, 46 tweets, 37 min read Read on Twitter
Hello! Thank you so much Neville Southall for letting us use this account to talk about our message. This is @ladygrew tweeting for @SWAIIreland, the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, a sex worker-led organisation, who advocates and supports all sex workers on the island of Ireland.
A major focus for us is preventing criminalisation of sex work. Today is the 2 yr anniversary of the Sexual Offenses Act in Ireland, which criminalised the purchase of sex, and doubled already existing penalties for escorts working in pairs or groups. #DecrimForSafety
Client criminalisation was introduced purportedly to protect vulnerable people in sex work, but instead it has created "buyers' market" with clients having the bargaining power. #DecrimForSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Sex workers need to sell sex to clients to pay for their rent, whereas a client is indulging in a recreation. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
This puts sex workers in a precarious situation, as clients can more easily walk away from the transaction, and can, therefore, call the shots. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
We’ve seen the same number of sex workers working, and hear from clients that they are trying to avoid arrest by moving away from escorts they fear would most likely to experience a brothel-raid. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
This tends to be migrant workers. This has created is a smaller pool of clients for this already more marginalised group #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
These workers are forced to lower their prices, offers services they previously wouldn’t have offered and see clients they previously wouldn’t have seen. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Sex workers are now reluctant to report to the police, as sex workers are afraid now their workplace known to the Gardai will find their workplace surveiled to catch clients. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Ugly Mugs, a screening app and blacklisting site widely used by sex workers, found a 92% increase in violent attacks against sex workers since the introduction of client criminalisation #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland @uglymugsie
Violence and risk of exploitation is not a deterrent for people in the sex industry, for especially for people with little to no options, they still need to make money! uglymugs.ie/wp-content/upl… #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Ugly Mugs also found a near decrease 20% sex workers wanting to report their attackers to the Gardai. uglymugs.ie/wp-content/upl… #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland @uglymugsie
Gardai will often take all their money, condoms, and the possessions as proceeds of crime off of the migrant sex workers who are often the target of these brothel raids. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
These workers will either be given the option to face a criminal charge or be deported. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
These brothel-keeping laws are still in place - the Sexual Offenses Act 2017 doubled the penalties for these workers, and introduced the possibility of facing a prison sentence. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Instead of decriminalising us, sex workers face the biggest burden of this law. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
A photo and words from a member of SWAG (Sex Worker Action Group). SWAI exhibited photos taken by workers who could thru the lens safely convey their perspective. So many differing feelings about the work, but unified in wanting #DecrimForSafety and to be heard. @SWAIIreland
Many sex workers are forced to seek assistance from criminals who prey on our vulnerability, or are exploited by landlords who take advantage of our position to extract enormous sums, even for accomodation #SupportSafeSexWork #DecrimForSafety @swaiireland
We even hear of landlords blackmailing workers by attempting to solicit sex from them #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Sex workers now are unable to discern whether a client asking if they are alone is afraid for his own safety or a dangerous predator wanting to cause harm #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
The phrase “Are you alone?” can no longer be used to be a red flag for us #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
A victim of the first spate of escalated violence (against trans Brazilian Sex Workers) told us her attacker had asked this but she felt she had to take the risk. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
When we ignore the significant population of trans workers and cis male workers we fail to address their specific issues, which can be different, more hidden and less talked about than those of cis female workers #DecrimForSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
This law was supposed to protect the most vulnerable sex workers, but instead has put these individuals particularly more at risk of violence and exploitation. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
In Sweden where this law originated, health and outreach services find it increasingly more difficult to gain access to sex workers @fuckforbundet are a new org there for SWers, they are fed up wltheir exclusion from society! #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Their barriers to supports means more difficulty finding those vulnerable to exploitation including trafficking victims. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
There has not been a single sex worker or survivor of prostitution who has worked under this Swedish model in its 20 year run so far, that has been able to say how it improved their situation #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Simon Haggstrom, the police officer who champions this bill in Sweden, has said “There will always be a need for our prostitution unit.” #enddemand does not work, only makes us less safe! #DecrimForSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @SWAIIreland
There has been no decrease in the number of sex workers working, which means more than likely, this has done nothing to hinder trafficking into the sex trade. All it has done is made sex workers lives more dangerous. #SupportSafeSexWork #DecrimForSafety @SWAIIreland
Ireland repealed the abortion law last year, legalising abortion. Abortion, like sex work, happens, illegal or legal. As we have seen, like abortion, criminalising sex work just pushes people into risky and dangerous situations. #DecrimForSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @SWAIIreland
Like abortion, you don’t have to like it nor choose it for yourself, to still support sex workers to have safer and better working conditions #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Repealing the abortion law was a massive step towards Irish women having complete bodily autonomy. Ireland is moving away from its dark past of shaming, institutionalising, hiding, and speaking over women for their sexuality! #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Sex workers are in this lineage of women who need to be listened to and respected! #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland universitytimes.ie/2016/04/the-ch…
SWAI supports and assists people who do sex work along the spectrum of choice, circumstance, and coercion. We have more in common than we have differences! As everywhere, it is the most vulnerable who bear the brunt of bad laws. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Many people enter the sex industry out of survival, with little to no options. You do no-one a favour by making their lifeline much more dangerous, due to these bad laws and stigma - to the point they may not survive #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
We cannot cut ties to people’s lifeline! This law came with ZERO funds or supports to help sex workers #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
If we want to help the most vulnerable in sex work leave, we need to have safety nets in place such as access to housing, childcare, healthcare or anything that alleviates why the person entered sex work in the first place #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @SWAIIreland
We need to focus on the real roots of why people, who do survival sex work end up in the sex industry working under exploitative conditions #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
The current law does not respond to the circumstances of deep poverty, domestic violence, homelessness, and drug mis-use that lead to becoming susceptible to trafficking, and abuse in the industry #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
People are selling sex to get the resources they need to survive. If the State provides those resources, we will finally help the most vulnerable in the sex industry #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
If #enddemand organisations do wish to help ppl they need to stop meddling w/a means of survival and instead agitate round areas of root causes we mentioned, THAT way we would work together to give real support. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
The US - which has criminalisation and a massive sex industry - is a good example of how the legal model does not push people into the sex industry, but poverty and lack of resources does! #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
The Dept of Justice in Northern Ireland commissioned research into sex work and found 98% sex workers did not want the sex purchase ban, #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/o…
There will be a review of the current law in Northern Ireland this year and next year in the Republic in 2020. Same as ALL sex worker rights organisations worldwide, we will be fighting for full decriminalisation. #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Sex workers in IE even when consulted are not listened to. As a result our realities are misunderstood, misrepresented, and ignored, and sex workers are much worse off. Allies can help by asking where are we in the discussion! #DecrimforSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @swaiireland
Sex workers need to be centred in all discussions about laws and matters that affect our lives! What other group of people would it be acceptable to not take direction from on their own issues? #DecrimForSafety #SupportSafeSexWork @SWAIIreland
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