It is a shocking and sad fact that many women working in the sex industry live in fear of violence. Sex workers are often victims of violent and senseless attacks which can have devastating and sometimes fatal consequences. This is the second year that the Basis Sex Work Project has run a campaign to raise money and awareness to support those women who have been victims of violence. Through “17 Days of Action” we’ll be hosting a series of events to mark the 17th of December 2017; International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This year our campaign is bigger than ever and we are excited to share with you all the events we have planned for December and to let you know how you can get involved.
Confirmed Events for #17 Days of Action
- 5th Dec: A Lolshevism comedy night with ex sex worker and comedian Miranda Kane
- 9th Dec: Information stall and collection tin in Leeds (by the St Johns centre)
- 15th Dec. All night outreach and #17hours all night cycling challenge
- 17th Dec Flash mob and remembrance event
Other events (dates to be confirmed):
- Spoken word: poem performances with live music (date tbc)
- Market stall at Leeds Kirkgate market where you can buy Christmas gifts and Basis products (tbc)
- Various fundraising events at our local pubs, restaurants and cafes (dates tbc).
- Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for updates on these events.
How can you support us with the campaign?
There are many ways you can get involved with and become a part of our campaign:
Attend and share information about our events – keep updating by liking our Facebook Page and following us on Twitter (@basissexwork)
Donate on our campaign page or through texting BSXW17 £5 to 7007
Post a picture of a “Red Umbrella” and give your pledge to #EVASW #17daysofaction and ask your friends to the same – tag us in!
Whether you are coming along to have a laugh with Miranda Kane, or to hear the real life stories of the women we support in their own words performed through spoken word poetry, we would love to see you there. We would also like to welcome any professionals who may come into contact with sex workers to our free training and awareness event (date tbc) to ensure that everyone working with sex workers are aware of the awful challenges they face.
All Night Outreach
On the 15th December our dedicated staff and volunteers will be running the outreach bus in Holbeck all night from 8pm – 4am whilst those back at the office will be completing an all night cycle ride with staff and volunteers swapping in to keep the bike moving. We will need as many people as possible at the office for support and to keep morale strong! There will also be practical tasks that will need carrying out on the night such as keeping the van stocked up with condoms, food and drinks etc. If you would like to get involved we can promise you a crazily busy night where you will be able to meet the majority of our staff and get a real sense of what we do and what it feels like to be at the heart of a Basis campaign. If you can’t make it down to the office than you can also support us by donating to our campaign page here.
Christmas Celebtrations with service users
We’ll also be holding a number of events for our service users including a Christmas event and a winter well being event. If you have any warm clothes, blanket, or Christmas decorations lying around that you no longer use then please send them our way!
Our Drop-In is run Monday-Wednesday from 1pm-4pm every week ad donations can be dropped off here.
You can continue to support us and our campaign by liking our twitter @BasisYorkshire and @BasisSexWork, and our Facebook page as well as following our 17 Days of Action Instagram account which will be documenting all aspects of the campaign!
You can also show your support for the campaign by posting a picture of a red umbrella to your own social media pages with the #17DaysofAction to show your solidarity with the women we support.
Background to the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Everyday in Leeds alone we witness or hear about some of the horrific violence women working in the sex industry endure. Sadly however this is not isolated to our city alone but occurs all over the world. International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was originally developed by Dr Annie Sprinkle and the founder of the Sex Workers Outreach Project Robyn Few in the USA to make people aware of the “epidemic of violence” sex workers face. It began as a memorial for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington who murdered at least 71 women between 1982-1998, most of whom were sex workers. Since then it has grown to unite sex worker rights organisations and charities around the word to raise awareness and money for those victims of violence with the aim being to address stigma and discrimination which can so often lead to violence.