Motel Discriminated Against Prostitute by Refusing Her Room: Tribunal

Awesome Media Articles

I agree with Janelle Fawkes of the Australian Sex Worker’s Association who states that ‘Systemic Predjudice’ is most definitely at the core of all anti-discrimination cases throughout Queensland.  This huge win for GK and all sex workers, recently upheld in the Appeal by the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) was reported in the Brisbane Times on 8th August, 2012.  Sex workers everywhere will now be able to have their Anti-Discrimination Cases heard and be taken seriously.  It is no longer acceptable behaviour to refuse a sex worker accommodation and discriminate against them just because you don’t agree with their choice of work.

In this instance, common sense finally prevailed and GK won her appeal.  This case has huge ramifications for sex workers and their client’s as well as hoteliers and moteliers who will now have to re-think their discriminatory nature and join the 21st century!.  It’s about bloody time!  What peeves me the most, is how the owners of the Drover’s Rest Motel can casually state that they have no problem with ‘prostitutes’ working for a living but object if this work is being carried out on their premises.  If they object to sex work then they must also object to all other types of work that is conducted within the confines of a hotel room.  Sales people, accountants, police, anyone who uses the phone or internet or bed to conduct their legal and lawful business. Sex work is recognised as legitimate work.

The mind boggles as to how the owners ‘discovered’ she was working in the first place.  One would like to think that Australian’s are entitled to have some sort of privacy when they pay for a room and not have their comings and goings monitored by the proverbial nosey neighbour.  Obviously not in this case, but to then go ahead and ‘ban her’ as if they have some sort of moral obligation to do so, is downright offensive!  I have a sense that the owner’s are more than a little bit Ma & Pa Kettle-like.  I think they honestly believe they have the right to discriminate on some sort of moral high ground.  I think not and so does the Tribunal.  My advice to them is that they mind their own business and behave according to the laws of this land.  God knows we don’t need more rednecks running around!

Fingers crossed that this case will pave the way for other sex worker’s who have also been discriminated against and who have been waiting in the wings to finally see if GK’s human rights are being taken seriously.  It is blatant misrepresentation when Richard Munro states that “…hotel and motel owners must retain the right to refuse guests who might disturb the amenity…”.  There are already laws in place that are based on moral attitudes and prejudices validated by the Criminal Code, Chapter 22A which is designed to cover an act of deviance rather than a business.  However, the punishment must fit the crime.  In this case, the legal sex worker GK did not break the law, however the owners Dovedeen Pty Ltd and Mrs Joan Hartley of the Drover’s Rest Motel in Moranbah, clearly did!

Sex workers have been flocking to the front lines to work alongside miners for centuries.  This is not a new concept born out of a sudden influx of immoral sinner’s.  Gold mining pioneers couldn’t wait to get to the Gold fields in the hopes of striking it rich.  If you worked hard, the rewards came.  In this case, sex workers are booking flights and looking to cash up by providing a sex service.  Let’s face it, we all have needs, wants and desires that need attending to!  They are both booming industries, full of hard working men and women with money who choose to see equally hard working sex workers for a conversation, lunch/dinner, perhaps some erotic relaxation and/or sex.

Thank you GK for finding the strength to stand up to the system and fight for our collective rights.  I can only imagine the anxiety and stress that this must be causing you, your family, your business and every aspect of your life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You are one hell of a woman!  Jx

By Jodine
© Copyright, 2012, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved


Attorney-General Backs Hotel Sex Appeal

Offensive Media Articles

Yes folks!  We are witnessing first hand how discrimination is continuing to be perpetrated by political bullying agents at the highest level, as witnessed in Brisbane Times dated August 9th, 2012.  The Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has shown his true colours by publicly attempting to pervert the course  of justice by using his public powers to  “attempt to overturn” the appeal of the landmark Anti-discrimination case between the legal sex worker GK and the owners of the Drover’s Rest Motel in Moranbah.  Make no mistake about it.  We can begin to see the depth of corruption, personal bias and undue influence that is obviously still being exerted by Queensland’s politicians and power player’s.  It didn’t take long for those key players to rear their ugly head.

Sex workers have been dealing with this sort of extortion for years, especially in Queensland.  We only have to go back a couple of decades to see how far corruption can breed in politics with the likes of Sir Joe Bjielke-Petersen!  Here we go again.  Have you noticed the uncanny similarity between the last names of these two political figures?  Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Mr Bleijie.  Perhaps they are related?  It would certainly explain why sex workers are continuing to fight an up-hill battle, just to have their basic human rights upheld.  This political tickling is spreading like a festering disease throughout politics in Queensland despite laws to the contrary to protect and serve.

How can a significant political figure like Mr Bleijie get away with flaunting his bias political power’s publicly like this.  Surely it is common sense not to interfere.  Our Attorney-General is meant to be a respected impartial public figure.  Similarly, so are the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) members.  Unfortunately a few bad apples have tainted this Anti-discrimination case.  Is it any wonder people are afraid to stand up for their rights when a system is is openly flawed like this?  What hope do we as citizens have?  I am embarrassed and ashamed.  How long will it be before Australians can feel truly proud that they have left their distasteful convict history behind?

There has to be a shift away from the pre-existing moralistic viewpoint, to one that supports a public health and human rights approach such as New Zealand’s.  It is apparent that there needs to be more constructive discussion and debate between sex workers, the government, lawmakers and public opinion in Australia.  This is not going to happen when we have sensationalised public Anti-discrimination cases and individual’s being put through the political ringer.  It just makes our justice system look like a Christmas dinner – full of turkey’s and really bad jokes.

The fact remains that the owners of the Drovers Rest Motel did discriminate by breaching the Anti-Discrimination Act by denying GK a room.  What right did they have to ask her to leave when she had been there 17 times during the past 2 years?  What rights do law abiding legal sex workers have, who pay their tax, keep a low profile and go about their daily business, earning a decent living.  We thought we had the Anti-discrimination law on our side that protected our right to practice ‘lawful sexual activity’.  Sex work is work after all.  I find I am holding my breath waiting for the next debacle.

Mr Bleijie says he stands on the side of business owners.  OK, so what about the rest of Australia who don’t happen to own a business?  Actually I have an ABN number and I pay tax, does this mean I am a respected business owner?  Or am I just a sex worker?  I do not think hotel and motel owners should be given more rights than they already have.  Mr Bleijie says he will change the laws to suit.  There are already adequate laws in place that protect against unruly, noisy or abusive guests.  Why didn’t the owners use this already existing defence? They couldn’t because no offence had been committed, and not in the entire 2 years that GK stayed at the motel.   It doesn’t take a genius to see that they want these additional law changes to give them more powers so they can discriminate!

Insinuating that hotel’s are at risk of becoming illegal brothel’s is ludicrous.  There are no similarities what-so-ever between the two.  The differences between a brothel manager and a motel manager are crystal clear.  Do motel owner/manager’s answer my phone, put my adds on, take care of the extra laundry without extra charge, provided security, negotiate bookings or provide my condoms?  They don’t because they are not brothel’s!

Consider that the former Attorney-General, Honourable Nicola Roxon, released a media statement on the 4th of January, 2012, reminding us that the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 is now in effect.  Human Rights will be “…bought into sharper focus in Parliament this year with all new laws to be checked to see if they stack up against human rights obligations”.  New laws must consider “… protection and promotion of human rights”.  The principles of freedom, respect, equality, dignity and a fair go, apply to everyone including sex workers.

In Queensland, it was found that sex workers who were working legally (i.e.  service providers in licensed brothels, legal sole traders) had better mental health than those in illegal settings (Seib et al 2009).  Harcourt et al (2005) suggested that decriminalization seemed to provide the best outcomes for sex workers health and welfare and that this is a desirable outcome that affects the community as a whole.  Where are human rights for sex worker’s here in this case?

I am concerned that in this day and age, Australians are being controlled by a very powerful elite who will stop at nothing short of murder, to keep their false sense of control from slipping away.  We need to stand up as a nation and right these wrongs  Nip them in the bud and say enough is enough.  The rest of the world is looking at us and I can feel their  contempt.  I want to feel proud to be an Australian.  I support human rights for all.

