Sex workers have their say

People for Sex Workers Rights in WA want the industry |decriminalised.
People for Sex Workers Rights in WA want the industry |decriminalised.

People for Sex Workers Rights in WA spokeswoman Rebecca Davies believed decriminalisation should be advocated because of its success in New Zealand and New South Wales.

Currently, sex work is not illegal but it is illegal to live off the earnings of a sex worker.

‘Decriminalisation would mean removing criminal tendencies and allowing the sex business to be treated like any other business,’ she said.

‘There has not been an explosion of brothels in places where it has been decriminalised, which some people feared would happen.’

In last week’s Courier, Rockingham-based politician Phil Edman said the State Government needed to explore legislation allowing brothels to operate in industrial zones.

Ms Davies, a sex worker for more than a decade, believed legalising brothels in non-residential zones only would not ensure safety for sex workers.

‘Brothels should not be confined to industrial areas because of their isolation,’ she said.

‘I have worked in industrial areas and they are scary because no one is around at night and it is far away from amenities, like public transport.’

Ms Davies said the sex industry had been smeared with misconceptions.

‘It is an industry that is highly stigmatised and some people do not think of us as part of the community,’ she said.

‘Some people view sex workers as disposable commodities and those public attitudes can be dangerous.

‘Reliable studies show that drug use is about the same for sex workers as the general community.

‘Research also shows that sex workers in Australia have lower rates of sexually transmitted infections than the general population.’

Attorney General Michael Mischin recently told the Courier the State Government would ‘like to see regulation in this area’ but was pursuing ‘higher-order priorities’.

The City of Rockingham said an investigation into Nina’s Massage was ‘ongoing’.

A Courier reporter was offered a sexual service when they visited the business as part of an investigation by the paper.