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.
- 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
- 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 →
- SURVIVORS NOT CRIMINALS: OVERHAUL OF MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT POLICIES ARE A MONUMENTAL TURNING POINT IN ANTI-SEX TRAFFICKING EFFORTS, ACCORDING TO FEMINIST ACTIVISTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: AF3IRM LOS ANGELES [email protected] Los Angeles, CA - Transnational feminist activists from AF3IRM Los Angeles applaud the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the passage of the Massage Establishment Ordinance on January 28, 2020, and urge the Board of Supervisors to remove a provision from the ordinance that would allow … Continue reading SURVIVORS NOT CRIMINALS: OVERHAUL OF MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT POLICIES ARE A MONUMENTAL TURNING POINT IN ANTI-SEX TRAFFICKING EFFORTS, ACCORDING TO FEMINIST ACTIVISTS →
- Decolonize Your “Sex Work” Stance: An open letter to 2020 candidates
Dear 2020 Presidential Candidates: We respectfully write to you as an organization of ordinary women frustrated with the incursions of capitalism into our neighborhoods and intimate relationships. We have seen the pressure mounting on you to take a stance on prostitution — one of the most devastating issues for Native and immigrant women. We appreciate … Continue reading Decolonize Your “Sex Work” Stance: An open letter to 2020 candidates →
- Ending Entitlement to Female and Feminized Bodies is Central to Women’s Liberation
AF3IRM Purple Rose Campaign and AF3IRM International Department Contact: Connie Huynh [email protected] 323-813-4272 We of AF3IRM, a multi-ethnic organization of primarily women of color engaged in transnational feminism, view with extreme alarm the on-going disinformation regarding the sex trade. One of the most grievous of such disinformation is that pimps, traffickers, recruiters, brothel keepers, and … Continue reading Ending Entitlement to Female and Feminized Bodies is Central to Women’s Liberation →