Today is a day of awareness and memorial for sex workers around the world. Because of the illegal status of sex work and the low status of women in many countries, sex workers are a particular target of violence. (Transgendered sex workers face the same levels of violence as female sex workers.)
I don’t have any stats handy right now, but a large number of sex workers have been murdered through 2007 in the US and Canada. Most of these cases will never be solved. (Many other sex workers have simply disappeared and are presumed dead.) And every day sex workers are assaulted (sexually and violently). Their abusers have no fear of being brought to justice.
This is only the 5th Annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. But awareness of the issue is growing. We can’t actually hope to end violence against sex workers until we erase violence against all women, but at least we can make the world aware that sex workers are humans and deserve basic human rights. Their abuse or loss of life affects more than themselves.