If you are reading this, then it’s likely that you have at least contemplated purchasing the services of a sex worker.
If you live in NSW in Australia, then you have nothing to worry about – today – if however you live in Victoria, then your right as an adult to buy sex is under threat. The Victorian Liberal party has recently announced that they have adopted the “client criminalisation” model for regulating sex work (they call it “Nordic model” so it sounds nicer) and will take that policy to the next election in Victoria.
I don’t want to rehash why this is bad for everyone (including sex workers) in this post. If you are interested, then google “why the Nordic model does not work”. Suffice to say Amnesty International, the WHO, and basically anyone who values evidence and harm reduction has condemned it. Sadly, it’s popular in certain feminist circles that want to abolish sex work, and unsurprisingly with conservative and right wing political parties.
What’s happening in Victoria is the thin edge of the wedge in this country in what has, since the US recently past their FOSTA/SESTA laws, become an undeclared war on sex work. NSW (and New Zealand) with our full decriminalisation of sex work sit, like calm little eyes, in a growing global storm.
Sex workers are uniquely vulnerable as a group. Publicly supporting us and our right to work safely is very difficult for anyone given the stigma that surrounds our industry, so we tend to have to fight our battles on our own.
I am writing this though to ask for your support because it’s no-longer just about us. If you would like to be, or are a client of sex workers, then the zeitgeist is trying to turn you into a criminal. If you can publicly support the message that sex work is work (not abuse, not trafficking) then I for one will be very grateful.
If you can sign the various petitions calling for the protection of sex workers, that will definitely help.
You could also consider making a donation to the sex worker organisations that fight to protect people like me. They do hugely important work helping to protect the rights and safety of sex workers, talking to government and media, conducting research, and more – all of it on very minimal funding. In Victoria you can donate to the Vixen Collective and in NSW it’s Scarlet Alliance.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you too for any support you can give.