The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP NSW) and Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, are shocked and disappointed that the court has found the accused not guilty of murder, but guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
This verdict is extremely distressing to many members of our communities, and follows on from a long history of the police and courts devaluing the lives of sex workers and trans people.
Mish Pony, CEO of Scarlet Alliance says:
“The verdict today finding Mr Valencia not guilty of the murder of Kimberly McRae sends a clear message that our criminal justice system doesn’t find trans women and sex workers deserving of justice.
“Throughout the trial the defence relied on tired tropes and offensive stereotypes of trans women as they made their argument as to why Mr Valencia shouldn’t be charged with murder.
“This use of trans and gay panic defences are unacceptable, and relies on justifying transphobic and homophobic violence as reasonable responses.”
Chantell Martin, Co-CEO of SWOP NSW says:
“Sex workers and trans people deserve to live our lives free of violence and discrimination.
“Right now in Australia more than half of trans and gender diverse people have been subjected to sexual violence and another one in three have been physically attacked.
“We are constantly exposed to harassment, violence and discrimination and a criminal justice system that does little to recognise the crimes committed against us. It’s unacceptable and it needs to change.
“Kimberly deserved better. We all deserve better.”
SWOP NSW and Scarlet Alliance recognises the impact this has on our communities, and encourages people affected by this news to reach out to the supports listed below.
- SWOP NSW: (02) 9184 9466 and https://swop.org.au/contact
- QLife (3pm to midnight): 1800 184 527 and https://qlife.org.au/
- Or your local sex worker project or organisation.
For further comment please text or call Mish Pony (Scarlet Alliance) at 0411 985 135 or Chantell Martin (SWOP NSW) at 0407 709 947.