By Jodine
© Copyright, 2012, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved

To make a donation to go toward the legal bill for GK, please contact:

Crimson Coalition

St George Bank
BSB 114879
Account 483605476

All donations will be gratefully appreciated.   Jx

Sex Worker Wins Right to Work from Motel

Awesome Media Articles

Hoo rah!  Put your hands in the air, there’s a party in the club tonight!  I seem to recall I told you all so in no uncertain terms that the legal sex worker GK would win her Appeal against Dovedeen Pty Ltd and Mrs Joan Hartley of the Drover’s Rest Motel in Moranbah, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald on August 7th.  The  original  ludicrous Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision was successfully overturned and brought in line with existing Queensland and Federal Law and recognised global best practice.

It had to happen.  Blatant discrimination on behalf of the learned member in the initial QCAT decision was an embarrassment to QCAT and the Anti-discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ) as well as to most Australian’s.  Shame on her!  The recent decision finding in favour of legal sex worker GK has shown that common sense does prevail but at what cost to GK and other sex workers who live with this kind of discrimination on a daily basis.  The case should never have gone this far.

Sex worker’s now have to wait a further 28 days for the right to appeal the appeal to expire.  How many countless other cases will never make it to the ADCQ’s attention for actual fear of the legal system that opts to make poor, corrupt decisions like the one we just witnessed.  Why would anyone want to put themselves through a process of unrelenting scrutiny at the hands of weak kneed, religious zealots, I suspect, who succumb to bullying tactics or their own bias world view in order to influence decisions at this level?

Many sex workers experience discrimination and don’t report due to barriers to access including internalised stigmatisation, fear of information being used for other purposes, fear of disclosure of personal information being provided to the perpetrator or media, lack of understanding of legislative coverage by sex workers, fear of retaliatory action by the perpetrator or others.  Perhaps we will soon see just how many pending cases have been waiting in the wings for this long awaited positive outcome that actually stands up for our human rights.

This case has become one of the most significant public landmark cases in Queensland’s anti-discrimination history.  Queensland is finally saying loud and clear that human rights violations will not be tolerated and no amount of bullying from fanatical Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) type politics will interfere with a fair and just process.  A far cry from the days of pandemic corruption Queenslander’s suffered under Joh Bjelke-Petersen.  This is a huge win for Queensland and legal sex workers Australia wide.

The Tribunal wrote an exemplary comprehensive legal explanation of their decision which systematically used appropriate law to back-up the true spirit and meaning of ‘lawful sexual activity’.  There are no obscure, grasping at straws findings here.  QCAT can feel pleased that they have successfully vindicated theselves and done so with huge integrity.  The case has now successfully been brought back into focus; it is illegal in the State of Queensland to discriminate against another person seeking accommodation just because they are a sex worker.

In fact the QCAT findings were so comprehensive that an appeal of the appeal seems highly unlikely.  However, I am well aware of the depth of ill-feeling within members of the moral police.  Sadly, I expect nothing less than more inappropriate bullying tactics and  political interference on this case.  It will be interesting to see just who these redneck players are, what power’s they think they wield and to just what lengths they are prepared to go to keep Queenslander’s in the Dark Ages.

In Queensland, sex workers have been accessing the ADCQ for over fifteen years in responding to the high levels of discrimination that are perpetrated against sex workers within the community.  Not all situations are covered by the Anti Discrimination Act but commentator’s have found that by having some degree of coverage, sex workers have a sense of justification to stand up for their rights.  However, most cases of discrimination go unreported alongside violent crimes being perpetrated against us from clients who understand their risks of being prosecuted are low.

Most cases of discrimination because of lawful sexual activities, are based on moral attitudes and predjudices which are validated by the Criminal Code, Chapter 22A which is designed to cover an act of deviance rather than a business.  With the introduction of the Prostitution Act 2000, the government recognised sex work as legitimate work but this has done little to improve the situation for sole traders.  Other forms of discrimination which have been addressed through the ADCQ have included;

  • Refusal to provide accommodation by real estates, lessors, etc
  • Eviction from rented premises both within the short and long term accommodation providers with or without refunds
  • Banking facilities such as eftpos, loans, insurance coverage not being provided
  • Insurance companies not providing coverage for life insurance or income protection.  As Workcover Qld still does not provide coverage to sex workers within brothels, these sex workers continue to be recognised as sole traders.
  • Schools refusing children of sex workers to be enrolled
  • Training providers refusing to acknowledge the skills and knowledge gained as a sex worker or refusing enrolment by ‘out’ sex workers
  • Churches and clubs refusing enrolment or membership
  • Community services refusing to provide assistance in particular homelessness services where evictions on discovery of status or activities outside of the housing provided occur regularly
  • Children’s community services disadvantaging sex workers families

I am convinced the ADCQ could provide a more comprehensive list of areas in which their legislation provides coverage.  Unfortunately it does not cover all forms of discrimination such as the predujudicial attitudes of Magistrates within the Family Law Courts within custody battles that are not covered either due to it being a federal jurisdiction.  I am ever hopeful that after this hugely important win, we might finally begin to see significant law changes emerging finally righting decades of wrongs.

But for now, I am basking in the glory that sex worker’s are finally being heard.  There is definitely a party in the house tonight!  Thank you GK for having the courage to do what many sex workers are afraid to do.  You have my continued, ongoing support.  There is no doubt that you will go down in whore-pride history!  Jx

 

50 Shades of Grey – My Book Review

Book Reviews

Well…if this picture doesn’t say it all!  I can tell you that after the first 50 pages, I was 50 Shades of Wet!  I can’t remember the last time I read an erotic piece of literature and let it carry me away within its seductive pages.  Was it Henry Miller and Anais Nin?  If this is the new face of ‘mummy porn’, I’m all in.

Funnily enough, I found myself comparing Christian Grey with today’s real life debonair billionaire Sir Donald Trump.  A much older version of course, but never-the-less I had to chuckle at the behavioural similarities and the demeanor of his minions on the hit TV show The Apprentice.  What is interesting is his daughter Ivanka Trump’s ‘Mistress-like’ qualities also evident on the programme, which begs the question…do some things run in the family?

I digress, however the story line of 50 Shades of Grey is made up of the usual stuff.  A virgin, a villain (we all cum to love), and a conquest not dissimilar to the fairy-tale depicting the forbidden desires between Beauty and the Beast.  My… how far we have come from the 17th century libertine writings of an insane deranged madman by the name of Marquis de Sade!  The word sado and sadism were taken directly from Marquis de Sade’s name.  The wonderful world of BD/SM has been around for centuries, however there appears to be a new resurgence of popular BD/SM culture.  Rihanna first re-ignited the flame in her hit song aptly titled S&M in 2010.

Reading through the pages of this deliciously sexy book, I am immediately transported out of my comparatively ordinary world into the juicy, deviant fantastical world of S&M.  I am completely undone by the seduction of Christian Grey and the relative unfettered sexual desires of Anastasia Steele.  I was once a virgin.  LOL, however my story and no doubt countless others, pales by comparison.  50 Shades of Grey takes me to a place where my optimist likes to think I could still be swept off my feet by a sexy rich, kinky billionaire one day and taken to new sexual heights of deviant pleasure, all in the lap of luxury.  Pick me!  Pick me!

I am completely smitten with the idea of Christian Grey – Sir Christian Grey.  But that is all it is.  An idea.  A novel.  The real world of BD/SM is as removed from Christian Grey as my perverted Prince Charming is sweeping me off my feet.  The eternal optimist in me submits to the relentless pessimist.  I wonder how many women would now be prepared to let them selves be tied up, spanked or much worse in the hopes of achieving some previous sense of unobtainable ecstasy, at the hands of rank amateurs?  The mind boggles.  My warning lights are flashing and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end.

