How the ‘National Cabinet of Whores’ is leading Australia’s coronavirus response for sex workers

Roxana Diamond in The Conversation, August 7, 2020 12.31pm AEST

This article has links that contain graphic content

Many industries and employees have been hurt by COVID-19. But sex workers, who face stigma and discrimination at the best of times, have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

The United Nations has warned,

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, sex workers all over the world are experiencing hardship, a total loss of income and increased discrimination and harassment.

As both a researcher in the area and sex worker myself, I have seen how sex workers have been an afterthought in Australia’s responses to COVID-19. And how it has been up to sex workers yet again to protect their community, underscoring the importance of decriminalising sex work.

Community Forum: Sex Work Decriminalisation (free online event)

Thorne Harbour Health, July 2020

A review into the decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria is currently underway. Join us to learn about sex work decriminalisation from an expert panel including representatives of the Scarlet Alliance, Sex Industry Network, Vixen Collective, SWOP NT and Respect QLD.

The event will feature presentations on the current regulatory framework in different Australian jurisdictions and the lived experiences of sex workers under the criminalised model, followed by a panel discussion covering issues such as licensing, mandatory STI testing, and recent reform efforts.

Forum date & time: Wed, 29 July 2020 at 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ACST

Free workshop series on Sexuality and Intellectual Disability

South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability, July 2020

Sexuality and Relationships is an essential area of learning for people with an intellectual disability. Adults with intellectual disability say they want to learn together in their own right. Parents and carers can make a big difference in small ways by improving their own knowledge and using supportive approaches.

These interactive workshops will be presented in both the northern and southern suburbs of Adelaide. All workshops are free of charge.

Handouts and resources will be provided during the workshops.

Workshops for parents of people with intellectual disability: Each region will have a set of four 1-day education workshops for parents. The introductory workshop Sexuality and Disability is offered three times. It is recommended that you try to attend one of these sessions before attending others. You can enrol in one or more of the workshops. The Puberty and Adolescence Workshop will be held at the Special Education Resource Unit of the Department of Education in Henley Beach (SERU). This is so that parents of school-age children can become familiar with the range of resources available to them and their children for use at home and at school.
Other sessions will be held in a variety of venues. Parents will have first priority and support workers may also attend if numbers allow.

There will also be a series of four workshops for adults with intellectual disability.

Please see flyer for more information.

Marie Stopes Australia seeks signatories to open letter re changes to telehealth

July 2020
 
There are changes to Telehealth from Monday, July 20th which mean that clients who have not attended a service within the last 12 months – that is, new clients or clients who have not used a service in the last 12 months – will no longer be eligible for a Telehealth appointment.
 
Marie Stopes Australia has written an open letter about the impact of this change access to sexual and reproductive health services. If you are interested in endorsing the letter, you can add your name as a private individual or an organisation. 
 

Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from CALD backgrounds in Australia

ANROWS, June 2020

Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australia

This research set out to increase understanding of the lived experience of being a trans woman of colour living in Australia, in relation to gender transitioning and experiences of sexual violence.

Using a large comparative survey, the research situates trans women of colour’s lived experience of sexual violence within the range of sexual violence experienced by other women, including lesbian, bisexual and queer women, and heterosexual women.

This research highlights that the experiences and needs of trans women in relation to sexual violence remain poorly understood by many healthcare providers, legislators, police and policymakers, with the experiences and needs of trans women of colour being the least understood. The absence of culturally competent information and knowledge about transgender experience, accompanied by misinformation, can lead to stigma, prejudice and discrimination, resulting in unmet health and justice needs for trans women.

 

 

 

COVID-19 and Harm Reduction Programme Implementation: Sharing Experiences in Practice (Webinar)

Médecins du Monde Harm Reduction, April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound effect on the provision of health services across the globe and is further magnifying the existing barriers faced by people who use drugs in accessing harm reduction services. Programmes have had to adapt, and efforts are being made to enhance accessibility and ensure the continuity of harm reduction services in a context that is changing daily.

But what does this look like in reality, and what practical measures can be put in place to ensure that people who use drugs continue to have access to the services and support that they need?

The aim of this webinar is to facilitate an interactive discussion and share experiences on how to maintain and adapt harm reduction services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers will discuss:

• The impact of COVID-19 on the lives of people who use drugs and their use of services

• Community mobilisation and advocacy by people who use drugs

• Examples of how harm reduction programmes such as OST and NSP are continued in some countries

Organisers: Médecins du Monde, International Network of People Who Use Drugs, Harm Reduction International, European Network of People Who Use Drugs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization.