SIN, is the South Australian Adult Industry Workers Association. Previously known as the Prostitutes Association of South Australia (PASA), the network was originally started in 1986 by a group of local sex workers who were concerned about the intense police harassment that sex workers in South Australia were being subjected to, at that time.
In 1987 PASA was funded to conduct a 3 month HIV/AIDS education project with sex workers. The project was so successful it was given ongoing funding, and SIN has been successful in retaining government funding ever since.
The Definition of a Sex Worker (World Health Organisation, 2016)
Sex workers include female, male and transgender adults (18 years of age and over) who receive money or goods in exchange for sexual services, either regularly or occasionally. Sex work is consensual sex between adults, can take many forms, and varies between and within countries and communities.
Everyone who works or volunteers at SIN identifies as a past or current sex worker. We believe this is pivotal to our success in engaging with the sex worker community, as we all have ‘lived experience’ and understand firsthand the many challenges that sex workers face.
A strong focus on harm reduction
SIN works from a ‘harm reduction’ framework, delivering numerous services to sex workers and the broader community. These services include:
- Safer Sex Shop
- Outreach to sex workers
- Training and education to sex workers
- Training and education to service providers
- Skill shares & workshops
- Community events
- Clean Needle Program (CNP)
Free Sex Worker Awareness training for service providers
Like most marginalised communities, two of the largest hurdles sex workers face are those of stigma and discrimination. SIN regularly conducts free Sex Worker Awareness training to various types of service providers, including within tertiary education settings, in order to break down some of the myths and stereotypes and assist in creating inclusive environments where sex workers feel they are treated as equals.
The sex industry in SA is changing and evolving
SIN is currently witnessing a rise in young ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ (CALD) sex workers entering the industry in South Australia. Because of this, we are working closely with allied agencies such as PEACE Multicultural Services at Relationships Australia SA, who work with CALD communities, to develop support mechanisms for these sex workers.
We encourage sex workers and service providers to contact us
It may surprise you to know that 6 out of 100 women in South Australia have engaged in commercial sex at some point in their adult life — with even more having engaged in opportunistic sex work, or sex for favours. If you, or someone you know could benefit from any of SIN’s services, including free Sex Worker Awareness training, please get in touch to make a time for us to come out and visit you.
Sharon Jennings — Sex worker, Mother, Daughter, Manager of SIN.