Don’t do it!  Don’t go there on a whim and a prayer is my advice.  Always ere on the side of caution when offering up your body, mind and spirit to anyone.  More often than not the fantasy is never the reality.  Lets face it, if it was this good, we would all be doing it.  There is a reason the world of BD/SM is cloaked in mystery and danger.  There are too many rednecks who masquerade as Dominants (Mistresses and Master’s) who do little more than abuse, and in rare cases cause death.  Remember, just because you may consent to being tied, bound and beaten, if death occurs, the perpetrator will still be charged with your murder.  A sobering thought.

My advice to you, if you are feeling your loins tingling and muscles clenching in that most wanton way, then you take the time out to research and make contact with a professional Dominatrix or Master and have a deep discussion about what it is you are hoping to feel or achieve from your roleplay.  If you have a specific one in mind, like Anastasia’s wet dream involving a brown leather riding crop described in chapter 14, then allow this to be your guide.

At the end of the day, I have lost count of the number of clit-wrenching, muscle spasming self-imposed orgasms I have had at the expense of Christian Grey.  I am very much looking forward to the next installment of the Trilogy, 50 Shades Darker.  For your own sake, go out and buy the books and put yourself out of your misery! If you take the time to find out what all the fuss is about, you will at the very least be educating yourself on some of the more refined details of  BD/SM.  You may even find that you have a new desire to explore your sexuality with a professional.  Either way, you won’t know until you try.  How perverted is your imagination… Jx

By Jodine
© Copyright, 2012, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved

 

Safety in the BDSM Dungeon: Your Guide to Safer Kink

Health

This article has been written for TRACKS Magazine and the Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN).

Safety in the BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sado-Masochism or Slave/Master) dungeon seems like a contradiction in terms really – considering the dungeon is where some people willingly go to be tortured, tormented, violated and humiliated.  However, safety does in fact set the scene for all BDSM play for both the administrators and recipients.  At the very forefront of professional BDSM practice, is the Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) philosophy that acts as both a guideline and an industry standard when practiced routinely every time there is any (unwilling) risk of potential harm to self or other.

Discuss before your session, what your safe word is.  Don’t make it a word like ‘stop’ or ‘don’t’ as it may be confused with consent in BDSM play.  Use a plain word like ‘aeroplane’, ‘monkey’ or ‘red’.  This ensures that if any injuries occur or are occurring there is a plan to stop, drop and check up on what is going on.  Always have the necessary equipment to cut through rope or chain in an emergency, such as a bolt cutter or scissors.  Be aware of breathing, sounds, smells, skin colour, and temperature, as well as what is being said.  Try to avoid being under the influence of drugs or alcohol where possible but if you or your client will be taking drugs, plan ahead, have all your own equipment and dispose of your equipment properly.  The BDSM world is mostly about the head fuck but never leave a bound person unattended, ever!  Discontinue BDSM play until all is well for you both.

Due to the nature of sex work and BDSM, the potential for direct (or indirect) contact with blood, faeces (shit), urine (piss), spit and semen (cum) is high, resulting in a direct correlation with an increased risk of possible exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) like Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) commonly known as Wart Virus, Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea and blood born virus’ (BBV’s) such as Syphilis, Hepatitis A, B and C or HIV.  It is therefore imperative that all preventative steps are taken to minimise this risk and increase our pleasure by incorporating safer sex practices into every aspect of sex, sex work and BDSM play.

It is equally important to point out that there is very little risk of contracting or transmitting HIV and other BBV’s or STI’s if you use condoms and water-based lubricant correctly.  Unfortunately it is still (wrongfully) illegal in some states in Australia for those with HIV to sex work or pay a sex worker for sex but let’s remember that HIV is a virus and not a crime (Scarlet Alliance, 2009).  There is also consensual sex and sex work between peers who live with HIV.  We all have the right to seek and receive sexual pleasure as long as we are not harming others in the process – unless of course controlled harm and harming is consensual.

As far a sex worker’s go, most of us in the sex industry are aware of how to do sex work safely before, during and after, as par for the course.  Let’s face it, it’s our livelihood and in our best interests to ensure that all risks are minimised and/or eliminated from our working environment.  A higher number of sexual partners does not necessarily mean there is an increased likelihood of having an STI.  On the contrary, sex workers are more vigilant about safer sex practices and condom use (Scarlet Alliance, 2009) than the general public.  Therefore, we cannot assume everyone else behaves accordingly in their everyday life.  The onus is on every single one of us sex workers, Mistress’s and Master’s, clients, sub’s and slave’s and Vanilla’s to insist that all play involving contact with the genitals, anus or blood, be done so safely and hygienically for everyone concerned.

This means the routine use of prophylactics (condoms) for intercourse and toys, anti-bacterial toy cleaner, dental dams, lubricants, latex rubber gloves for needle and anal play, clean needles or picks, needle disposal units, lined rubbish bins, baby wipes, hand sanitizer’s, equipment sterilising, and frequently cleaning your sheets and towels to minimise pubic lice (Crabs), bed bugs and scabies.  Remember when you are asked to violate someone’s arse with your fist; you need rubber gloves, and lots of lube.  If you are reaming it with a toy or strap on, then you also need condoms!  Create a barrier between you and it.

STI’s are transmitted through body fluids like semen and mucus such as natural fluids in the vagina and those left on unprotected sex toys.  Herpes can also be transmitted via kissing to the genital’s or mouth.  BBV’s like Hep A, B, C and HIV are transmitted via blood, syringes, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.  It is important to be aware of any cuts, lesions or abrasions on your fingers and in your mouth, as well as on the genitals.  Condoms act as a barrier to blood and fluid born viruses.  HIV is not transmissible by kissing, saliva, spit, urine or faeces, as large amounts are required to be passed on and the virus cannot survive for long outside the body.  However Hepatitis A and B can be transmitted by having unprotected mouth to anal play (Rimming).

Cleaning and caring for your sex toys will stop the transmission of STI’s.  In most cases warm soapy water will suffice if your dildo/vibrator is made out of rubber, latex, silicone or glass depending on whether or not it is waterproof.  If it isn’t, then a good quality anti-bacterial toy cleaner spray to use with a tissue will also suffice.  Boiling dildo’s for 3 minutes or putting them through a hot dishwasher cycle will also work but may damage them a lot quicker (Respect Inc).  Similarly, whips, paddles and canes and chains can be washed in warm soapy water and dried and/or shined with leather and wood polish.

Disposing of used condoms, gloves, needles, syringes, blades, swabs, pads, tampons, bandages etc, need a little bit more individual attention.  Condoms should be tied to avoid spillage of the semen, wrapped in a tissue and placed in a lined rubbish bin.  Similarly, with latex gloves.  These are taken off and naturally go inside out, therefore trapping any bodily fluids or faecal matter within them; they can be simply put in the bin.  Swabs, pads and tampons can also be placed in a lined rubbish bin and should never be flushed down the toilet.  Needles, syringes and blades need to be placed in a sharps disposable container to avoid the risk of accidental pricks (no pun intended).  You can request these from your local QuIHN office or needle exchange program.

Most of what I have talked about is common sense.  If you keep things simple you can’t go wrong.  Keep everything clean including you.  Wash or use baby wipes before and after each client or sexual partner, in fact have a packet in your bedside drawer.  Frequently wash or sterilise all toys, canes, paddles, tawse, whips and chains.  Frequently wash bed linens and towels.  Vacuum.  Recycle your plastic shopping bags and empty your rubbish bins daily.  Wash your lingerie and underwear regularly.   Remember safety in the BDSM dungeon also applies to the bedroom, couch or kitchen table!  The thing is to always be prepared.  Keep a travel kit with condoms, lube, gloves, dams, a toy, toy spray cleaner, baby wipes, portable sharps container, needles, syringes, plastic bags, and scissors or buy a first aid kit and modify it.

REMEMBER:  Safer sex is:
Always carrying condoms with you,
Always using condoms and water-based lube (NOT Vaseline),
Ejaculation inside the condom,
Oral sex using s condom or dam,
Always using a condom when sharing sex toys and change condoms between partners,
Always using latex gloves with anal and needle play,
Mutual masturbation,
Kissing your partners nipples and
Cuddling (Queensland government, Family Planning Queensland).

