Mother of the Numbers: Defining Sex Worker Murders

A Tribute to Norma Jean Almodovar at



International Sex Work Foundation for Art, Culture and Education:


    • Art is a powerful tool by which we can share ourselves, our lives, our goals, our issues.
    • Sex Workers come from a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and have historically contributed much to the literary and artistic world.


  • Our Foundation is dedicated to the collection, display and permanent preservation of the art, culture and information by and about sex workers past and present, from around the world. . . .
  • Our goal is to educate and create an atmosphere which encourages the artistic growth of current, ex and transitioning sex workers, and stimulates the academic research necessary to positively impact the lives of men and women in sex work. . . .


International Sex Work Foundation for Art Culture and Education  is probably one of the least known sex work organizations in the nation, but ISWFACE was the first non-profit in the United States to take on the challenge of public discussion of  sex work rights. Probably most well known for her dedication to keeping the numbers when it comes to issues of police and prostitution,  I am honored to have met industry inspiration Norma Jean Almodovar in October 2015 when I  traveled to California to testify at an Information Hearing  on Human  Trafficking which I attended with ESPLERP’s Maxine Doogan, Starchild, Ms. R. and members of the California ACLU and former Office of the Attorney General. After visiting Sacramento and San Francisco, we traveled down to Los Angeles where ESPLERP, ESPU, SWOP Los Angeles met with ISWFACE to better understand why our community alliances and continued efforts are so essential. With December 17th coming up I reached out to ISWFACE to pay tribute to her dedication, and see what her thoughts are on staying active in activism, sex work,  social justice, and statistics:


That’s a really difficult question to answer. One likes to believe that the blood, sweat and tears that one pours into one’s passion are worth it, because otherwise why do it?

There is no money in following this cause, and it cost me so much.


At the end of my life, will I have changed anything for anyone? I don’t know.


 I do know that I have to keep trying, and keep paying whatever price it costs, because it is the path I chose and must continue to follow.


Could I have lived a different life and been happy? I don’t know.


Am I happy with the life I have? Absolutely.


Would I do it all again? Yes.


Does that make it worth it? I guess it does.


The specific purposes of this corporation are:


  • to serve as an educational resource center for serious research and other information about prostitution and sex work in order to provide the public with access to these academic reports and studies;
  • to foster, perpetuate and preserve an appreciation of the art and culture created by and about sex workers;
  • to establish and maintain a permanent collection of art (including but not limited to paintings, sculpture, photos, writings, etc.) and related archival materials created by and about sex workers, past and present, throughout the world and provide for their display, both through regular exhibits throughout the world and through the creation of a cyberspace museum;
  • to educate the public about sex workers, their art and culture;
  • to provide economic alternatives and opportunities for creative, artistic sex workers, to enable them to transition out of prostitution and into another profession if they are so inclined;
  • and to contribute or otherwise assist corporations, organizations and institutions in the fields of health care, law enforcement and education through the dissemination of accurate, timely information relating to this important social and political issue.