Street walkers now on digital highway
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.