If you think safety first, before you know it you will be practising safer sex without even being aware you are doing so.   Even if you started doing one or two of these recommendations, you will be reducing your likelihood of transmitting or receiving an STI or HIV.  Everyone will be happy and enjoying getting off on whatever tickles their fancy… arse…clit…or nipple.  You get my drift.  Now, go, fuck off and start organising your dungeon and start practicing Risk Aware Consensual Kink!  In the meantime, I’m feeling horny!  I might just let my fingers do the talking…

By Jezabel Jodine
© Copyright, 2012, escortjodine.com.  escortjezabel.com. All Rights Reserved

REFERENCES:

Family Planning Association, ‘Tonight I’m Getting Infected Condoms’, What is Safe Sex?, Queensland Government Health, September 2008.

Matthews, K., Scarlet Alliance, ‘The National Needs Assessment of Sex Workers who live with HIV’, 2008

Respect Inc, ‘Cleaning & Caring for your Sex Toys’, Fact Sheet

Scarlet Alliance, 2009. Australia Sex Worker Association, ‘HIV Is Not A Crime’, ‘The contemporary response to HIV and the law in Australia: A collection of Articles‘, booklet.

Scarlet Alliance, 2009. Australian Sex Worker Association, ‘ STI Handbook: A Reference Guide for Sex Workers to Sexually Transmitted Infections’.  Commonwealth of Australia

FIFO Inquiry Submission 2012

Political Lobbying


I am writing this submission in response to the current Inquiry by the House of Representatives, into the ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia.

Current sensationalised media articles are wrongly reporting that sex workers who FIFO/DIDO to regional Queensland, are ‘unregulated prostitutes who are contributing to the growth of sexually transmitted diseases’.  This is inaccurate.  Sex work is heavily regulated in almost every state in Australia (except NSW where sex work is decriminalised) and there is no epidemiological evidence that suggests that sex workers contribute to the rise in STI’s in any way, shape or form what-so-ever.  In fact, there is numerous evidence based research that suggests the opposite.

Sex workers have been in the forefront of the STI best practice for at least the last thirty years and safe sex is the industry standard.  Sex workers are taking “all reasonable steps to ensure a prophylactic sheath (condom) or other appropriate barrier is used” (Prostitution Reform Act 2003 cited in NZPC website).  A recently published study also looked into safe sex compliance among sex workers in New South Wales (NSW), and found that safe sex compliance among all sex workers exceeds 99% (Donovan Harcourt Egger Fairley, 2010).  Sex workers do not need laws to compel them to use condoms and it is insulting that such a law was deemed necessary in 2003 in Australia, given that history and research clearly indicated it was not required (Donovan et al 2010: 74).

Associate Professor John Scott of the University of New England told Australian Mining that there was no evidence to suggest that a rise in sex workers translates into a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.  Media articles like ‘Freelance Sex Workers Factor in Explosion of Infections’ are unsubstantiated and defamatory and arguably subject to class action law suits by multiple complainants.  There are also no studies that suggest that rural sex work has increased at all.  In fact, New Zealand and NSW are reporting a decline in the numbers of street based sex workers since decriminalisation (Mossman, & Mayhew, 2007).

There has also been no sudden increase in the numbers of visible sex workers on the streets generally, as claimed would happen post decriminalisation by opposition groups against the New Zealand Prostitution Law Reform Act 2003 (PLA), dispelled by Abel, Fitzgerald and Brunton (2009:526. 528).  Quite the contrary.  Only 10% of the entire sex worker industry are street based sex workers (Hubbard, 2004; Scrambler, 1997; Weitzer, 2005).  Since their numbers on the street are reported to be declining, it is more accurate to state that New Zealand and NSW are achieving desirable outcomes because the legislation is consistent and supportive and recognises that people make better choices for themselves when they feel more empowered to do so, under decriminalisation.

Consider that street based sex workers only account for about 7-10% of the entire estimated sex worker population (Hubbard, 2004; Scrambler, 1997; Weitzer, 2005).  This number easily escalates when we have groups of renegade landlords, real estate agents and hoteliers throwing sex workers from their accommodation and out onto the streets, where they invariably think they belong.  Often these legal sole traders have paid for their accommodation in advance, are refused a refund and are also refused other accommodation in the area, as word spreads to other providers who also discriminate.

Similarly, we see real estate agents accusing their tenants of running ‘escort agencies’ from their leased premises, despite sole trading and practising lawful sex work, who are then issued with a ‘Notice of Breach’ of Body Corporate By-laws and then have their lease cancelled without a reference.   Forcing sex workers onto the the street by making it difficult to secure accommodation, increases the risk of violence being perpetrated against them in the exact same way it does forcing sex workers to relocate to less visible area’s on the street.  It forces sex workers into vulnerable and dangerous situations and into the arms of Australia’s criminal underbelly (Hubbard, 2004).

Laws need to be made in Australia that are consistent and in line with globally recognised Human Rights best practice.  It is no good to say that legal sex workers are able to practice ‘lawful sexual activity’ from their accommodation by the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ) and then have the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) find any weak excuse to undermine this, such as what happened in the recent QCAT decision against the legal sex worker GK, about to be appealed.  Blatant inconsistencies like this, highlight just how difficult it is for sex workers (and the community) to work within these heavily regulated and meaningless laws.  It should be unlawful and illegal for a sex worker to be evicted from anywhere just because they are a sex worker.

Decriminalisation of the sex industry is the only accepted course of action that the United Nations advocates globally, because it recognises the overall positive impact on human rights, health and safety and addresses issues of harm minimisation in the area of disease prevention, violence and illegal activity.  I agree with Faehrmann in her article, Brothel Licensing Not The Answer, who says “…the government should be looking at ways to address the sometimes arbitrary and inconsistent implementation of existing sex industry guidelines across local government, rather than making criminals out of currently law abiding citizens.”

The New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (PRA) is achieving such success in its positive health outcomes because it was designed in consultation with the public, sex workers and sex worker organisations during a three year parliamentary debate.  It reflects the nature and scope of sex work.  It balances the need’s of the community with the human Rights of sex workers.  The Act is designed to (a) safeguard the human rights of sex workers and protect them from exploitation; (b) promote the welfare and occupational health and safety of sex workers: (c) be conducive to public health: (d) prohibit the use in prostitution of persons under 18 years of age; and (e) implement certain other related reforms (cited in NZPC:Law).

Proven harm-minimisation models are being applied by sex worker organisations and healthcare providers throughout Australia and New Zealand (and the rest of the world) with a great deal of success, all-be-it limited under current legislation in heavily regulated/criminalised states in Australia.  These same service providers are funded by Government.  The overall objective is to reduce the impact of the harm caused to self or other by educating those directly affected in order to raise their awareness of the alternatives that may (or may not) be available to them.  Harm-minimisation stems from the belief that people are at various stages of development and as such need to be approached and met at their level of awareness, while being given the tools, support and resources to facilitate a process whereby individuals feel empowered to make better choices for themselves and ultimately the community.

There seems to be an entirely false set of mores circulating within Australia that attempts to wrongly link sex workers with violence, drug addiction and paedophilia.  Rape is violence and is perpetrated throughout society against women (and men) in every area of society.  Only 7% to 17% of brothel and escort sex workers in Australia report ever injecting drugs (Harcourt et al., 2001; Perkins & Lovejoy, 2007; Pyett et al., 1996)The WA report shows a table 3.27 that suggests that drug use in Perth brothels is around the same as rates in the general population (with the exception of much higher rates of tobacco use).

Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence to link sex workers and paedophilia.  Paedophiles do not discriminate between boys and girls and are more often than not, someone we know, who is trusted and has complete access to our children.  They do not walk around with a sign around their neck nor do they belong to any one sub-section of society.  Sex workers are not a homogeneous group and therefore there are no more issues that are more important to certain sectors of society than others (O’Connor et al., 1996: Plumridge and Abel, 2001).

