A Brief History of SWOP:
Community is at the core of SWOP and has been since its inception in 2003, when Bay Area sex workers rallied around school teacher and fellow sex worker Shannon Williams,protesting her arrest and mistreatment.
In 2004, SWOP co-founders Stacey Swimme and Robyn Few teamed up with Dr. Annie Sprinkle to honor the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle, designating December 17th as International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. SWOP-USA continues to honor Dec 17th by hosting a multilingual website with advocate toolkits, global event details, and annual list of names, as well as providing event funding to local SWOP chapters and related groups.
Since it’s founding in the Bay Area, SWOP has grown into a national network of regional chapters and local activists. This network works together to address stigma and criminalization through peer support, community outreach, media engagement, allied collaborations, and direct action. As the issue of sex worker rights emerges into mainstream consciousness, SWOP will be here to serve as a vehicle to bolster the work and voices of social justice advocates across the nation.