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Peer-run support service for sex workers loses funding while more and more anti-trafficking monies pour into incompetent “experts”

Date: May 5, 2011

Yesterday, I posted scanned images of the handout made by a service provider which works with trafficked youth (among others). I pointed out that the set of words and phrases juxtaposed to each other in the handout showed a complete lack of cultural awareness and competency on the part of the people who designed it.

I thought I should also post an example of good handouts. Images below come from the handouts for SAVVY, a now-defunct project that provided peer support and resources for women working in the sex industry (I edited the image to disguise date/time and address, because the group is defunct and I don’t want to mislead people that it’s still there):


Text says:


Are you tired… Of police harassment, haters, and the dangers of the sex trade?

Do you need… Free, discreet, non-judgmental assistance and support?

We offer… Confidential support from current and former sex workers; Cute clothes box; Healthcare info and Legal referrals; Condoms and safer sex supplies; Work-related safety tips; Needle exchange; Free. Just drop-in.


The other side of the sheet showed the comic below:


There are many differences between the SAVVY material and the handout I posted yesterday, but the main difference is: SAVVY was a peer-run program run by former and current sex workers themselves. As such they know how to reach out to their peers.

SAVVY existed until several years ago, but its funding was cut. In the meantime, more and more public and private monies are pouring into the anti-trafficking groups, many of which are not just incompetent, but clearly out of touch with reality. That is the sad state of the movement right now.

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