Founded in 2005, Vixen Collective is a peer only sex worker organisation made up entirely of current and former sex workers.
Peer-operated services are widely recognised as a best-practice model for service delivery.
Vixen Collective was recently granted an operating space within Victorian Trades Hall. It’s the first time it’s had a physical space since it was created, however, spokesperson, Jane Green says it’s ironic timing given the lockdowns.
“It’s a little bittersweet, given that we may soon not be able to use it. Though despite this the community are still very excited. It’s been 15 years coming for us to have a physical space from which we can organise and advocate for the community.”
The Vixen Collective’s new location within the Victorian Trades Hall is timely, given not just the current social climate, but also the ongoing fight for sex work to be recognized as work, and the review into the decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria currently being undertaken by the State Government.
“I think it is really important to centre the fight and advocacy of our rights as sex workers in Victoria as part of the Labour movement,” says Green.
“Our community has, for many years, used the slogan ‘sex work is work,’ so having us located at Trade Hall as part of the fight for the rights of workers- [not just] sex workers, is critical in further cementing a very important partnership for us.”
The current effects of coronavirus are being felt acutely by sex workers, venues and support networks alike. With the sex industry itself already having been in a state of ‘contraction’ for some time, the incomes of many workers have fallen over the last decade.
“It’s a picture that’s changing hour by hour and minute by minute for the broader community, not just in relation to our community,” Green says.
“Though particularly for sex workers, as we are mixture of precarious workers, made up of the self-employed and sole traders who work independently. We are particularly marginalised in terms of the impacts of coronavirus.”
“We’re people who don’t have sick leave or holiday pay to fall back on.”
Green issues this appeal to the government:
“The impact of coronavirus is already being felt by our community. We call on the Victorian Government to engage directly with the recognised representative peer organisations of our community and work with us to support sex workers in this time.”