What are your thoughts on women who are working in the sex industry?
They may be women who are street-based sex workers or working in low-end brothels. Park your thoughts for a minute, and place yourself in the shoes of a woman who has likely experienced financial hardship, a history of trauma, domestic violence or drug dependence, and unstable accommodation or homelessness.
Or you may have travelled from overseas to find work. Being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, you have trouble accessing traditional support services due to language barriers or your visa status.
Your work environment doesn’t bear describing, but you work on the street and life is often chaotic. If you’re working in a low-end brothel, it’s often dark, small and cramped. Both options can be dangerous, and one thing is for sure; you can often feel isolated and vulnerable.
Regardless of the circumstances or barriers these women face, the stigma and stereotypes that society has about sex work often leads to the women facing social isolation or discrimination. This can further compound the disadvantage or marginalisation they face.
BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Services is about increasing a woman’s sense of belonging, as well as using their professional skill sets to increase their choices and increase their safety, health and wellbeing.