The St James Infirmary in San Francisco is running a poster campaign with the tag line of Someone you know is a sex worker. The campaign is their first major media campaign featuring local sex workers to raise public awareness about sex workers rights. The campaign is based on a number of photographs of sex workers with different slogans. St James wanted to run a bill board campaign, but like swaay found no advertising company would run it. Instead it is being run as posters in the public transport system, the MUNI, and I assume the BART.
The goal is to raise awareness of sex workers rights, and educate the community that sex workers are equal members of society. The vast majority of media coverage on the topic of sex work focuses on trafficking, leaving little room to discuss real issues that effect sex workers. The statistics quoted by well funded anti-trafficking media campaigns are often highly inflated and under-researched, as evidenced by the recent article “Real Men Get Their Facts Straight” by Martin Cizmar et al that appeared initially in the Village Voice and also in the SF Weekly (June 29, Volume 30 Number 23). SJI believes that biased research leads to harmful policies, and leads legislators to channel funding to law enforcement rather than housing and health care.
Coverage of this story appeared in the Huffingtonpost.