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Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world. For those who fall through the cracks, getting by is a daily struggle. In dark contrast , the sordid reality of the actual industry is that it exposes women to abuse, intimidation and violence, is riddled with drugs and has a growing illegal underbelly.
Other studies by Sacred Heart Mission and Off Our Backs show that sexual abuse, domestic violence and drug abuse are prevalent amongst sex workers.
The inner city suburb of St. At its heart is Greeves St. The St Kilda Gatehouse is one of a few organisations offering support to women, by way of counselling, material aid and advocacy. On the streets for over ten years, Debbie explained that most women end up there because of their dire economic situation, a drug habit crystal methamphetamines or heroin, or both and often a history of sexual abuse.
She highlighted the recent murder of Tracy Connelly. Greeves St, St Kilda. Julie explains that women come to work in her brothel for similar reasons to those on the street. She also sees an industry in which, despite the high wages and flexible hours, women are unable to break out of their poverty, either lacking the financial skills or social support or because they are dragged down by addiction. Julie also speaks of a rapidly growing illegal industry.
Increased regulations, frequent visits by police and immigration officers and invasive medical examinations, are driving women out of legal brothels, into the underground.