Activism, Industry Voices, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

SA sex workers call for new laws to make it clear they’re not criminals

“GRACE Bellavue had only slept with two boys in her whole life the day she walked into an Adelaide brothel, aged 17, and had sex with 13 men in one night.

Fresh out of school, she had landed the job just hours before, after an interview in which she’d naively turned up in a business suit and presented her resume, along with a fake ID. Clocking on for her first shift with her hair and make-up done, and wearing an outfit she’d bought especially for the occasion, the wide-eyed teen hoped to emulate the glamorous characters in her mum’s erotic novels, or the adult films she secretly loved watching. She tried to act sexy, alluring, confident: every man’s fantasy. In fact, she was terrified. “I had this black Supre dress on, because I thought I had to wear something ‘skanky’, something ‘hookery’,” she laughs, taking a drag on her cigarette as she recalls the memory.

“I had these black velvet pumps on that I’d gotten from Betts and Betts at Marion. I think I was wearing the one decent bra I had at the time — you know the one sexy bra you had when you were a teenager? Some black lace thing. I must have just looked like fresh meat.” Nine years later, sitting in a trendy North Adelaide pub in a fitted black dress and jacket with her long, dark hair twisted into a tight bun, the 26-year-old looks like any other office worker on her lunch break.”

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All citizens deserve protection at work

“I AM a small business owner in Adelaide and I ensure the safety of myself, my staff and my clients.

My business, which provides sexual services to adult consumers, is criminalised.

While not fitting the mould of a young sex worker who has been formed by the stereotypical precursors to this line of work (sex, drugs and poverty), I have worked within the existing legislation affecting OH&S, WorkCover and discrimination based upon my professional choices.

I have done my utmost to ensure safety for both myself and my clientele, but in the event my state fails me with my right to due protection, I have developed my own policies, procedures and courses of action to preserve the right to health within the workplace.

Within a criminalised environment I have no legal rights as a worker to take recourse against violent action. I have been assaulted at work. It happened later, rather than earlier, and was entirely unexpected. I had to face being criminalised for my work while also being a victim of crime.”

Activism, Media, Politics

All citizens deserve protection at work

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