“A news.com.au article has now reported that well-known sex worker Grace Bellavue (real name Pippa O’Sullivan) is believed to have taken her own life early on Monday morning, aged 28,” FamilyVoice Australia national research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“Pippa had suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after having "guns put to my head, yelled at too many people, removed people from clubhouses,... watched a lot of people slip and fall in a bath with the their throat slit".
Linda Watson, a former Perth prostitute and madam who now helps women quit the sex industry, told FamilyVoice that PTSD is very common in the sex industry – whether it is legal or illegal.
“I have suffered PTSD too, and I have seen too many others die,” she said. “There comes a time when you have gone through so much, you feel there is no other way out. Most people do not realise what is happening, because the prostitution link is rarely reported.”
But Ros Phillips said there is good news. Northern Ireland has now followed Canada in adopting Nordic prostitution laws, and Ireland has begun to follow suit.
Under Nordic model laws, prostitution exploiters (pimps, “johns”) are criminalised – unlike sex workers, who are offered help to quit and retrain.
“That is something I long to see in Australia,” Linda Watson said. “I have been helping women and girls for nearly 20 years on a shoestring budget, mainly provided by the Catholic Church. But there is so much more that needs to be done!”
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