Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Intimate Partner Violence and Sex Work

Today is the first day of October, Domestic Violence Awareness month.

As an organization that promotes the rights and well-being of people involved in the sex trade, raising awareness about and addressing intimate partner violence in our community is incredibly important.DV-Awareness-Month1

Discussion on sex work and violence is prolific. People talk and write about the relationship between childhood sexual and domestic violence and work in the sex trade; about sex work as a form of violence against women or violence as inherent to the sex trade; about the murders of sex workers, and sexual violence at the hands of clients and strangers. Occasionally, discussion turns to stigma, criminalization, and violence at the hands of institutions and police. But violence against sex workers from those closest to sex workers is almost never discussed… And it should be.

As sex workers, we experience high rates of intimate partner violenceextra vulnerabilitieselevated levels of victim-blaming, and heightened barriers to getting professional and community support. And as participants in a fringe, if not underground economy, labor abuses and exploitation we experience is frequently similar to if not indistinguishable from intimate partner violence. 

This October, we’ll be using our blog to open discussion about and shed some light on intimate partner violence in our community. We invite current or former sex workers to participate by sharing thoughts, stories, essays or art work to publish on the SWOP-Chicago website.

If you’d to participate, please email We welcome anything and have included some ideas below. We’re also happy to provide editing support if you’d like.

Blog ideas include but are in no way limited to: art, first-person reflections, personal essays, tips on supporting sex workers targeting other sex workers, DV professionals, or friends and family, literature reviews, ideas on how to address intimate partner violence against sex workers, criticism of research, media, or culture, articles bringing together coverage of DV and sex work, and photos.

SWOP September Calendar – Edits + Additions!

Please note the following additions and changes to our activities calendar for the rest of the month!

  • Tue, September 16, 7-8:30 PM — Rescheduled Street Outreach in East Garfield Park

This week only we are rescheduling outreach to Tuesday

  • Wed, September 17, 12-1pm – PROS Network Member Brown-Bag Lunch

Final-Flyer-FOR-WEBLocation – Jane Addams Hull House – 800 S Halsted | Free + open to all social service providers.

SWOP-Chicago invites PROS Network Members and all service providers who work with individuals impacted by the sex trade to join us for a brown bag lunch meeting.

Register Online!

Contact Molly at with any questions!

  • Thu-Fri, September 18-19 – Toledo Prostitution, Sex Work and Trafficking Conference.

SWOP-Chicago members will be heading out to Toledo to attend the Prostitution, Sex Work and Trafficking Conference. For more information about the conference, see conference website!

  • Sun, September 21, 1:30-3:15 — Grant-Writing Training and Meeting

Location — Uptown.

We will have social time from 1:30-2:00, and the Fundraising and Grantwriting training and meeting will start promptly at 2pm.

Email to RSVP or for Address

  • Sun, September 21, 3:30-6:00 — New Board Member Orientation Session

Location — Uptown

SWOP-Chicago is excited to add 6 new members to our team! New board members are asked to join us for a crash-course on effective team leadership, strategic planning, facilitation, conflict resolution, and the role of a board in all-volunteer non-profits. A Subsequent New Board Member Orientation will be held for individuals unable to make this date.

  • Sun, September 28, 10:30-1:30PM – Last Sunday Sex Worker Social [Brunch]

Location – Ravenswood

Join us for mingling, mixing, good food and music and more! This event is open to current and former sex workers only.

Please RSVP to for address.

  • Sun, September 28, 2-3:30PM – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Planning Meeting

Location – Lincoln Square

Help us plan activities to commemorate December 17 — International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. 

Please RSVP to for address.

September SWOP Calendar

Recurring Events:

  • Every Thursday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.: Street-outreach at Sacramento and Madison. Come for coffee, snacks, resource-referrals and condoms. Email if you’d like volunteer.
  • Second Wednesday of the Month, 6:30-9:00 p.m:  Monthly SWOP Meeting at a NEW LOCATION in Pilsen.  Email for address.

End of August Events

  • August 31, 11am – 2pm Evening – Last Sunday Sex Worker Social

Location – Near Harold Washington Librarycat

SWOP-Chicago invites folks currently or previously involved in the adult entertainment industry & sex trade to join us for a social mixer.

 To RSVP, please email

September Events

  • Fri, September 3, 8 am – 5pm | Harm Reduction in the House Conference

UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St., Chicago

SWOP-Chicago will be joining a myriad of other amazing organizations to talk about harm-reduction approaches to providing services to different populations. We’ll be talking about…you guessed it[!] Harm reduction approaches to individuals involved in the sex trade.

