The sex workers of the Australian state Victoria warn about the new anti-sex project offered by the Australian government. Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said that AUD$300,000 would be invested in Project Respect, which is described as a ‘support service’ for female sex workers. She said: “The government is ensuring that sex workers and victims of sex trafficking get the help they need without fear of stigma or discrimination.” The project “is doing powerful work in providing support to some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” she added.
But the funding, which was released in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence – which identified female sex workers as vulnerable, has proven controversial for sex workers. The female sex industry workers consider it to be discriminating and offensive for them personally because it declares their job to be immoral or even a crime.
Speaking to the Star Observer, one sex worker named Alice said the project does not help sex workers. “Project Respect only want to ‘help’ me if I want to stop working, they want to make me ‘free’ from sex work – I’d like to access services that can actually help me and be free from their opinions,” she said.