This is a collation of tweets I have written in response to the Health Minister Michael Ferguson defunding the Scarlet Alliance Tasmania Sex Worker Project
- OK twitter, pull up a seat. It’s time to talk, it’s going to be long so I’ll blog it as well. Friends and allies I’m going to ask for help
- How important is it to you that you have a peer support network? Do you connect with other workers/people about your job/industry?
- Do you have family, friends, contacts, support, groups you can debrief with, share knowledge, vent to, learn from?
- Imagine trying to do that if you aren’t able to tell your normal contacts, people, friends, family what you do for a living
- Whether you have a good day and want to celebrate or a bad day and need help, or if you need practical advice who would you go to?
- Peer support networks are CRITICAL to keeping me, and us, safe. And sane. And functioning.
- Like to use LinkedIn for networking? I can’t, they don’t allow sexworkers
- If you needed to go to the doctor would you know how to find one? This is just one thing sw peer support is for.
- Why don’t I just use my real name? To hide my loved ones from these people who want to ‘save’ me (from local paper)
- Peer networks are where I can ask how do I? What do I? Can I? Could you please? Who are sw’er friendly health services? How to work safely?
- In Tasmania sex work peer support is provided by a @scarletalliance run project. We have no state based support group like @SWOPnsw
- The Scarlet Alliance Tasmanian project gets very little funding, not even enough for a full-time position and this is now under threat
- If you understand why sex worker peer support is so important could you please join me in letting @fergusonmichael and @WillHodgman know
- Dear @fergusonmichael and @WillHodgman thank you for funding the sexworker peer support program so far, please let it continue. In Tas it is the only service I can rely on for non judgmental support and advice on sexual health, general health, mental health referrals and recommendations. They give practical advice on working safely. They keep me connected in a stigmatised, isolated industry. They also also connect services that use sexworkers, such as disability support and aged care services and represent and can speak for me.
- The hashtag is #SaveScarletTas please use it, tweet it, retweet it. Thanks in advance
I was asked are you fearful that something bad is going to happen to you? I have to be realistic. If someone wants to do harm they will often choose a victim who won’t be noticed if they go missing or won’t cause a media storm. Screening clients is super important and peer networks are a huge part of this. They’ve also taught me lots of safety techniques like where to stand when you enter a room, how to scan an unfamiliar room quickly, how to monitor condoms not removed etc
Something that the Tas sex work project is brilliant at is lobbying. It would be easier to change legislation for the worse without them. (I’m just putting this out there, it’s not outside the realms of possibility that a client criminilisation model of sex work legislation will follow).