Scarlet News:


Dec 14, 2009 | Media release, News

Sydney sex workers make one minute’s noise outside Downing CentreCourts to protest recent "not guilty" verdict in assault case on the7th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, Dec 172009.DATE: Thursday, 17 December 2009TIME: 11amPLACE: Downing Centre (court), 143-147 Liverpool Street, Sydney

There is outcry today from Australian sex workers after the accusedattacker walked free from a recent New South Wales case. The accusedadmitted to using a "lock-down manoeuvre" to pin the woman, a sexworker, down to the bed when she said she wanted to stop. The evidenceincluded the accused admitting to placing a hand over her mouth tosilence her when she refused to give his money back when the bookingtime was up.

“On December 17, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, sex workers are calling for justice outside the NSW courts. Theoutrage is a result of this case and the systemic inequity experiencedby sex workers at the hands of police and the courts throughoutAustralia.” said Janelle Fawkes, CEO.

The International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers is inspiringmany events including in Sydney, Northern Territory, Melbourne, andthe world.

“There are systemic discrimination problems in Australia, saidJanelle Fawkes, CEO, Scarlet Alliance. “There is no incentive for sexworkers to report crime, particularly in states and territories wheresex work is criminalised, as complaints to police are not beingfollowed up or taken seriously. When sex workers do report crimes thecases are not treated fairly by the courts and rarely result in aguilty charge.”

Nina Funnell of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre said today: “there is stilla pervasive cultural belief that- because of their profession- it isacceptable to afford sex workers less human rights than everyone else.This is absolutely disgraceful and to fix this problem we need fairtreatment in the courts for all sex workers as well as massiveattitudinal change"

“Whilst sex work is not inherently dangerous, policies and laws inplace in Australia put sex workers in dangerous environments. Thiscombined with the unacceptably high levels of stigma anddiscrimination against sex workers results in systemic socialexclusion and a lack of access to justice.” said Janelle Fawkes,Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association.

For media comment call:Janelle Fawkes, Scarlet Alliance Sex Workers Assoc Nina Funnell, NSW Rape Crisis Centre

Queensland laws prevent private sex workers from working in pairs.Western Australian street based sex work criminal laws have resultedin sex workers changing work practices to avoid police detection.Rather than the historic practice of talking through the car window toassess the client and negotiate price and agreed service sex workersnow jump straight into any vehicle that stops (to avoid policedetection) and then must negotiate in a moving vehicle.

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