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.
If you can help, please do.