“Congratulations to Kim MacDonald of The West Australian for her article today, exposing the reality of prostitution,” said Ros Phillips of FamilyVoice Australia.
Kim’s article, Leaving behind a life of misery, quoted evidence by Linda Watson, a former Perth sex worker and brothel owner who knows what really goes on behind closed doors in the city’s up-market bordellos.
Linda has been beaten, abused and spat on – most customers had no respect for women. She thought she would solve the problem by running her own brothel and allowing her girls to refuse abusive customers. But then she came up against commercial reality.
Linda still feels guilty about the young women whose lives were destroyed on her watch. That is why, ever since she quit the business in 1997, she has been working to help others get out of the prostitution trap. Her refuge, Linda’s House of Hope, is backed by Perth’s Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey.
“Linda’s evidence rings true. I have heard the same story from many sex workers who have been contacting me ever since 1979 when I began campaigning against legalised brothels in South Australia,” Ros Phillips said.
“They start out wanting to make easy money – to finance a university course, or an overseas trip, or a drug habit. But few manage to save that money. Most end up depressed and hooked on drugs, which are part and parcel of the sex trade.”
Linda Watson was a little distracted when Ros Phillips spoke to her today. “Workmen are busy at her House of Hope, installing new security shutters,” Mrs Phillips said. “She has had threatening phone calls at 3 am, and cars driving slowly past at 4 am.
“Linda is apprehensive. She is bracing herself for the next attack. It happens every time she speaks out against moves to legalise the sex trade. She is one brave lady.
“How long will it take MPs to get the message? The thugs behind these attacks want to silence Linda Watson. They want Mr Porter’s Green Bill on prostitution to pass, because it would make their abusive business look respectable,” Ros Phillips said.
“That is why the bill should be heavily amended or rejected.”
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