Vancouver to unveil memorial to West End Sex Workers.
It’s been an 8 year journey for the West End Sex Workers Memorial Committee, and through their steadfast efforts and public advocacy, a memorial will come to fruition on September 16th.
The memorial will be dedicated to a community of sex workers expelled from Vancouver’s West End in the mid 80’s. Those were tough times and those expelled from the West End suffered from the injustice.
September 16, 11 am to 1:30 pm
St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis at Pendrell
The City has supported the installation of the memorial in the spirit of promoting the human rights of all residents and of reconciliation within our communities.
Safety and security for sex workers are a serious concern. Many lives have been lost over the years and those who have survived violence must live with this injustice. On December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the nation’s anti-prostitution laws. Sex workers were and continue to be disproportionately effected by danger and violence.
The LGBTQ2+ community has seen time and again that sex workers have been victimized. Trans sex workers may have suffered more than most as the discrimination they faced would sometimes lead to physical violence and even death. Vancouver has lost several souls over the decades and this memorial will bring some awareness, and for those most effected a sense that the greater community cares and is starting to understand the struggles sex workers faced and continue to face.
Back in 2007, Amsterdam’s red light district, known as De Wallen, unveiled a statue called Belle with the inscription “ Respect sex workers all over the world”.
Sex workers can be any gender. The term “sex worker” was coined by Carol Leigh, a sex worker activist back in 1978. Sex worker is now used by government agencies, World Health Organization and labour unions. The term “sex worker is also found in the Merriam-Webster’s and Oxford English dictionaries.