Adults of all genders who are currently or were formerly working in the sex industry.
Community Counselling Fund
What This Grantee Is Doing for Community Counselling
Peers Victoria is a multi-service grassroots agency that was established by, with, and for sex workers in 1995. Through direct service delivery and community partnerships, Peers provides an array of outreach and drop-in harm reduction and support services alongside education and employment training for current and former sex workers. These include housing, health care access, harm reduction, violence prevention and response and food security supports as well as a range of social groups.
CAI Community Counselling Funding supports the work of a clinical counsellor to provide free 1:1 counselling support and run therapeutic groups, including cultural workshops for Indigenous women. Counsellors at Peers Victoria Resource Centre have lived and academic expertise in sex work, mental health, substance use and trauma. The organization is supported by a Coastal Elder who shares cultural knowledge and healing, focusing on the needs of Indigenous members of the organization.
"This program has been a tremendous enhancement to our service continuum enabling a clinical counselling option for a population who faces multiple barriers to traditional clinical counselling services. Additionally, we have increased our Indigenous-led programming through this grant and have provided an option for trauma informed counselling who sex workers who have faced gender based violence (both within and outside sex work contexts)." - Rachel Phillips, Executive Director "This program has been life-changing, especially because I do not have to explain or justify my work, or other aspects of my identity (eg, LGBTQ, experiences with disability/mental illness, sexualized violence)." - Counselling participant "I can't explain how helpful it's been for me to have counselling where my sex work was a non-issue. It's like everything stuck so much more than other counselling I've done because I wasn't being hyper-vigilant or secretive about my work the whole time. It just opened up so much space and let me actually focus on healing and I think because of that it's the most effective counselling I've ever done. Thank you so much and I think it's so important and valuable what Peers is offering." - Counselling participant