International Women’s Day Statement

International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909 as an acknowledgement and celebration of working women everywhere. It should come as no surprise that this day carries great significance for sex workers, and while not all sex workers are women, the importance of highlighting that sex work is work remains.

This March 8th, SWOP-USA is very pleased to announce that we will be entering into a partnership with Pornhub. On December 17th 2019 they donated $10,000 to us to honor and uphold all of the sex workers that we lost in that year. They recently approached us looking to establish a more formalized partnership beginning with International Women’s Day, and will be donating $50,000 to SWOP-USA. 

“Today, sex workers are often stigmatized, marginalized and criminalized and face constant discrimination, violence and abuse. To help eradicate this prejudice and injustice, we’re proud to announce an official partnership with SWOP-USA and a $50,000 donation,” said Corey Price, VP, Pornhub. “We look forward to working alongside SWOP-USA to spread awareness and educate the public and policy-makers on the direct and institutional harms committed against sex workers and their communities.”

In our internal discussions about this partnership the first and most important aspect that came to us is that we want to ensure that this generous donation is reinvested into the sex worker community and in direct services to sex workers. We are still in discussion with Pornhub on how our partnership will unfold and are thrilled to announce several forthcoming projects.

We will begin a national pilot sex worker bail-out fund in collaboration with SWOP Behind Bars. During the recent Super Bowl in Miami, SWOP Behind Bars was able to assist in the release of 83 sex workers who were targetted for arrest under the guise of anti-trafficking strings. The spectre of arrest is something that hangs over the heads of so many sex workers, and the violence of being seperated from friends and family and potentially losing housing or other employment is inexcusable. As we continue our fight for full decriminalization of sex work, being able to get sex workers out of prison sooner on bail is essential harm reduction. 

Additionally we will be using a large portion of these funds to further resource our Community Support Line (877-776-2004). We have seen nearly a doubling of calls to our CSL year over year since the passing of SESTA/FOSTA. We have been operating the CSL on a shoe-string budget for a long time, and this will allow us to expand both our staffing and the research project that SWOP Behind Bars has been conducting for over a year on the coalition between human trafficking and the prison industrial complex. 

Finally we will be partnering with Pornhub to create content for their Sexual Wellness Center We will work with other sex workers in our network and communities to develop educational content that will be promoted across the PH network to raise awareness about the fight to decriminalize sex work. These materials will specifically focus on the intersectional violences and oppressions that are compounded for Black and brown sex workers, especially trans sex workers. We will be reaching out to a variety of sex workers who are most directly impacted by criminalization and compensating them for their time and expertise in the creation of this content. 

We are very excited to move forward in this partnership with PornHub in mutuality and collaboration. For too long the gap between sex workers and companies that make direct profit from our work has been vast. We believe that this is one of the first steps in moving in tandem as sex workers and institutions to fight for the rights and dignity of all sex workers and to fight for full decriminalization. 

On this International Women’s Day we are thrilled to embark on this new journey and hold up sex work as work!