In conclusion, there appears to be widespread discrimination against sex workers in general throughout regional Australia.  Discrimination, that also violates the basic Human Rights of sex workers.  Lyon asserts that health outcomes of sex workers are directly affected by stigmatisation and marginalisation and that “It is described as the single biggest issue facing sex workers – even those who operate legally” (Lyon, 2011: 2.3.1, 45).

This is currently being reflected in the stories media are publishing that appear more like a frenzied attacks between FIFO/DIDO sex workers trying to practice lawful sex work and citizens behaving unlawfully as if they are justified, despite laws to the contrary.   Media are fuelling this unhelpful debate by not reporting accurately and relying on misinformed comments from an uneducated public, with the sole purpose of selling newspapers.  They are pandering to assumed popular belief and taking no responsibility for their professional code of ethics.

There is also a misrepresentation of the nature and scope of sex work and sex workers both collectively and individually.  The media appear to only be reporting one side of the story, completely ignoring the facts.  There appears to be a push to make new laws in an attempt to over-ride existing ones that are flawed, replacing them with even more Draconian versions designed to control rather than empower.  Over-regulation, as opposed to decriminalisation, makes illegal operations more attractive because the legal sector is often kept smaller than the number of sex workers available to work (Lyon, 2011:10).

There has to be a shift away from the pre-existing moralistic viewpoint, to one that supports a public health and human rights approach such as New Zealand’s.  It is apparent that there needs to be more constructive discussion and debate between sex workers, the government, lawmakers and public opinion in Australia.

I would like to remind the House of Representatives, that the Attorney-General, Honourable Nicola Roxon, released a media statement on the 4th of January, 2012, reminding us that the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 is now in effect.  Human Rights will be “…bought into sharper focus in Parliament this year with all new laws to be checked to see if they stack up against human rights obligations”.  New laws must consider “… protection and promotion of human rights”.

The principles of freedom, respect, equality, dignity and a fair go, apply to everyone including sex workers.  In Queensland, it was found that sex workers who were working legally (i.e.  service providers in licensed brothels, legal sole traders) had better mental health than those in illegal settings (Seib et al 2009).  Harcourt et al (2005) suggested that decriminalization seemed to provide the best outcomes for sex workers health and welfare and that this is a desirable outcome that affects the community as a whole.  Jx

Please view this and other Submissions for the Inquiry at: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/ra/fifodido/report.htm.

REFERENCES:

Abel, G., Fitzgerald, L. and Brunton, C. (2007), ‘The impact of the Prostitution Reform Act on the health and safety practices of sex workers’, Report to the Prostitution Law Review Committee, University of Otago, Christchurch.

THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP, Attorney-General.  ‘Human Rights Check for  New Laws’, MEDIA RELEASE, 4 January 2012, http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Media-releases/Pages/2012/First%20Quarter/4-January-2012—Human-Rights-check-for-new-laws.aspx

The WA Report, 2007, ‘The Sex Industry in Western Australia Basil Donovan, Christine Harcourt, Sandra Egger, Karen Schneider, Jody O’Connor.

Hubbard, P. (2004), ‘Cleansing the metropolis: sex work and the politics of zero tolerance’, Urban Studies, 41: 9, 1687–702

Lyon, W., (2011). Prohibitory Prostitution Laws and the Human Right to Health, Research Dissertation presented for partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of LLM in International Human Rights Law (Nottingham Trent University/HETAC), Law School, Griffith college, Dublin. pg 10

Mossman, E., & Mayhew, P., (2007). Key Informant Interviews: Review of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, Pg 10

New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, http://www.nzpc.org.nz/page.php?page_name=Law

Perkins,R.andLovejoy, F. (2007), CallGirls:Private SexWorkers in Australia, Crawley:University of Western Australia Press.


Legal Sex Working in New Zealand – Since Decriminalisation

About Sex Work

I began sex working in New Zealand in May of 2006.  I didn’t really know a lot about the sex industry up until this point, other than what I had seen and heard by non-sex workers and the media.  Needless to say, my knowledge was extremely limited and the thought of entering into an industry with negative popular belief and stigma was more than a little intimidating.  I was aware, however, of the passing of the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (PRA) and the subsequent decriminalisation of the sex industry.

The Act was designed to (a) safeguard the human rights of sex workers and protect them from exploitation; (b) promote the welfare and occupational health and safety of sex workers: (c) be conducive to public health: (d) prohibit the use in prostitution of persons under 18 years of age; and (e) implements certain other related reforms. This meant that I was no longer going to be viewed as a criminal at least.  I felt empowered to seek out the knowledge I required in order to establish myself as a private independent legal sex worker.

I initially approached a couple of friends I knew in the swinging scene.  Sharon and Rod from Club Sparty, were instrumental in steering me in the right direction.  I met with a known legal sex worker called Sally Munro at her apartment and we discussed the best course of action for me to enter into the sex industry and learn how to practice safely.  Together, we developed a website from which to launch my new career.  I settled on the name Rhiannan and subsequently my first website was created.

I am forever grateful for Sally’s help and support to me during this time.  The PRA had made it possible through decriminalisation, for me to seek out the knowledge I required from my peers and other sources, which enabled me to feel empowered to make an informed decision.  A strategy that my peers throughout Australia (excluding New south Wales where it is decriminalised) are not allowed to seek or provide for each other under the current criminalisation/prohibition model in Victoria and heavy legislation/regulation models in Queensland and other states.

I was given the opportunity to enter into the worlds oldest profession in a way my predecessors were unable to do.  For this reason, I have the utmost respect for sex workers who worked  in extremely adverse conditions where the risks of being exploited or charged as a criminal, were very real.  These sex workers paved the way for me and all new sex workers in New Zealand by refusing to be silenced on issues relating to health, occupational health and safety, violence, human rights and discrimination.  Their voices are continuing to be heard throughout Australia, by past and existing sex workers and their friends, family and clients, who realise that decriminalisation works and that this needs to be a national policy.  

Here in Queensland, I join voices like RESPECT Inc and Scarlet Alliance in the fight for decriminalisation and improved sex worker rights on every level of humanity in Australia.  The advantages far out-weigh the risks if only the media, lawmakers and other commentators would read and understand the evidence.  In New Zealand I know my basic human rights are being respected by law and I have choices about what I could do if my health and safety were compromised.  I am less likely to have violence perpetrated against me by corrupt police officers for example, because the penalty’s are a clear deterrent.

Consider the plight of former Constable Nathan Thorose Connolly who was sentenced to two years in December 2009, for threatening a sex worker to have free sex with him.  A clear warning to other’s that violence toward sex workers is no longer tolerated and a clear reason why decriminalisation will reduce all forms of violence against sex workers in general.  The PRA is directly responsible for the increase in the reporting of violence to Police, especially by street workers (Mossman and Mayhew, 2007:10) and this is because they can, not because violent crime toward them has increased.

Since decriminalisation in New Zealand, the numbers of sex workers on the streets has declined in the first five years since decriminalisation, according to the Prostitution Law Reform Committee in their five year report on the sex industry since decriminalisation.  There was no sudden increase in the numbers of visible sex workers on the streets as claimed would happen by opposition groups (Abel, Fitzgerald and Brunton, 2009:526. 528).  Quite the contrary. Consider that only 10% of the entire sex worker industry are street workers (Hubbard, 2004; Scrambler, 1997;  Weitzer, 2005).  Since their numbers on the street are reported to be declining, according to evidence based research, then wouldn’t it be correct to state that New Zealand is achieving this by creating an environment that empowers sex workers to improve their lives?  There is a correlating increase in sex workers moving from managed to private sector sex work.

Decriminalisation in New Zealand means that I am automatically protected from all sorts of  injustices and inequalities.  My rights are equal to every ones else’s and my sex work is recognised on every level… including in the area of accommodation.  I have to pay my taxes like everyone else.  I have access to Work Place Cover in the form of accident compensation from the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) for any loss of income due to injury in the workplace.  My Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) standards are peer reviewed and set to reflect the needs of both individual and collective sex workers according to their environments; like my peers who choose to work in brothels.  I am allowed to procure insurances that protect my income and health so that I can continue to work and contribute to society.  These are luxuries that I will never take for granted in New Zealand.

