For Immediate Release 12/11/2017
The Community United for Safety and Protection (CUSP) will host Alaska’s 5th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in Anchorage Sunay, December 17, 1 PM, at the Alaska Center for Alternative Lifestyles, located at 420 West 3rd Avenue in Anchorage (the old Potluck Events). This year there will be a memorial for Patty Phelps (aka Peppermint Patty), our community member whose murder earlier this year is still unsolved – like those of 17 other Anchorage sex workers since 1990.
The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was started after Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer, was caught and confessed to killing over 90 women, most of them sex workers. Similar to Alaska’s sex worker serial killer, Robert Hansen, Ridgeway said that he thought he could kill sex workers for as long as he wanted because no one cared about them. Community United for Safety and Protection will join other sex worker groups across the globe who observe this day to raise visibility of the harms of criminalization.
It was just a year ago that Community United for Safety and Protection released results of a statewide poll exposing Alaskans’ views on sex work. “When you have a statewide poll that shows 90% of Alaskan voters believe should be against the law for police officers to have sexual contact or intercourse with individuals they are investigating and that legislation has been opposed by law enforcement, it shows who is out of step,” said Maxine Doogan. “As a nation and state reeling from the sexual assault and harassment allegations, it would be in Alaska’s best interest to pass House Bill 112, which would make it illegal for police officers to have sex with people in Alaska’s sex trade regardless of if we’re here by force or otherwise.”
The Community United for Safety and Protection is a group of current and former sex workers, including sex trafficking victims, and their allies advocating for safety and protection for everyone in Alaska’s sex trades.