FamilyVoice Australia condemns the Andrews government’s plan to decriminalize prostitution in Victoria, removing offences and criminal penalties for sex work, and repealing public health offences.
Let’s be clear. Further easing of restrictions around sex work will again make it easier for men to pay to abuse and degrade women.
Currently, street-based sex work is a crime in Victoria but selling sexual services at registered brothels and escort agencies or as a licensed private sex worker is permitted.
Changes will be brought before parliament over a two-year period, with key legislation to be passed before the end of 2021.
But prostitutes are often brutalized. In San Francisco, a study found that 82% had been physically assaulted, 68% had been raped while working, 68% experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and 88% wanted to discontinue the practice. Many prostitutes turn to drugs to cope with the pain of their work.
Pandering to the porn-fueled insatiable desires of Victorian men can only lead to more maltreatment of women, and a further escalation of the already problematic sex trafficking of Asian women and girls from interstate and overseas, should Covid restrictions ease.
Most MPs would not want their daughters to be sex workers and should recognise the hypocrisy of allowing someone else’s daughter to become a prostitute.
The only way to minimise the harm of this inherently damaging and degrading “trade” is to develop sensitive but robust laws to curtail those activities.