Statement regarding crimes against sex workers in the ACT
SWOP has been in the media recently because of crimes against at least 6 sex workers in the ACT. Thankfully the police have apprehended 3 men accused of these awful crimes and this is because of the brave sex worker who came forward to lodge the initial report of the crimes.
SWOP was made aware of these crimes some months ago and had encouraged sex workers to come forward. At the end of September the police made a media statement about these crimes and encouraged any sex workers who were victims to please come forward. The AIDS Action Council also encouraged sex workers to come forward and made it clear that if anyone who came forward was uncomfortable speaking to the police, to come and speak with Lexxie at SWOP.
Due to the media attention that this story received more sex workers have come forward and have spoken to police about these crimes. As an ex sex worker I am aware of how hard it is to come forward about these kinds of crimes. And I would like to say thank you for being so brave to the workers who decided that they were not going to put up with being treated like this and decided to do something about it. There are many crimes that go unreported as sex workers do not want to “out” themselves as sex workers because of all the stigma and discrimination that surrounds them.
These crimes highlight the need for the legislation to change from 1 sex worker only at an address to being at least 2 workers being able to work from the same address. It is the opinion of SWOP staff members that the crimes committed against the sex worker earlier this year would have been less likely to have occurred.