The following letter was submitted to The Age by representatives of the women who have exited the sex industry. Unfortunately The Age editors chose not to publish it. So we are running it here.
It is unacceptable that sex industry survivors have been almost completely ignored in this review headed by a well-known sex industry lobbyist, and that none of us are allowed to see the final report.
We write representing women who have exited and are currently in the sex industry who were excluded and dismissed by the Victorian Government’s Review into Decriminalisation of Sex Work.
Fiona Patten, a prominent sex industry lobbyist, former Eros Association CEO, founder of the Australian Sex Party (rebranded as the Reason Party) was appointed to lead the review.
It was clear from the outset that there was an ideological agenda driving a pre-determined outcome to decriminalise pimping, brothel keeping and sex buying.
Despite our extensive, front-line collective experience in the sex industry, our sex trade survivor groups were all excluded from participation. Consultation was almost entirely limited to those who supported Patten’s agenda.
The inquiry report has been withheld from the public (the taxpayers who paid for it) with requests to release it denied. This a serious abuse of the democratic process. We call on the Andrew’s Government to show some accountability for its decision by releasing Patten’s report for public scrutiny.
PEACE, SPACE International, NorMAC and Wahine Toa Rising