However, not everything comes up smelling like roses.   Stigma is still a major factor in my life as a legal sex worker no matter where I work.  Lyon asserts that health outcomes of sex workers are directly affected by stigmatisation and marginalisation and that “It is described as the single biggest issue facing sex workers – even those who operate legally” (Lyon, 2011: 2.3.1, 45).  I have to carefully weigh up the implications of coming out to friends, family and the general public.  On a good day, I feel strong enough to withstand any slight on my person and can trust myself to respond in kind.  On a challenging day, I feel exposed and vulnerable and less articulate in defending myself.  Sometimes I feel like withdrawing inside my apartment and not engaging with the world.  Sometimes I crave the freedom to share some black humour with my peers and at other times , I just want to be liked for who I am – not defined by what I do.

Decriminalisation in New Zealand states in legislation that I have the freedom to contact other sex workers and organisations for peer support, debriefing, resources, referrals (to and of clients),  and to work together and share accommodation and costs.  Working together directly reduces the likelihood of violent crime continuing to be perpetrated against us.  We are also able to work together and share the income from clients who request a ‘double’ booking for example.  In Queensland, I am not allowed to minimise the sense of isolation and anxiety I feel at times, by not being allowed to have a ‘meeting of the minds’ with other sole traders.

By persistently addressing the issues, using evidence based global research to back up their argument, New Zealand become the first country in the world to completely decriminalise the sex industry as we know it.  I am extremely proud of Helen Clarke, the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand representing Labour, who fully supported the Act in all its parts.  I am also extremely passionate about writing for and about the sex industry because their collective voices continue to resonate in every core of my being.  There is still so much to be done to bring awareness to other parts of the world.

In conclusion, my experience of sex working in New Zealand  is far more preferable, if not for the weather!  Where sex work is decriminalised, my life, health and working conditions are much improved in general.  Over-regulation, as opposed to decriminalisation, makes illegal operations more attractive because the legal sector is kept smaller than the number of sex workers available to work (Lyon, 2011:10).  It’s not rocket science.   There has to be a shift away from the pre-existing moralistic viewpoint, to one that supports a public health and human rights approach such as New Zealand’s.

Since 2006, I have developed into a successful private independent legal sex worker where I continue to provide a safe and discreet service to my clients, with minimal (if any) disruption or negative impact on my neighbours.  I live where I work and I ensure my clients have a discreet, anonymous entry into my world from the outset.  I live in an upmarket multi-storey apartment with an intercom which allows me to screen my clients and give them direct access to the lifts and to my floor only.  My neighbours are none-the-wiser and therefore not affected by my work.  I am also courteous and friendly to everyone I meet who lives in the building.  I treat people how I wish to be treated myself – with respect.

I have also entered and exited the sex industry at various times since 2006.  It is my choice to do so.  I do not need rescuing or saving by some organisation that gets a kick out of interfering in my life.  I am an autonomous, independent, educated person who chooses to work in the sex industry for all the benefits I experience.  Security, friendship, independence, money, sex, camaraderie and freedom.  Decriminalisation is the only way to go to improve health outcomes across the board, for everyone.  Jx

© Copyright, 2011, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved

References

Abel, G., Fitzgerald, L., & Brunton, C., (2007). The Impact of the Prostitution Law Reform Act on the Health and Safety Practices of Sex Workers: Report to the Prostitution Law Review Committee. Christchurch: Otago University

Abel, G., Fitzgerald, L., & Brunton, C., (2009). The impact of decriminalisation on the number of sex workers in New Zealand. Journal of Social Policy 38(3) 515-31, 526, 528.

Bennachie, C. (2010).  Decriminalising Sex Work in New Zealand – What it means to sex workers.  Paper presented at the International AIDS Conference, Vienna, July 2010.

Jordan, J. (2005), The Sex Industry in New Zealand: A Literature Review, Wellington: Ministry of Justice.Davis, S. and Shaffer, M. (1994), Prostitution in Canada: the invisible menace or the menace of invisibility?, Vancouver, Commercial Sex Information Service, http://www.walnet.org/csis/papers/sdavis.html.

Hubbard, P. (2004), ‘Cleansing the metropolis: sex work and the politics of zero tolerance’, Urban Studies, 41: 9, 1687–702

Lyon, W., (2011). Prohibitory Prostitution Laws and the Human Right to Health, Research Dissertation presented for partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of LLM in International Human Rights Law (Nottingham Trent University/HETAC), Law School, Griffith college, Dublin. pg 10

Mossman, E., & Mayhew, P., (2007). Key Informant Interviews: Review of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, Pg 10

New Zealand Prostitutes Collective,  http://www.nzpc.org.nz/page.php?page_name=Law

O’Connor, C., Berry, G., Rohrsheim, R. and Donovan, B. (1996), ‘Sexual health and use of condoms among local and international sex workers in Sydney’, Genitourinary Medicine, 72: 1, 47–51.

Otago Daily Times, (2010). Ex-cop loses appeal over sex with prostitute. Downloaded 27th Dec 2011, from http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/101886/ex-cop-loses-appeal-over-sex-with-prostitute Regina v Connolly, Christchurch District Court [17 Dec 2009].

Plumridge, L. and Abel, G. (2000b), ‘Safer sex in the Christchurch sex industry: Study 2 ? survey of Christchurch sexworkers’, Christchurch School ofMedicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, Christchurch.

Plumridge, L. and Abel, G. (2001), ‘A “segmented” sex industry in New Zealand: sexual and personal safety of female sex workers’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 25: 1, 78–83.

Scambler, G. (1997), ‘Conspicuous and inconspicuous sex work: the neglect of the ordinary and mundane’, in G. Scambler and A. Scambler (eds.), Rethinking Prostitution: Purchasing Sex in the 1990s, London and New York: Routledge.

TVNZ News Online, (2009). Court told how cop bribed prostitute for sex. Downloaded 27th Dec 2011, from http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/court-told-cop-bribed-prostitute-sex-3127025

Weitzer, R. (2005), ‘New directions in research on prostitution’, Crime, Law and Social Change, 43, 211–35.

Police Sting Nabs Kerb-crawlers

Offensive Media Articles

I am referring to an article in the Sunday Herald Sun titled Police sting nabs kerb-crawlers written by Jon Kaila, dated December 18th, 2011.  In this article Senior Detective Daly of the Victoria Police warns our clients that they will be arrested and charged for talking to undercover policewomen, posing as sex workers on the streets of Victoria.

The sad thing about this latest ploy to isolate our most vulnerable sex workers, is that Police are now making criminals out of the “…average everyday bloke…”.  While it is not illegal in every other state in Australia to practice lawful sex work, there will always be a minority of sex workers, who through circumstances beyond their control, will find themselves in situations where sex working on the street is their only reliable source of income.  But this is not all street workers.

Consider that street sex workers only account for about 7-10% of the entire estimated sex worker population (Hubbard, 2004; Scrambler, 1997;  Weitzer, 2005).  By charging normal everyday people who choose to see them, in an attempt to drive these sex workers away, is nothing short of stupidity and an abuse of power by Police.  Sex workers are not homogeneous either, therefore there are no issues that are more important to certain sectors than others (O’Connor et al., 1996: Plumridge and Abel, 2001).  By moving them on to less visible locations, actually increases the risk of violence being perpetrated against them and forces them into the arms of street criminals (Hubbard, 2004).

While Victoria Police have admitted it is pointless targeting sex workers, they are in fact continuing to do so by targeting their clients in this way.  Here we see the average Joe Blogs being directly harmed with no regard for the impact on their families and friends, let alone the ongoing victimisation toward sex workers in general.  It is simply not good enough to make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens.  Compound this with other inappropriate, heavily regulated sex industry laws that do not recognise the specific needs of sex workers generally, so they can continue to practice their work safely and with dignity, and we have a recipe for disaster.  Bad Police decisions like this one, whom despite “…studying [other reputable] methods from around the world…”, still choose to fly in the face of recognised best practice models.  Developing and implementing a completely hostile strategy like ‘operation sting’, for want of a better description, is designed to burn bridges, not build them.

