Draft health and support service worker template letter

Guidelines for writing to your PPCs (Prospective Parliamentary Candidates)

  • be polite
  • keep it short
  • say if you work for a health or support service, if you’re an academic or researcher, if someone you care for works in the sex industry or if you are simply someone who recognises that people in the sex industry deserve fair treatment, equal protection of the law and respect for our consent to sex – and that discrimination against women on the grounds they sell sex promotes discrimination against all women whose sexual activity meets with disapproval
  • say what you want. We suggest you ask them to support the New Zealand model of full decriminalisation, equal rights and respect for the right to consent to sex.
  • ask them to reply and say that this will affect your vote

Draft health and support service worker template letter

I work for a health and support service for people who sell sex and I’m writing to ask your views on the sex industry. Although this is an issue on which everyone has an opinion, it is rare for discussions of the sex industry to reflect the experiences and needs of the people with whom I work.

It is illegal for people in the sex industry to share premises and outside they can be arrested for soliciting virtually at the whim of the police. This enables violent criminals to target people who sell sex knowing they are unlikely to be reported to the police because their victims fear arrest. When there is increased law enforcement, whether against people who sell sex or their clients, trust in services decreases and our work is more difficult. Premises may close, move or refuse to let us in and women onstreet often work different hours or in unusual locations so we waste time and resources trying to find people rather than offering assistance.

People in the sex industry are let down by and discriminated against by the criminal justice system, easily ending up with a criminal record that decreases their options and results in greater reliance on selling sex.

Evidence shows non-judgemental services that respond to the complex individual needs are more effective in enabling people to make positive changes in their lives than those who seek to impose a pre-determined organisational agenda.

People in the sex industry deserve fair and equal treatment, including respect for their consent to sex, their right to make decisions about their own lives and the full protection of the law. Criminalising them and their clients fails to solve problems and, in fact, just creates more.

I hope that, whatever your personal feelings about sex and prostitution, you treat people in the sex industry fairly and equally. Support the New Zealand model of full decriminalisation, equal rights and respect for the right to consent to sex – because, for everyone, consent counts.

My vote at the General Election depends on this, so please let me know your views.