Posts tagged australia
Support a Sex Worker and Rape Survivor’s Legal Battle
Support a Sex Worker and Rape Survivor’s Legal Battle - please reblog and spread far and wide!
I’m Ruby - a sex worker of 7 years from Melbourne. I’ve been involved with Vixen as well as organising the inaugural Festival of Sex Work.
About 3 years ago I was raped by a serial ugly mug. Due to his history I decided to report it to the police. The committal hearing happened in 2012 and the trial commences in July and will go for a week and a half. I will be cross examined for 1 - 2 days.
Knowing how difficult it was for me to make it through the committal hearing and to recover afterwards, I have scheduled a month off work. This will allow me time to get through the trial itself and to take care of myself afterwards.
Emergency money that I had set aside was recently eaten up by having to move house in circumstances that were out of my hands. I decided to work very hard after moving house to get the money together. Unfortunately I have been struggling emotionally as the trial approaches (particularly since my rapist’s legal team applied to subpoena my therapist’s notes about me), making it too hard to work as much as I need to.
I do not want to get a loan if I can help it, as this whole process as well as the rape itself has already had a big impact on my life financially - not to mention the cost to my physical and emotional health. I also applied for interim financial assistance from the Victim’s of Crime Tribunal. They denied my application for very whorephobic reasons. By their logic, because I continue to do sex work they do not believe that the assault must have had much of an impact on my life, if at all. If I was sexually assaulted at an office job, no one would question it’s impact on my life if I decided to keep that job afterwards!
I’m usually not very good at asking for help and take great pride in being as self-sufficient, resourceful and independent as possible. But given the trying circumstances, I am calling on all the help that I need right now.
It will take a massive weight off my mind in the lead up to the trial if I know that my expenses will be covered during that period. At this stage I have enough money to cover my rent during that month off. But not for groceries, bills, petrol, medication and those basic day-to-day expenses. My weekly medical bills are high due to complex mental and physical health issues (I suffer from depression and fibromyalgia) - so it’s really important that I can continue to see my psychologist and physiotherapist regularly during this time, as well as my psychiatrist.
To take a month off I will need $3300 to cover these expenses. Any contribution you can make will mean the world to me, and help me in my fight to force someone with a history of violence against sex workers to be accountable for his actions.
If I happen to be lucky enough to exceed my target for this fundraising campaign, all additional donations will go to Melbourne’s Centre Against Sexual Assault - who have been an incredibly supportive organisation to me since the day I decided to report the assault.
my mum is really interested in genealogy, which is like a typical old white person interest or whatever, but also it’s incredible. it’s absolutely a privilege to have access to genealogical information but I think it’s a privilege you should take advantage of, if at all possible.
one time I went to an environmental conference and two of the Aboriginal elders of that region spoke, talking about the land and their relationship to it through their heritage. an elder who has since died said that it was important not only to listen to her, but to find out about the Indigenous groups on the land you yourself lived on, and what they were doing right now, and their elders. she also said it was important not only to demand that information from others, but to know about your own history, your own people, your own relationship to land. why and how are you standing where you stand?
learning about my family history helps me understand Australian history and my place in it and my responsibilities. through my mum’s incredible research I know that most of my ancestors were desperately poor and oppressed in Europe. they were pushed off any land they had. some of them worked in industries that I recognise from my reading as being very harshly affected by the industrial revolution, like English textile workers. some of them were orphans of parents who died in insane asylums. some of them were famine orphans. some of them fled pogroms. some fled family violence and murder. when they came here they started doing a lot better. I benefit from their improved circumstances. but they came here as shock troops for a genocidal colonial project. knowing this makes a lot of stuff I’ve read and heard about real for me — how colonialism is not a separate issue from the oppression of the working classes in Europe, how imperialism is linked intimately with capitalism, with gender also, how incredibly violent the assimilation into a dominant culture is, yet how complete it can be, how utterly I am not purified by the suffering of my ancestors, how capitalism and imperialism and scarcity turn oppressed people against one another.
for part of the time when John Howard was Prime Minister my sister happened to be working for the Japanese government, and once she met the Japanese Minister for Agriculture at an official function where people had gotten a bit shitfaced
and he said “so… I met your Prime Minister…”
and she was like “yeah, he’s a nong, we’re really embarassed, sorry”
and he laughed and said “ok man one time he was busting our balls trying to get us to buy more Australian rice, which, whatever, we don’t need more Australian rice”
“so I pretended to speak English really badly”
“and patted my stomach and said ‘very sorry, Japanese have only small stomachs! we cannot eat so much rice!’”
“and he totally fell for it! man, what an idiot”
I look about the same age as my friend who’s 10 years older than me who spent most of her life in Europe
my friend Emma said that all her North American buddies when she was on exchange acted like they’d never seen someone in their early 20s with crow’s feet