We are witnessing the corruption of recognised ‘best practices’ in favour of poorly researched, social experiments where everyday people and those who have the least amount of resources and ability to defend themselves, are being used as human guinea pigs, deemed worthless of consultation by the establishment.  These sex workers and their clients have not had their Human Rights considered.  Everyone has the right to choose whether or not to sell or pay for sex and live in peace, without harassment and vilification.  If society chooses to ignore the research and deny the real issues, then sex workers also have the right to provide for themselves as best they can.  Only they can determine what their immediate needs are.  Take away their only source of income and what do you think will happen?

Proven harm-minimisation models are being applied by sex worker organisations and healthcare providers throughout Australia and the world with a great deal of success, all-be-it limited considering current legal constraints for sex workers in Australia and those assisting them.  These same service providers are also funded by the Australian Government! The overall objective is to reduce the impact of the harm caused to self or other by educating those directly affected in order to raise their awareness of the alternatives that may (or may not) be available to them.  Harm-minimisation stems from the belief that people are at various stages of development and as such need to be approached and met at their level of awareness, while being given the tools, support and resources to facilitate a process whereby individuals feel empowered to make better choices for themselves and ultimately the community.

Some of these sex workers may not want a way out of the sex work industry.  Sex work might be all they have known but they will know the industry inside out and back to front.  They are well aware of the risks they are taking under current criminalised/heavily regulated legislation, continuing to provide a service to the community and do everything in their power to reduce the risks associated with providing a sex service.  However our attempts are also futile when inappropriate policies like this, leave us with little or no room to move and even less legal standing in society to fight these and other types of injustices.  Look at what is happening in the mining towns in outback Queensland at the moment.

Sex workers are being evicted and thrown out onto the street by hotelier’s who undoubtedly think that the street is where they belong.  Laws need to be made that are consistent.  It is no good to say that legal sex workers are able to practice ‘lawful sexual activity’ from their accommodation by the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ) and then have the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) find any weak excuse to undermine this, such as what happened in the recent QCAT decision against the legal sex worker GK, about to be appealed.  Blatant inconsistencies like this, highlight just how difficult it is for sex workers to work within these heavily regulated and meaningless laws.  Sex workers need their basic human rights protected – on and off the streets.

In conclusion, as a legal and lawful sex worker in almost every state in Australia, I need decriminalisation to occur nationally in order to improve the health and safety of sex workers, their clients and the public.  I need laws that recognise, reflect and support the nature and scope of the work we do.  I need laws that are consistent and designed to back other area’s of legislation in support of lawful sex work.  I need laws that allow sex workers to work together and support each other in order to debrief and reduce the likelihood of violent crimes being committed against them.  I need laws that do not allow sex workers to be evicted from anywhere at the whim of Police and groups of renegade hoteliers, real estate agents and landlords.  I need my human rights to be on an equal par with the rest of my community as recommended by the United Nations and demonstrated by New Zealand’s Prostitution Reform Act 2003.

When laws and policies are made without consultation with sex workers and sex worker organisations, decisions will be made, like this one, that compromise all the good work health and sex worker organisations are currently doing across the board.  Why are we continuing to ignore the issues?  How can we make effective policies and develop strategies without all the relevant information?  We can’t.   How can we continue to practice a service delivery when we are up against conflicting government policies designed to pit one against the other?  We can’t.  Australia is failing our sex workers, our clients and our community by not legislating in support of decriminalisation of the sex industry.  It is about time we did something intelligent about it.  Jx

© Copyright, 2011, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved

References:

Davis, S. and Shaffer, M. (1994), Prostitution in Canada: the invisible menace or the menace of invisibility?, Vancouver, Commercial Sex Information Service, http://www.walnet.org/csis/papers/sdavis.html.

Hubbard, P. (2004), ‘Cleansing the metropolis: sex work and the politics of zero tolerance’Urban Studies, 41: 9, 1687–702

O’Connor, C., Berry, G., Rohrsheim, R. and Donovan, B. (1996), ‘Sexual health and use of condoms among local and international sex workers in Sydney’, Genitourinary Medicine, 72: 1, 47–51.

Plumridge, L. and Abel, G. (2001), ‘A “segmented” sex industry in New Zealand: sexual and personal safety of female sex workers’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 25: 1, 78–83.

 

Brothel Licensing Not The Answer

Awesome Media Articles

I am ecstatic to see that Cate Faehrmann, MP for The Greens Party in New South Wales (NSW), has written an article in response to growing pressure in NSW to reverse the current decriminalised status of sex workers, in the wake of recent human trafficking and sex slavery media sensationalism.

In this article written on her blog, titled ‘Brothel Licensing Not The Answer’, dated November 1st, 2011, Faehrmann reminds lawmakers not to get caught up in the current frenzy and make knee-jerk decisions that do not take into account that the majority of legal sex workers are not caught up in this illegal activity.  The majority of sex workers perform their work safely and legitimately. Faehrmann cites evidential based research that shows decriminalisation is recognised as the world’s best practice standards for sex workers and their clients.

New Zealand has been leading the way since 2003, by completely decriminalising the sex industry in the Prostitution Reform Act.  When I worked in New Zealand, myself and my clients enjoyed knowing that we were both fully supported and protected in every way.  I knew that I could go to the Police if I was threatened or harmed and that the Police were also empowered to do everything they could to protect me and my human rights.  Clients knew it was going to be more difficult to get away with crimes against sex workers.  I felt that I could help the Police in their pursuit of fighting crime by sharing information.

In the sex industry, we call clients who perpetrate crime against us, as Ugly Mugs.  We have a vast database of information relating to actual Ugly Mugs.  I am convinced that police in Australia would like to be privy to this information in the same way that the New Zealand Police are, in order to assist them in current investigations and prosecutions. Remember that we share societies concerns about illegal trafficking and sex slavery.  We don’t want to be exploited, used and abused.

I also knew that I could walk in to any sex worker organisation, sexual health clinic, general practitioner’s rooms or hospital and I didn’t have to lie about being a sex worker.  I could share accurate information about my identity without fear of being discriminated against.  I knew my privacy was going to be protected like everyone else’s.  They knew that they had all the relevant information to be fully informed about my health and safety in order to treat me appropriately.  I didn’t have to worry if I was going to be reported to Police or have my identity exposed because I was a sex worker.

Decriminalisation means that sex workers have human rights to enable them to access a range of services and be treated with dignity and respect.  The real evidence of success is in the reported decrease in sexually transmitted infections in New Zealand and NSW amongst sex workers since decriminalisation began.  Why would anyone in there right mind want to reverse this?  Sex workers are not the ones spreading sexually transmittable diseases in our communities.  It is also not only our our young people that need to be educated about using condoms.

The public forgets that there are older generations that didn’t use condoms in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s who are also affecting the increase of sexually transmitted diseases today.  These are the people who are regularly asking sex workers if they do Natural (without a condom) services.  Education is the key and by increasing public awareness we are better able to make more informed decisions about sexual health.  Targeting sex workers is barking up the wrong tree!

Faehrmann also talks about how the current licensing scheme regulating brothels in Queensland, namely the Prostitution Licensing Authority (PLA), does not address 90% of the sex industry, which is “…unregulated and illegal” (1).  While it is true that licensing does not address 90% of the industry we can not be sure what percentage of that is ‘illegal’.  Sole traders in Queensland are also heavily regulated.

The problem in Queensland is that most of the strategies that sex workers use to maintain their safety and sanity, like working in co-operatives, having a driver, debriefing with another sex worker in your workplace for example, becomes ‘illegal’ because of bad, poorly processed laws.   But even in a place like NSW where you have decriminalisation, people still revert back to the legal vs illegal dichotomy – so brothel owners who hate the competition argue that brothels that don’t have proper council planning permits are ‘illegal’.

