Purple Rose Campaign

About the Campaign

We launched the Purple Rose Campaign in February 1989 as GABRIELA Network to fight against the sex trafficking of women and children, and the work has evolved since then to include combatting sexual and gender-based violence, sexploitation, and fetishization. Each year, AF3IRM marks February 14th as Purple Rose Day to renew our commitment to this work and bring awareness to these issues.

Why Purple Rose?

Roses, by nature, were never purple. Purple roses were bred and made exotic by human will. They exist not for their own evolutionary purposes, but for the pleasure and profit of others. Women and child victims of trafficking are no different from the Purple Rose. They are reduced to becoming mere objects of pleasure and sources of profits. Forced by poverty, commodified and enslaved by globalization, women and children have become Purple Roses.

Select Hallmarks of the Purple Rose Campaign

  • International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 (IMBRA): The campaign won a monumental legislative victory with the inclusion of Mail Order Brides into IMBRA under the definition of trafficked women. This expanded access to resources and immigration rights to these survivors. This was a key victory as mostly women of color, particularly Asian and Pacific Islander women, were being trafficked across borders through the Mail Order Bride system and were historically excluded from many rights and resources in the United States.
  • #NotYourFetish: The Los Angeles Chapter launched a direct action campaign against the band “Day Above Ground” that had released a sexist, racist video depicting Asian women as sexual objects. Hundreds of women participated in the hashtag campaign to raise awareness around fetishization, the band’s label dropped them as an artist, and the House of Blues released them from using their venue.
  • Response to Slut Walk: In 2011 in coordination with Black Women’s Blueprint in NY, AF3IRM published a response to the Slut Walk. This statement uplifted transnational, im/migrant, women of color voices in standing firmly against any form of sexual exploitation.
  • Justice Not Charity: In 2013, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, AF3IRM announced our Justice Not Charity campaign that sought to work with women and local organizations on the ground to address sexual violence and trafficking after disasters.
  • Response to Amnesty International: In 2015  Amnesty International passed a policy to work towards legalizing prostitution. AF3IRM responded swiftly with a public commitment to combat the institutionalization of sexual exploitation. See statement here.
  • #SurvivorsNotCriminals Campaign: In 2018 the LA Chapter launched a local, city campaign to decriminalize prostituted women in massage parlors.

Related Statements and Releases

  • DEAR SISTERS

    Contact: AF3IRM Seattle, [email protected] Today on February 14th, AF3IRM observes Purple Rose Day in honor of those exploited by sex trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, and fetishization. This is a day to reaffirm the struggle to end gender-based violence and the exploitation of women, children, and gender-oppressed people. The purple … Continue Reading ››

  • AF3IRM LOS ANGELES CONDEMNS LA CITY’S DECISION TO HOST THE SUPER BOWL LVI

    Contact: AF3IRM Los Angeles || [email protected] AF3IRM Los Angeles (AF3IRM LA) condemns the city’s decision to host the Super Bowl LVI at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Sunday, February 13, 2022, as the planned increase in police presence will result in increased sweeps and raids, displacement of our unhoused neighbors, and criminalization of Los … Continue reading AF3IRM LOS ANGELES CONDEMNS LA CITY’S DECISION TO HOST THE SUPER BOWL LVI →

  • Putting a STOP to legalizing sexploitation in Oregon

    A WIN for AF3IRM Portland! AF3IRM Portland has been working with a coalition of survivor-led organizations since late 2021 to DISMANTLE Initiative Petition 42 (IP 42), AKA the Oregon ballot measure which was deceptively titled the "Sex Worker Rights Act", when it pushed to further protect buyers, pimps, and brothels, and increase … Continue Reading … Continue reading Putting a STOP to legalizing sexploitation in Oregon →

  • AF3IRM calls out CNN segment for normalization of prostitution, commodification of women’s bodies

    AF3IRM and abolition allies demand equal time after Sunday’s ‘This Is Life’ segment denied airtime to the sex industry’s most vulnerable women. While we acknowledge CNN and Lisa Ling’s efforts in her This Is Life segment titled “Sex Work, Past, Present and Future” (aired on Sunday, October 24), to take on … Continue Reading ››

  • Kipling and the world’s oldest profession: an imperialist lie

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  • AF3IRM Stands In Solidarity With Our Slain Sisters In Georgia

    Contact: Connie HuynhNational Chairperson, [email protected] It is with a heavy heart that AF3IRM condemns the recent murders of mostly Asian women at several Georgia massage establishments. Eight people were killed on Tuesday night, six of them were Asian women, four of those women were Korean nationals. While Georgia officials have not confirmed that these murders … Continue reading AF3IRM Stands In Solidarity With Our Slain Sisters In Georgia →

  • Dear Sisters: A LOVE LETTER

    Every year, AF3IRM chapters observe Purple Rose Day in order to honor those impacted by sex trafficking and sexual exploitation and to renew our commitment to the work of ending gender-based violence.  After some setbacks due to weather, we made it out to Aurora on February 17, and placed our memorial at the cross sections … Continue reading Dear Sisters: A LOVE LETTER →

  • For our Sisters and Grandmothers: Purple Roses Up!

    Contact: Connie HuynhNational Chairperson, [email protected] On February 14th of every year--what is widely recognized as Valentine’s Day in this place we call the U.S.--AF3IRM observes Purple Rose Day. While the rest of society partakes in (or rejects) the commodification of romance, every year on this day AF3IRM recommits to ending the commodification of women … … Continue reading For our Sisters and Grandmothers: Purple Roses Up! →

  • Speaking up for Ourselves and Listening to Survivors: AF3IRM Names Digital Violence As a Form of Violence Against Women

    Contact: Connie HuynhAF3IRM National Chairperson, [email protected] EspinosaAF3IRM National Programme Coordinator, [email protected] “Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – … … Continue reading Speaking up for Ourselves and Listening to Survivors: AF3IRM Names Digital Violence As a Form of Violence Against Women →

  • THE PURPLE ROSE, RADIANT & DEFIANT: A DECOLONIZED CAMPAIGN HONORING & UPLIFTING SURVIVORS

    Purple roses in various shades of defiance flood social media on February 14, marking the 21st year of the Purple Rose Campaign, the bedrock of AF3IRM’s organizing history. The Purple Rose has symbolized our work in ensuring liberation-- the kind that’s uncompromising, unanchored from patriarchal demands that lead to exploitation-- for all womankind. The Purple … Continue reading THE PURPLE ROSE, RADIANT & DEFIANT: A DECOLONIZED CAMPAIGN HONORING & UPLIFTING SURVIVORS →

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