Street walk­ers now on dig­i­tal high­way

Canning Times - - NEWS - Jaime Shurmer

MORE sex work­ers are mov­ing from the streets and broth­els to on­line and pri­vate work, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port re­leased by Curtin Univer­sity.

The re­port rec­om­mends the de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of the sex in­dus­try and of­fers a snap­shot of WA’s sex in­dus­try, with seven lo­cal gov­ern­ments and two po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved and 354 work­ers sur­veyed.

The study showed a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of pri­vate sex work­ers pre­dom­i­nantly ad­ver­tis­ing on­line, which was af­fect­ing brothel own­ers, plus an in­creas­ing de­mand by clients for “nat­u­ral” or un­pro­tected ser­vices.

The study found about 40 shopfront mas­sage par­lours in WA of­fered dis­creet and cheaper ser­vices than broth­els.

The street scene seems to have dis­si­pated, per­haps driven un­der­ground with ‘in car ser­vices’ and in­creased use of mo­bile phones to gen­er­ate busi­ness.

Par­tic­i­pants said pri­vate work paid bet­ter, was more dis­creet and of­fered flex­i­ble work­ing con­di­tions.

How­ever threats and as-

saults were preva­lent, with work­ers re­luc­tant to con­tact po­lice as they did not ex­pected to be treated well or taken se­ri­ously, or they had con­cerns about their visas.

The re­port was re­leased on Oc­to­ber 20, with sum­maries tai­lored for the Depart­ment of Health, WA Po­lice, WA Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion and the Depart­ment of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

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