Coming from New Zealand where the sex industry is decriminalised, and into Queensland, Australia, where it is not and is inappropriately regulated, I can see how glaringly obvious flaws in the current regulations actually increase the risk of human trafficking and sex slavery.  We are not protected from organised crime just because some sex workers choose (or not) to work from a brothel.  As a private independent lawful sex worker, I am faced with heavy regulation that isolates me from society and puts me and my colleagues directly at risk of being exploited.

Police officers are also legally allowed to practise entrapment in Queensland, pretend to be clients, pressure sex workers to have sex without a condom and then charge us even though we are being bullied into providing a service we wouldn’t normally provide!  This has recently been passed into law as Clause 101 which refers to Section 77A1, (3) (a) of the Prostitution Act Qld 1999, despite lobbying and sound evidence against why this is inappropriate.  Police are our clients too.  Police can, however, have sex with a sex worker and then charge us as a citizen, after the fact, if they feel so inclined.  It is still illegal, however, for clients to ask for sex without a condom.  How ridiculous is this?

Personally, I am also not allowed to have a ‘meeting of the minds’ with another sex worker in my apartment.  I am in effect, not allowed to have a friend who is also a sex worker, over for a coffee without the risk of being busted in a raid and accused of running an illegal brothel.  I was recently wrongly accused of running an escort agency from my leased apartment by my real estate agent although this is, was and will never be the case.  I am not allowed to adequately protect myself because I am forced into isolation and denied access to my basic human rights and natural justice.  I am not allowed to let anyone know where I am going if I am doing an out-call unless the person is a licensed body guard or a non sex worker.

How realistic is it to expect every sole trader to hire a body guard?  How many non-sex workers do you think volunteer to be on call and who have an understanding of the risks, nature and scope of the work we do?  It is like asking a cleaner to supervise a social worker.  The only people who should be watching my back are other sex workers and maybe their husbands, wives, partners, friends and family.

In conclusion, decriminalisation of the sex industry is the only way to move forward on the issue of human trafficking, sex slavery and violent crime against sex workers in Australia.  It is the only accepted course of action that the United Nations advocates globally because it recognises the overall positive impact on human rights, health and safety and addresses issues of harm minimisation in the area of disease prevention, violence and illegal activity.  I agree with Faehrmann in her article, who says “…the government should be looking at ways to address the sometimes arbitrary and inconsistent implementation of existing sex industry guidelines across local government, rather than making criminals out of currently law abiding citizens.”

New Zealand is leading the way and has screeds of research that shows that decriminalisation is working and having a positive impact on these area’s.  New South Wales is also being heralded as taking a positive stand with its current decriminalisation recording unprecedented new statistics showing 99% compliance by sex workers using condoms, directly reducing the rates of sexually transmitted infections amongst sex workers compared to other groups in the community.  Wake up and smell the roses!  You will be seen as being fickle and weak-kneed by the rest of the world if you back-track and decide to fly in the face of a globally sound and well researched argument.

I am proud to be a sex worker.  I provide an outstanding service delivery in the face of stigma, heavy regulation and discrimination.  I am proud to be associated with organisations like RESPECT Inc and Scarlet Alliance, who are passionate about their collective aims and objectives to improve the lives of sex workers and address issues of human rights and public health and safety.  We are the experts in our field and are therefore informed about what the actual issues are.  I am also proud of Cate Faehrmann for bringing a political voice of reason outside of the sex industry, that challenges the media driven, sensationalised debate currently snowballing out of control in Australia.  Jx

© Copyright, 2011, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved

References:

1.   A Schloenhardt & Human Trafficking Working Group, Happy Birthday Brothels: Ten Years of Prostitution Regulation in Queensland, (2009).

Motels Not Happy About Hookers

Offensive Media Articles

Again, another shoddy attempt at journalism.  Poorly written and bia’s.  The Morning Bulletin published an article in Rockhampton titled Motels not happy about hookers’, dated 18th November, 2011 by Kerri-Anne Mesner.  In this article I am offended by the language that has been used to refer to legal sex workers and the total lack of consultation with sex worker organisations, such as RESPECT Inc.

The derogatory word ‘prostitute’ has been used eight times, and the word ‘hooker’ twice, including in the title.  The correct title ‘legal sex workers’ has not been used at all.  There is also a lack of counter-argument from sex workers in the article.  I have no doubt in my mind that Kerri-Anne Mesner made little or no attempt to consult with sex worker organisations for comments.  If she did, I expect she would have sent an email at 4.45pm on a Friday afternoon, when most people have already left for the weekend.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the obvious bias in the article.  Unfortunately, a lot of Australians are ignorant of the arguments for or against sex workers and rely on the media for facts. Sadly, media articles like this one do more harm than good and are no more than inflammatory.  Journalists need to be educated about how to write and research their stories and at the very least, have their stories read by an editor to ensure high reporting standards are maintained.  Kerri-Anne Mesner’s article is embarrassing and insulting to the general public who are educated who can read between the lines.  I feel I have to fill in some of the gaps in order to develop the story into one worth reading.

It is important to add that the recent Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision ruling against the legal sex worker known as GK in favour of the owners of the Drovers Rest Motel in Moranbah, is being appealed.  It is highly likely to be overturned and bought in line with current anti-discrimination laws and modern business practice.  Unfortunately people in positions of power are also human and prone to letting their own personal bias interfere with ethical decision-making, as is evident in this particular ruling.

Following on from this, is the weak interpretation of the Liquor Licensing Act that QCAT based their decision on.  In my opinion, if it is all of a sudden found to be illegal to operate a business from your motel room, which has a mini bar, in a hotel/motel that holds a liquor license, then wouldn’t that also apply to all the other businessmen and woman who use hotels and motel’s?  Consider ‘business’ conferences conducted for all sorts of businesses across Australia where alcohol is served or available.

The assertion that lawful sex workers are now moving into unlicensed premises is a misnomer.  We have always been there.  The comment by yet another motel owner is blatant evidence that he has been practising discrimination against lawful sex workers for at least four years by ‘turfing them out’.  How has he been able to get away with this illegal behaviour?  The idea that there are also legal sex workers who are male or transgender seems to completely baffle the owners.  They  appear ignorant that the sex industry is not a woman only service provider.  I would like to know how they ‘discovered’ how much money the male sex worker was earning?  I can only assume he had been stalked.  What disgusting language to refer to a legal sex worker as a ‘male-on-male’!

Further more, I would like to know how they can tell the difference between one legal sex worker and another?  How do they know which lawful sex workers will behave questionably?  My guess is that they don’t and they have made an unlawful policy by labelling all sex workers as problematic.  All this does is create an even bigger problem by not addressing the actual behaviour, on a case-by-case basis, as you would with any other guest.  I suspect that there is an irrational fear of legal sex workers which has resulted in whorephobia.

In conclusion, although these articles frustrate and annoy me for there poor reporting, they are useful for highlighting what the actual issues are.  Gender discrimination, sex worker discrimination and sexism.  They encourage debate, and in my opinion any debate is better than complete denial of the issues.  It is clear in the article in question, that Kerri-Anne Mesner has not really thought about what the real story here is.  She has missed her opportunity to really make a journalistic impression on those of us with learned intelligence.

It is about time the media took some pride in their stories and did Australians a service instead of slapping us in the face with bigotry.  Kerri-Anne Mesner could be forgiven for taking the easy road, but in this instance the implications of her negligence on the community is too great.  It is important that Australians are educated about facts about sex work, sex workers and the law.  Only then will the general public be fully informed about the pro’s and con’s of all aspects of the sex industry.  It is simply an injustice to write about moralistic assumptions based on what a small group of hostile hoteliers are saying without hearing what key experts have to say on the real issues.

I am carefully considering making formal complaints about media articles like this that discriminate in their own words.  It is about time we take a stand and insisted that journalists are university educated and supervised before their stories can be published.  Australia needs information to be based on fact rather than speculation.  Anything less, is nothing more than bullshit.  Jx

Jx

© Copyright, 2011, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved