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Canberra Rape Judgement May Have Serious Ramifications For Some Nsw Local Councils

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Sex Workers Outreach Project welcomes the confirmation by the ACT Supreme Court that obtaining a sex worker’s consent to sex by pretending to have paid is rape.[i] 

SWOP hopes that this case finally puts to rest the myth that a sex worker cannot be raped. 

Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, stated in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal over 20 years ago that “Sex workers are entitled to the same protection of the law as other citizens”[ii] and this should apply in all areas of law including sexual assault. Sex workers who have been raped have the same right to justice as all Australians.

The current case holds unequivocally “that something that looks like a consent to sexual intercourse, if obtained by fraudulent activity ……………. is not a consent.”

Many NSW local councils employ persons to pretend to be prospective sex work clients.[iii] These persons have sex with or to attempt to have sex with people who they believe may be sex workers in premises which do not have council permission to provide sexual services. This is done in order to gain evidence in order to close premises that may be operating outside local council planning regulations.

Whenever this is reported in the media SWOP receives calls from sex workers highly distressed by this practise. Many sex workers believe that they are being anonymously raped due to actions instigated by their local councils who are attempting to close their places of work.

This statement by the sex worker in the ACT case illustrates sex workers regard for their work and the value of their work.

In my work, I do not simply allow clients access to my body.  For a short time I give them the opportunity to feel loved.  In a world that values romantic fantasy, I offer a commercialised version. The care and affection that I showed …. during what I thought to be an honest service was completely devalued when I realised that I had been deceived. The tenderness of the act of lovemaking was shared by the man who called himself “Peter”, and was incongruent with the violation that was really happening.

SWOP urges local councils to cease this abhorrent and distressing practise and reminds everyone that “sex workers are entitled to the same protection of the law as other citizens” 

For further comment Contact: Cameron Cox, SWOP Chief Executive Officer

Phone: (02) 9206 2166 | Mobile: 0407 709 947 | Email: