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Friday 9 June 2023 Dublin: 17°C
Photocall Tom Meagher
# not helping
Sex workers have asked Jill Meagher's husband to drop his support for an anti-sex trade group
Sex workers in St Kilda, Victoria, have signed an open letter to Tom Meagher claiming that campaigning for men to stop buying sex services is ‘not helpful’.

SEX WORKERS IN St Kilda, Australia, have asked Tom Meagher, husband of Jill Meagher, to drop his support for the ‘We Don’t Buy It’ campaign.

The letter, written by four sex workers (and endorsed by six others) in the small Melbourne suburb, urges Meagher to drop his support  for the campaign, describing that support as ill-advised, and describes some of the “implications it has for us as sex workers”.

We Don’t Buy It is an Irish campaign asking all men to make a stand against sex trafficking and prostitution.

The campaign launched in April with Meagher’s support, and promotes “a message of zero tolerance of sex trafficking and prostitution as a form of violence against women and girls”.

The open letter claims that the only way to combat the issue of violence against sex workers is to decriminalise prostitution entirely and thus destigmatise the profession.

Currently prostitution itself is legal in Australia, although many activities surrounding it (such as solicitation) are not.

“The problem with targeting clients in all of this is that clients are not the problem,” the letter reads.

This is not helped by campaigns which tell us that sex workers are “prostituted women” who don’t have any ability to properly consent anyway.
It also doesn’t help us to campaign for men to stop buying our services. Sex work is our livelihood.
Police don’t follow a man around, waiting for that moment he might buy sex, no they follow the sex worker.
Decriminalisation is the only legal model that would also meaningfully reduce some of the barriers in reporting to police when we are victims of crime.

Jill Meagher Jill Meagher

Tom Meagher’s wife Jill was raped and murdered following a night out in Melbourne in September 2012.

Her killer, Adrian Bayley, had several other convictions for raping sex workers, including one from just two months prior to the Irish woman’s murder.

Read: Tom Meagher says he cried for hours when he heard what happened to Karen Buckley

Read: Man who raped and killed Jill Meagher convicted of three more rapes

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