No safety net for sex workers of Waterloo Region

Amy Veener of SWAN-Waterloo and ACCKWA. Photo by Ivan Angelovski.
Dan Kellar - CKMS - KitchenerON | 17-12-2020

Host: Ivan Angelovski

Dec. 17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

In most years, to commemorate the day, Kitchener and Waterloo would be painted in red, with sex workers and advocates coming together, carrying red umbrellas, a symbol for sex workers rights. 

Those rights are in danger even in the best of times. During the pandemic, sex workers are especially vulnerable. 

CKMS spoke with Amy Venner of ACCKWA (the AIDS Committee Of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area), who is also a co-chair of SWAN (Sex Workers Action Network of Waterloo Region) to talk about the pandemic's impact on sex workers. Venner said violence against sex workers had increased in the last year. The pandemic has also presented challenges for community services for sex workers and Venner said organizations are working to adapt and maintain support.

"[At] SWAN, we see you. We see [that] sex workers in this pandemic are struggling so we want to offer whatever we can," Venner said.

To follow along with the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on social media networks, use the hashtag #IDEVASW 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

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The music was Blackroom by Moby, courtesy of