For more information, see conference website

  • Sat, September 6, 6-9 pm – Monica Jones Reception + TJLP Zine Releasemonica

Location – Jane Addams Hull House – 800 S Halsted

Join Monica Jones, Project NIA, SWOP-Chicago + TJLP for an evening of food, celebration & community. For more information, click here!

  • Wed, September 10, 6:30-9 pm – Monthly Organizing Meeting

Pilsen | RSVP to for address

  • Wed, September 17, 12-1pm – PROS Network Member Brown-Bag Lunch

Final-Flyer-FOR-WEBLocation – Jane Addams Hull House – 800 S Halsted | Free + open to all social service providers.

SWOP-Chicago invites PROS Network Members and all service providers who work with individuals impacted by the sex trade to join us for a brown bag lunch meeting.

Register Online!

Contact Molly at with any questions!


  • Thu-Fri, September 18-19 – Toledo Prostitution, Sex Work and Trafficking Conference.

SWOP-Chicago members will be heading out to Toledo to attend the Prostitution, Sex Work and Trafficking Conference. For more information about the conference, see conference website!

** – Chicago-Land Sex Worker Events organized by other individuals and groups.

We’re excited about them, and think you might be too :-) 

9/6: Reception for Monica Jones + TJLP ‘Zine Release

Join Monica Jones, Project NIA, Sex Workers Outreach Project – Chicago & Transformative Justice Law Project on Saturday, September 6 for an evening of food, music, and community.


The reception will feature a talk by LBGT and Sex Worker Rights activist, Monica Jones, and speeches by individuals from the Transformative Justice Law Project to celebrate the release of the second volume of their ‘zine “Hidden Expressions.”

Saturday, September 6 | 6-9pm | Opening Remarks begin at 6:30pm

Jane Addams Hull House Museum | 800 S. Halsted,  Chicago, IL

About Monica Jones
monicaMonica Jones is an LGBT and sex worker rights activist who lives in Phoenix. She is a also a student at Arizona State University’s School of Social Work and a member of SWOP Phoenix (Sex Worker Outreach Project).

During sting operations lead by Project ROSE, a compulsory diversion program in May 2013, Monica spoke at a community event protesting the program. The next evening, as the Project ROSE stings continued, police arbitrarily arrested Monica and charged her with “manifesting prostitution.” Monica was convicted in April 2014 of “manifesting prostitution” and, with the help of the ACLU and SWOP Phoenix, is currently appealing the conviction.

Monica will be travelling to Australia to intern at the sex worker organization Scarlet Alliance.

About Hidden Expressions v. 2
We invite you to celebrate the release of the Transformative Justice Law Project’s (TJLP) Hidden Expressions Volume 2, a zine showcasing fabulous stories, artwork, erotica, how-to guides, survival tips, and poetry created by and for incarcerated transgender and gender nonconforming people. The goal of this publication is to combat the isolation and silence that the prison-industrial complex inflicts by connecting incarcerated trans and gender non-conforming people with each other, as well as with their friends, family, allies, and the larger Prison Abolition movement, both inside and outside of prisons and jails.

This volume is the result of two and a half years of mail correspondence and collaboration among three transgender women in prison and one trans woman on the outside. With this ‘zine, we aim to share our wisdom, stories, and strategies with each other, to support the revolutionary organizing that is happening already on the inside, and to set ourselves on our own path to liberation. We believe that as a collective of transgender people impacted by the prison system, we have the responsibility to support each other’s survival, and working on this ‘zine alone has breathed life into the four of us and our contributors. We are deeply inspired by these artists, writers, and revolutionaries, and we are thrilled to celebrate their resilience and resistance!

Sponsored by…
Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois | Sex Workers Outreach Project – Chicago | Project NIA

If you are unable to attend and want to support Monica Jones court costs and travel fees, you can donate directly via paypal to:


Thanks for Coming out to PROPAGANDA!

Thanks to everyone, so, so much that came to celebrate with us at PROPAGANDA this Saturday

It was an inspiring night of affirmation, celebration, and fun – you made it possible. Thanks also to our collaborators – we were honored to celebrate with Living Lounge and Slutwalk-Chicago and bring together three amazing communities!

