Who do you work with?:
We work with female (cis & trans) sex workers. A large segment of our members and clients are low-income, Black women and our clients are primarily adult (20-50+).
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Sex workers actively participate in the development of advocacy, participatory research, health education, health programmes and services. Graduates of our diversion program founded and run our Groundwork programe, an advocacy group for sex workers.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Women and transgender women, especially those of color involved in sex work in the US South experience increased criminalisation and incarceration. Additionally, they have been excluded from needed health and social services and face criminalisation, poverty, racial and gender based violence and the 'trafficking' narrative erasing the lived realities of sex workers.
Describe other areas of your work:
WWAV works with primarily Black women to improve their health and well being. We understand the connection of physical and emotional health to broader social justice issues and apply grassroots and policy level/structural interventions to public health issues experienced by our members and clients. Our main areas of focus are Reproductive Justice, HIV/AIDS advocacy, work with currently and formerly incarcerated women and women who are survivors of intimate partner violence.