We are offering peer-counselling for sex workers (SW) who have fled Ukraine. When looking for information on how SW functions in Berlin, getting it from fellow sex workers, queers and migrants and other reliable sources can be very important.
It is vital to know the legal framework in the country you are in and what are your rights as a sex worker. This can prevent exploitation and issues with the police and government.
Sex work is criminalized in most countries on the planet. This and stigma, leads to sex workers and victims of exploitation to stay away from police and counceling centers. It is important to inform people that sex work is legal in Germany & workers have rights. Believing sex work is illegal, makes it more likely for workers to work with a pimp (for protection from police).
It is very common for people to do sex work in a time of need and financial insecurity. Fleeing war is one of those. Sex work is a way to make money anonymously, with no work permit, without educational certificates and without speaking much German/English. Welfare and minimum wage jobs do not cover the costs of sending money abroad to family and friends that might still be in Ukraine. Not everyone will have access to welfare or be able to work a minimum wage job.
Starting to work in a new country can be a frightening experience. It is important to have community, access to counselling & health services and to be able to talk to other workers about ones experiences. This is what we are offering.
Some people might have no previous experience in SW, but are considering starting. Such people, we recommend to go to an introduction to SW aka “Einstiegsberatung” at Hydra e.V. There, a social worker provides information on what to expect from this work: money, taxes, laws, health and what alternatives are out there to sex work. About half of the people that go though this introduction, do not end up working in sex work. It is not “advertising” sex work, but giving people the information and support that they need to make a self-determined choice.
Here you can find more info on this.
Saying we are “advertising” pr*stitution, is no different than when christian fundamentalists acuse doctors of “advertising abortions”. We also offer support and information to people needing to access an abortion. yes, yes, we will all burn in hell… *yawn*
We are not suprised to see so many people worried about trafficking when it comes to white Ukrainian women, while this is barely a topic when talking about non-white refugees.
SWERFs and fundamentalists aren’t scared of trafficking, they are scared of “white slavery”. BIPoC however are the main victims of trafficking and exploitation worldwide.
If you are still worried about us being human traffickers, please feel free to reach out to the KOK -the German network against human trafficking. They will be able to give you real information on exploitation and trafficking and can assist you with questions you might have. We also want to point out, that our peer-to-peer counselling is currently funded by the state anti-discrimination unit of Berlin and has been funded by the family ministry in the past.