Scarlet Alliance National Forum (SANF)

The Scarlet Alliance National Forum (SANF) is the annual national sex worker-only conference. It provides an opportunity for sex workers to network, workshop, and make our voices heard. SANF is free to attend. Current and former sex workers who support the Scarlet Alliance objectives are welcome. SANF, as a key event of Scarlet Alliance, is strictly sex worker only. The Scarlet Alliance constitution provides that sex industry owners, operators and managers cannot attend and cannot become members of Scarlet Alliance. This includes sex workers who are current owners, operators or managers, or have control over another sex worker’s sex work.

SANF22 8-10 November, Naarm (Melbourne)

This year’s Scarlet Alliance National Forum 2022 (SANF22) will be held in Naarm (Melbourne) from the 8th to the 10th of November. Registrants can attend online, via a local Hub, or at our accessible venue a short ten minute walk from the Melbourne CBD. Visit our SANF22 event page for details.

Safer spaces

SANF is a sex worker-only space. Attendance at the Scarlet Alliance National Forum is strictly sex workers only. This means that we may need to verify your sex work status when you register. Scarlet Alliance recognises that, as sex workers, we have diverse privacy needs. Through decades of sex worker community event organising Scarlet Alliance has developed an approach to maximise the potential for participants to have the greatest level of control over who knows our sex work status. This includes limiting who knows SANF locations, who is able to attend and where information is shared. Participants are asked not to invite non-sex working friends, family and partners to SANF or any related sex worker-only events. We also ask that you please do not disclose the locations of any of the venues to any non-sex workers, and under no circumstances should you share links to any of the SANF Zoom meetings with anyone.

Maintaining privacy online

Respecting the privacy of other sex workers is important, especially with the addition of our online component. Do not share any Zoom links to online SANF sessions with non-sex workers. This is important to ensure that sessions are not attended by non-sex workers. If you know a sex worker who would like to attend, please send them to our registration page.

When you are joining an online session, please ensure that you are in a private space and do not have non-sex workers (including family members or flatmates) in the background or within earshot of the conversation. If you only have a semi-private space, use headphones and a microphone to ensure that other people in your vicinity cannot overhear National Forum conversations, and position your device in a way that no one else can see your screen. You can also turn off your video for the duration of the session. This is important to protect the privacy of sex workers who do not wish to be visible in this space, and to ensure that as many sex workers as possible can engage with the Forum. Do not film or record the online sessions.

Social media use can reveal more about your activities than you may intend, so please take care if you are sharing anything of your SANF experience on your personal or work social media accounts. Please do not do any location-sharing in your posts, nor post or tweet about the event in a way that can identify attendees or venues. We ask that you only post pictures after the event if you have the consent of the people in them. Non-identifying posts can be hashtagged #SANF21. You can follow and tag us on Twitter @ScarletAlliance and Instagram @scarlet_alliance.

Safer Spaces Policy

SANF is an event run by sex workers for sex workers. Everyone is responsible for making the spaces and the experiences what we want them to be. We want SANF21 to offer a sex worker-only space – both physical and virtual – that is welcoming, engaging and supportive; a space where we care for one another and promote lively and productive debate. We want you to feel that you can be yourself and that differing opinions are valued and can strengthen our community. We are asking everyone to be proactive in creating a safer, sex work positive space where everyone is able to participate.

We recommend making yourself familiar with our full Safer Spaces Policy. You can also hear more about how we use it in this video.

Our agreements in creating a safer space at National Forum:

  • Take responsibility for and be intentional with your own words and behaviour. Remember that your words, body language, and actions can have unintended effects on other people.
  • Be aware of and respect others’ physical boundaries. Always get explicit verbal consent before touching another person, even in passing.
  • Consider and maintain your own boundaries around the disclosure of personal information. Because this is a sex worker-only space, it will be assumed that everyone present is a current or former sex worker. Your peers may ask you questions about your sex work. You have a right to decide what personal or professional information you share.
  • Let others volunteer information, rather than pressuring them for it. If someone wants to share information about themselves with you, receive it with grace and dignity.
  • Respect the confidentiality of everyone in the space. Do not share personal information about someone else without their explicit verbal consent.
  • Take responsibility for your own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, and ask for help if you need it.
  • Respect people’s opinions, beliefs, differing states of being and points of view.

If you experience or witness behaviour that breaks any of the above agreements, crosses your boundaries or makes you feel uncomfortable, please raise this with an Online Safer Spaces Representative or a Hub Safer Spaces Representative. If you are made aware that you have not upheld these agreements, be patient and understanding, take on the feedback, and offer an apology or appreciation for someone making an effort to bring it to your attention.

If you feel that your mental health or wellbeing is being negatively impacted by anything that occurs at the National Forum, we encourage you to take time away for self-care. If talking to friends, colleagues or going for a walk is something that is part of how you practice self-care, we hope you feel able to take time out and implement these things. We understand that many of us have been disconnected from our communities for much of this year, and it is possible that being at SANF may bring up feelings of loneliness. If you need to debrief your feelings but don’t feel like you are in crisis, you can call QLife on 1800 184 527. They operate from 3pm to midnight, every day. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or feeling suicidal, please call LifeLine on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Safer Spaces Representatives

Each online session will have two designated Online Safer Spaces Representatives who will be identified at the beginning of the session. If you are concerned about the safety of the space during a session or just need to debrief with someone, you can chat privately with one of the Online Safer Spaces Representatives in Zoom. To do this, you can use the chat function and select the person’s name from the drop-down menu. There will also be breakout rooms available for one-to-one video chat (with the option for video to be turned off) with an Online Safer Spaces Representative. The names of the Online Safer Spaces Representatives for each session will be released with the schedule and will be clearly named in the ‘participants’ tab on Zoom.

If for any reason the matter has caused you to leave the Zoom chat but you would still like support, call 0411 985 135 and you will be connected with another Safer Spaces Representative by phone.

If there is something that you would like to raise after a session or at any time during the National Forum, there will also be members assigned as designated Safer Spaces Representatives in each physical hub. You will be made aware of who they are by the hub staff or volunteers.

The information you share with a Safer Spaces Representative will be confidential unless permission is given to disclose information.

Glossary

Here’s a glossary of terms you might hear discussed at SANF. This can be helpful for those who are new to our space!

SANF news

SANF22 is almost here!

SANF22 is almost here!

Our bags are packed, registrations are closed, and we’re getting ready to head to Naarm for the 2022 Scarlet Alliance National Forum!

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SANF22 Save the Date!

SANF22 Save the Date!

Save the date for this year's National Forum! #SANF22 will be held 8-10 November 2022 in Naarm (Melbourne), and you'll also be able to attend online and from local hubs around the country hosted by our member organisations. Stay tuned for more updates. The Scarlet...

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