Our Consent Counts when legislating on sexwork by Emily

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, let alone listened too.

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 deserve fair and equal treatment we are still people, including respect for our consent to sex and the full protection of the law. We are doing a labour job just like many others out there, yet this is the only job were woman are not aloud to work together for safety.

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. Stigma kills. I choose to do this job, I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs, I had a wonderful upbringing and have never been abused, I made an informative decision about becoming a sex worker. I wanted to get through college with out debt, I wanted to buy a car not on finance, I wanted to support myself and that is what I am doing.

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, as most of us are mothers trying to fed and care for our children while still spending as much time with them and bringing them up with in a loving, caring supportive family environment where they never have to feel alone because there mother is alway’s at home to support them, no long office hours, no missed school plays/trips or doctors appointments . 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.

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