sex workers is under-reported, and ignored. One of the organizers for the event said that often police reports involving the assault/murder of sex workers contain the language NHI or No Humans Involved. I found this particular bit of information, incredibly disturbing. Remember, we are all someone’s child.
It’s important to listen to the voices, and know the names of the people who were lost because our society is indifferent and ignorant. They are worthy of being noticed and heard.