Nothing About Us Without Us - NAUWU > NAUWU Events > 2009 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

2009 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Table of contents
No headers

Flyer and Advert Inviting Workers to Attend

We placed this information on online Australian forums, sent it around via email and Facebook, and we asked some services to hand out the info in flyers we made. We wanted as many people to know as possible we would be coming together to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and to raise the awareness of issues sex workers face when it comes to Violence and discrimmination.


Solidarity Event in association with hundreds of other actions across the world!


sex workers rights 2.jpg


Meet at 10.45am next Thursday, Dec 17th, at front of Downing Centre (court), 143-147 Liverpool Street, Sydney, wearing red.

Sex workers and supporters welcome.


Sex workers face all kinds of violence; sexism, transphobia and racism, especially as a result of criminalisation. In NSW sex work is decriminalised. Many sex worker communities around the world are commemorating Dec 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Violence against sex workers comes from the laws, from persecution for our work, and from a society that sees sex workers as the "natural" victims of violence for these other systemic oppressions. This discrimination has been blatant in a recent court case in NSW, sex workers and supporters will protest this next Thursday. Please come along.


We’ll be protesting the discrimination apparent in the recent NSW court case. The accused was charged with assault with intent to have sexual intercourse and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They admitted to using a "lock down manoeuvre" to pin the woman to the bed and putting a hand across the victims mouth, but was still found “not guilty.”  This is an injustice and is discriminatory against sex workers – Would it be acceptable if this happened to a worker in hospitality or other industries? This is not justice.


The protest outside Downing Centre will be followed by lunch on Oxford Street. Sex workers and supporters welcome. Come and protest for sex worker rights, spread the message. See you on Thursday!


To see news articles of the court case that we are protesting on International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, please see the links below:


To see what sex workers all over the world are doing to mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2009, please check the SWOPUSA link below:



Press Release

This is the media release that was sent letting the media know where we'd be so we'd get coverage for the event. Thank you to Scarlet Alliance for partnering us and being the spokes people for the day and helping with the media release :)




Sydney sex workers make one minute's noise outside Downing Centre Courts to protest recent "not guilty" verdict in assault case on the 7th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, Dec 17 2009.[i]

DATE: Thursday, 17 December 2009
TIME: 11am
PLACE: Downing Centre (court), 143-147 Liverpool Street, Sydney

SPOKESPERSON:Janelle Fawkes, CEO, Scarlet Alliance Sex Workers Association 0411 985 135

There is outcry today from Australian sex workers after the accused attacker walked free from a recent New South Wales case. The accused admitted to using a "lock-down manoeuvre" to pin the woman, a sex worker, down to the bed when she said she wanted to stop. The evidence included the accused admitting to placing a hand over her mouth to silence her when she refused to give his money back when the booking time was up.[ii]

“On December 17, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers[iii], sex workers are calling for justice outside the NSW courts. The outrage is a result of this case and the systemic inequity experienced by sex workers at the hands of police and the courts throughout Australia.” said Janelle Fawkes, CEO.

The International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers is inspiring many events including in Sydney, Northern Territory, Melbourne,[iv] and the world.

“There are systemic discrimination problems in Australia, said Janelle Fawkes, CEO, Scarlet Alliance.“There is no incentive for sex workers to report crime, particularly in states and territories where sex work is criminalised, as complaints to police are not being followed up or taken seriously. When sex workers do report crimes the cases are not treated fairly by the courts and rarely result in a guilty charge.”

Nina Funnell of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre said today: “there is still a pervasive cultural belief that- because of their profession- it is acceptable to afford sex workers less human rights than everyone else. This is absolutely disgraceful and to fix this problem we need fair treatment in the courts for all sex workers as well as massive attitudinal change"

“Whilst sex work is not inherently dangerous, policies and laws in place in Australia put sex workers in dangerous environments.[v] This combined with the unacceptably high levels of stigma and discrimination against sex workers results in systemic social exclusion and a lack of access to justice.” said Janelle Fawkes, Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association.

For media comment call:

Janelle Fawkes, Scarlet Alliance Sex Workers Assoc, 0411 985 135

Nina Funnell, NSW Rape Crisis Centre, 0438 479 831

[v]Queensland laws prevent private sex workers from working in pairs. Western Australian street based sex work criminal laws have resulted in sex workers changing work practices to avoid police detection. Rather than the historic practice of talking through the car window to assess the client and negotiate price and agreed service sex workers now jump straight into any vehicle that stops (to avoid police detection) and then must negotiate in a moving vehicle.




Media Coverage on the Day

We had great success with the media on the day with articles in News Papers as well as a video on the Front Page of the Sydney Morning Herald. The images were strong and our speakers did an expert job.     





   Pictures from the day...

Here are some pictures we took while making noise standing out the front of Downing Centre Court in Sydney. One of the reasons we wear red is so we stand out loud and proud for when those photo opportunities happen - I think you'll agree the images make a big impact!


 NAUWU-International-Violenc.jpg           NAUWU-Inter-Violenc-2.jpg














Disclaimer: Images used on this site have been used with the permission of all parties pictured. If you happen to find an image of yourself and do not wish for it to appear on please let the webperson of this site know by contacting  .

contributions on  have been made by NSW Sex Workers and other concerned parties of NSW Sex Industry; site design and maintenance by ; Copyright Nothing About Us Without Us  2009 - 2011   






Tag page
You must login to post a comment.