About

Survivors for Decrim is a led by survivors with current and past experiences in the sex trade. We advocate for the full decriminalisation of sex work, along with holistic, harm reduction-focused services and meaningful redistribution of resources into marginalised communities to ensure that no one has to resort to sex work to survive.

By “decriminalisation”, Survivors for Decrim means the New Zealand model. In New Zealand, street-based sex workers can work without fear of arrest, and have time to suss out their clients as neither side of the transaction is criminalised. Indoor sex workers can work in informal co-operatives with friends for safety without fearing arrest for ‘brothel-keeping’, and without needing to jump through any bureaucratic hoops that might otherwise make this option inaccessible to more marginalised workers. When sex workers work for managers, those managers are subject to labour laws that were designed with input from sex workers – so for example, sex workers are protected by standard employment protections such as anti-sexual harassment measures. Like the global sex workers’ rights movement, we are critical of the New Zealand model in that it does not go nearly far enough with regards to the rights of migrant sex workers. We advocate for a world where anyone – including people who sell sex – can migrate safely and openly to wherever they want.

By “survivors”, Survivors for Decrim means anyone who has experienced violence, trauma, exploitation or abuse during their time selling or trading sex, or who experienced violence, abuse or trauma prior to entering the sex industry. We include arrest, incarceration, and deportation as forms of violence.

The focus of Survivors for Decrim centres the experiences of full service sex workers, in part because full service sex work generally has the least barriers to entry of any form of sex work, and as such is undertaken by the most precarious in our communities. Furthermore, full-service sex work is almost universally criminalised, and as such, these workers are most intensely subject to the violence associated with criminalisation, including arrest and incarceration, eviction, deportation, loss of child custody, assault, and workplace exploitation. However, discourses around sex work and survivorhood impact on everyone who sells or trades any form of sexual service (for example, jokes about strippers’ assumed experiences of abuse as children), and so Survivors for Decrim are happy to include sex workers who are not full service.

Survivors for Decrim is not open to managers or bosses. We believe that the interests of workers are not aligned to the interests of managers. We are focused on the interests of workers.

Survivors for Decrim is open to people of any gender or none.