How you can support someone experiencing Whorephobia

“Did you know that The Rainbow Project is a sex worker affirming organisation that supports decriminalisation and sex worker rights?

Off the back of our recent sex worker rights awareness training that all of our staff received – we’ve created a handy how-to on supporting someone who is experiencing whorephobia (a term sex workers use to describe the harassment they face for being a sex worker). We can provide confidential and non-judgemental support to sex workers, so please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone (028 90 319 030), e-mail or direct FB message.

How you can support someone experiencing Whorephobia:

  • Set aside your beliefs if you do not support sex worker rights. The person is experiencing the impacts of discrimination and deserves to be safe.
  • Express your non-judgemental support and care to the person. Remember that they are your friend/partner/family member/colleague/loved one.
  • Support the person by challenging whorephobia when you hear/see/witness it. Tolerating or dismissing discrimination fuels validation and agendas of hatred.
  • The person experiencing discrimination may not feel safe to attend certain events/pubs/venues. Ask where they feel safe and respect their feelings/concerns.
  • Recognise that the story of a sex worker (current of former) is theirs and theirs only to tell. Confidentiality is essential in avoiding further discrimination. ‘Outing’ people without their consent can; place them at risk of discrimination, trigger PTSD, affect relationships, housing and current/future employment.
  • Discrimination impacts on mental and physical health, employment, relationships and social connectedness. Check in with the person regularly as the impact can be pervasive in all aspects of their life. Encourage them to access peer support from Sex Work Organisations.
  • Share this post. Demonstrate to sex workers that you will not be complicit in discrimination.

Sex workers deserve to be safe.

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