What is Project Respect?
Project Respect is a non-profit, feminist, community-based organisation, that aims to empower and support women in the sex industry, including women trafficked to Australia.
Established in 1998, we began as a direct service to women in the sex industry across Victoria. We have no religious affiliation, and work with all women in an inclusive and woman-centered manner. Project Respect does not rescue or save women, but works with them by providing specialist. non-judgemental outreach and individual support.
The Project Respect team is made up of a diverse team who believe women matter and who are committed to supporting women in the sex industry. This includes women who have been, or still are involved in the sex industry holding positions throughout the organisation; from the Committee of Management, right through to volunteers. We believe this enables Project Respect to maintain the most current and extensive insight into the Australian sex industry.
Project Respect's vision is for a world where women are free from trafficking, prostitution and sexual exploitation.
We aim to see this achieved by:
1. Supporting women in the sex industry; through direct outreach, practical assistance, referral, ongoing emotional support, social inclusion and a sense of community.
2. Empowering women who have been in the sex industry; using a strength-based, woman-centred approach, facilitating access to genuine options to rebuild their lives outside the industry, and working to foster their sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
3. Educating the community, informed by women from the sex industry; to bring about greater awareness of the impacts of prostitution and trafficking, and the prevent the exploitation and enslavement of women, by the sex industry.
4. Advocacy and activism, informed by women from the sex industry; to address the demand, violence and structural inequalities that maintain the sex industry.
5. Research on the sex industry; to inform evidence-based practice and provide tools for social change.
6. Leading the way in Australia; as experts in specialist support for women who have been trafficked into the sex industry.
Our driving Principles:
Project Respect's core principles are:
1. Feminist: recognising gender inequality and working to promote women's rights.
2. Women-centred: our outreach is focused on women's needs and experiences, and our activities led and informed by the women we support.
3. Respectful: for all women, acknowledging diversity and celebrating individuality.
4. Proactive: we are committed to being leaders in education, advocacy and research to achieve sustainable change.
5. Compassionate: our work is grounded in compassion and empathy.
6. Human rights: for all women.
7. Non-violence: we reject violence in any form, and focus on preventing violence against women.