As the SWOP-Chicago team jumps back into our normal routine of weekly outreach, answering warm-line calls, giving sensitivity trainings to service providers and students, and organizing workshops, peer-support events and advocacy, we have even more energy knowing how many people believe in Sex Workers Outreach Project-Chicago, sex worker rights, harm reduction, and our work.

With over 25 volunteers, 6 performers and 120 people at our benefit, we raised over $5200 at PROPAGANDA!

Please check out more absolutely gorgeous photos by Glitter Guts, and stay tuned for images from our roving Photographers on our SWOP-Chicago Facebook Page.

Got Photos from last Saturday? We would love to share them with our community!! Tweet them to us at @SWOPChicago, send them directly to, or post them on our facebook page.

Thank you again for your fantastic company, for making PROPAGANDA SWOP-Chicago’s most sucessful annual fundraiser ever, and for helping us prep financially for our big goals for the next year: moving into our own office space, launching a collaborative legal clinic with Lam Ho of CALA, organizing a sex worker art group and festival for 2015, and so much more.


The SWOP-Chicago Team


This SATURDAY: Unite Against Propaganda – Our 6th Annual Benefit!

Sex Workers Outreach Project – Chicago cordially invites you to join us for our 6th Annual Benefit: “Unite Against PROPAGANDA!”

WHEN: Sat, August 23 | 8pm-2am | Performances begin at 9PM

WHERE: Multikulti | 1000 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL


Registration is Available Online and at Door

SWOP-Chicago is committed to keeping all of our events accessible to all. Thus, we offer a suggested donation range for different entry options, and we invite you to give what feels comfortable while helping to sustain our work. All proceeds from this event will be used to support our work and be processed through our fiscal sponsor, Sex Workers Outreach Project, 501(c)3 organization.


Register Online | RSVP on Facebook | Get Raffle Tickets


MC | Eric Barry – Full Disclosure Podcast

PERFORMERS | Mara MayHem * Mister Junior * Anita Butch * Back Alley Sally * Carolina Honey * Emily Catherine Kissner

DJs | Malibu Stacey – FKA Mrs Doubtfire * DJ MASISI * Maria Bigbush


     photo  eros logo

CATERING BY | The Growling Rabbit | West Town Bakery | Emily Kuhnen | Kanina Enos


RAFFLE PRIZES INCLUDE | Mindy Chautevert - Signed copy of “Sex Workers Unite” | Leather Archives & Museum - Six free museum passes | Frank Farrelly/Nancy Angelair Salon - Single process color and haircut | Discovery Center - Two $25 Gift Certificates | Skyscraper Heels - Gift Certificate | TabooTabou – Gift basket | Studio L’Amour - Passes to Naked Girls Reading | NJoy – Prostate Stimulator | EROS - TBA | Early to Bed – Gift Basket | Lover’s Lane – A Touch of Romance Collection: Includes Candle, Massage Oil, Massage Cream, & Edible Bath Powder and Bath & Shower Gel | Kristen D’Angelo – “American Courtesans” [DVD] | Melisa Gira Grant – Signed Copy of “For Love or Money” | Z&H Market Cafe – Gift Basket | Harrington Park Press – “Male Sex Work and Society” | Early to Bed – Gift Basket | Melisa Gira Grant – Signed Copy of “For Love or Money” | Elizabeth Bernstein – Signed Copy of “Temporarily Yours” | Katherine Frank – Signed Copy of “Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex” | Flirty Girl Fitness – 5-Punch Gift Card, good for up to 5 classes | Milk Handmade – Girl’s Night Out Cocktail Evening | Roscoe Village Bikes – Bike Tune-Up | Laura Murray & Penelope Saunders – A Kiss for Gabriella DVD (2) | Pleasure Chest – Chicago – Gift Bag & Gift Certificate | Revolution Brewery – Gift Bag with $25.00 Gift Card, 6-Pack, & 2 Koozies | Seka – Signed Copy of Autobiography “Inside Seka” | Tulip – TBA | Women & Children First – $25 Giftcard | Chicago Diner – Gift certificate | Capitol News/Lover’s Playground – Gift Basket | Shangri-La Vintage – Vintage LP “How to Pleasure Your Lover” |Black Label Zomi Cuff Kit | Rebel Toyfriend (black vibrator) – Wet for Her Jules (pink vibrator) | Two Pocket Toyfriends (mini-vibrators) | Tempo Unisex Anal Stimulator | Ren Skinscare (shampoo – conditioner – bodywash set) | Harness and Strap-on set