Guidelines for writing to your PPCs (Prospective Parliamentary Candidates)
Below is a template letter you can use or adapt but write in your own words if possible.
- be polite
- keep it short
- keep yourself safe – don’t include identifying information, but state your gender if you feel comfortable doing so. Women in the sex industry who speak out against criminalisation are often attacked as unrepresentative or as “pimps”; the existence of men and trans people who sell sex is often ignored.
- say this affects you personally – your safety and ability to earn a living. Say what you want – e.g., you want to be able to work with other people, call the police without fear or be able to access health and support services with fear of discrimation or disrespect. 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.
- if you or people you know are affected by criminalisation, stigma or prejudice, give brief details e.g., you work alone for fear of arrest, your workplace has been raided, you’re a victim of crime but did not report it because of the risk in contacting the police, you’ve ended up with a criminal record makes it more difficult to find other work, you fear disclosing what you do for a living could lead to discrimination or prejudice, you’ve been treated disrespectfully by health or support services because you’re involved in the sex industry
- ask them to let you know their views and say that this will affect your vote
Draft sex worker template letter
I am writing to you to ask your views on the sex industry. Although this is an issue on which everyone has an opinion, it is rare for the voices of people who sell sex and our organisations to be included.
This affects my livelihood and personal safety as I work in the sex industry and live or work in your constituency. People in the sex industry sex deserve fair and equal treatment, including respect for our consent to sex and the full protection of the law.
Due to criminalisation, stigma and prejudice, it is a risk to be open about how I earn a living. Because of this, it’s rare for people in the sex industry to identify themselves, and that’s part of the reason I’m using this site to contact you.
A vocal minority feel entitled to promote policies – such as criminalising our clients – that deny our consent and endanger our lives and livelihoods. They do not represent public opinion, as is shown by Ipsos Mori polls and surveys of TV audiences (e.g., The Big Questions, This Morning) and newspaper readers (e.g., The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/after-woman-sells-virginity-for-780000-here-are-the-results-of-our-prostitution-survey-8226025.html and The Mirror http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/sex-work-swedish-example-looked-4565433 ).
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 our consent to sex – because our consent counts.
My vote at the General Election depends on this, so please let me know your views.