Subscribe to News
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD

Project Respect

Contact

Name: Rachel Reilly

Position: Executive Director

Email: rachelreilly@projectrespect.org.au

Website: http://www.projectrespect.org.au/

Address

PO Box 1323

Collingwood VIC 3066

Share us on social media

Follow

Our Mission / Objective

Project Respect’s vision is a world where women are free from trafficking, violence, and sexual exploitation.

Project Respect’s primary mission is to support and empower women trafficked and women in the sex industry, be guided and informed by the women we support and to advocate for the structural change needed to end all forms of sexual exploitation. 

Project Respect is a feminist organisation, with all advocacy, support and programs based on a feminist philosophy. We position trafficking and sexual exploitation as a global, gendered and structural issue and our work is women-centred, collaborative, and respectful of women’s decisions. Our strong evidence-base supports proactive and courageous work.

Our Services

Project Respect is a specialised essential support service for women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry. A non-judgemental service, we are open to all women in the industry.  

To support women, Project Respect works in four ways:  

 One, we facilitate access to essential services – such as healthcarelegal representation and housing services. We provide emotional support for women making police reports or going to courtWhile many organisations become targeted, addressing just one area of need, Project Respect remains open. Led entirely by the needs of women, we assist and support women by linking in to the broad range of community and social services. At the centre of our support work is regular outreach, where we visit and deliver information to licensed brothels in the Greater Melbourne Region. We do this so woman know we are available to them – without judgement – should they need us.  

We also connect women together, supporting them to support one another, in their shared experiences. Intense stigma around the sex industry means it can be isolating. Through peer-led community lunches we nurture a safe, non-judgemental and supportive network. For many women, Project Respect is simply and powerfully about belonging. It’s their place to be. Outside the mainstream, in these rare spaces, women are understood, welcomed, and treated with respect.  

Three, we develop the workforce capability of the broader services system, to build their knowledge and understanding of the issues women experience, and the barriers they face in accessing the mainstream system. We educate services about human trafficking in Australia, and build their ability to identify, respond and refer potential cases of trafficking. We aim to build a service system where woman can access services free from stigma and discrimination, and where they have choice in the services they can select. 

Lastly, we advocate for women’s rights against violence, trafficking and exploitation. To improve life for women in the sex industry, we must improve the status of women overall. That’s why we work directly with all levels of government, lobbying for broad policy change. We argue for a human rights-based approach to protecting survivors of trafficking. We argue for better conditions for women while they are in the sex industry. We help expose violence against women, and push for solutions to eradicate it. In all this work, we ensure the voices of women with lived experience are heard. We offer women a platform to write, speak and meet directly with decision makers. We know that their voices and leadership will create the positive change we seek.  

At Project Respect, we believe that all women have the right to feel safe and respected. We are fundamentally for and about women’s rights and needs. We are committed to doing what is needed to achieve a world free from sexual exploitation. 

Our Beneficiaries

Approximately 70% of the women we support are from migrant backgrounds, with many women on temporary visas which can hinder their ability to access government funded services. 

More than 80% of the women we meet during our outreach to licensed brothels are women from migrant backgrounds on temporary visas, many who only have basic english language skills. 

Currently, this financial year, 77% of women individually supported from the industry have disclosed experiencing family violence, and 76% of women who have been trafficked have disclosed experiencing family violence IN ADDITION TO their experience of being trafficked.

Nearly 85% of women supported have disclosed experiencing a current mental health issue. 

Our specialised tailored case-management support for women who have been trafficked is generally used by women who are unable to access the Commonwealth funded Support for Trafficked People Program (STPP)

Access to the STPP is dependent on people participating in the criminal justice system. This means women must consent to being referred to the Australian Federal Police. Once referred, they must assist the AFP to raise a prosecution against traffickers. Many women don’t want to do this, for many reasons including fear for their safety or their family’s safety, reprisal or because they don’t want to have to relive their experience of harm and exploitation, repeatedly. Further, if a woman does consent to being referred to the AFP but the evidence they provide is insufficient to raise a prosecution, women are exited from the STPP which means they lose access to financial payments, housing, counselling and a range of other wrap-around services to assist in their recovery from exploitation 

It is these women, who the system has not been set up to look after that Project Respect supports.  

Projects in Progress

In addition to providing support and referrals for women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry, Project Respect runs a number of additional and complementary programs, including: 

Women’s Advisory Group 

The Women’s Advisory Group (WAG) consists of women with current and past, as well as diverse experiences of the sex industry. 

The WAG meet once per month at the Project Respect office, and on a needs basis, should there be a specific reason to convene, such as meetings for specific consultations with national, state or local policy makers or agency staff.  

The role of the WAG is to ensure Project Respect’s work remains informed by women with experience of the sex industry, and to provide the platform to amplify women’s voices and experiences.

The WAG provide: 

  • advice about the sex industry
  • strategic direction in the development, implementation and sustainability of Project Respect’s strategies, operational plans and programs
  • advice and feedback in the implementation of strategies and programs
  • advice and feedback on identified and emerging risks and advise on their prevention, mitigation and management.

The WAG provides the members with skills development opportunities. WAG members learn how to chair meetings and take minutes in a formal setting. 

Membership to the WAG provides members with tangible work outcomes, with the opportunity to be paid to host the Project Respect Community Lunch once per month.  

The WAG was established in March 2017 and currently has 5 active members. 

Breaking Barriers: Enhancing Employment Pathways 

This program aims to assist women who express an interest to transition out of, or reduce their hours in the sex industry, recognising this can be a difficult process, requiring multiple attempts. The program name was developed in consultation with Project Respect’s Women’s Advisory Group, and reflects that many women have transferrable skills, however face significant barriers in accessing mainstream employment and educational opportunities.

The program provides case-management support, information, warm referrals and advocacy which aims to reduce the barriers women face, whilst addressing their unique needs to achieve the personal goals they have identified relating to skills, training, educational and employment options.

The program includes strong partnership development with external organisations who are delivering services and programs which support the aim of the program. The program establishes warm-referral pathways and delivers capacity building training to partnership organisations to ensure referral organisations are knowledgeable about and responsive to the needs, barriers and issues women in the sex industry experience when transitioning out of or reducing their hours in the industry.

Workforce Development and Training 

The Partnerships & Community Education program aims to build a network of organisations within the social service sector that are knowledgeable of and responsive to the experiences and issues of women women trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry.

These aims support our long-term goal of reducing the stigma and discrimination experienced by women in the sex industry and women trafficked for sexual exploitation.

In the last financial year, we delivered 19 workshops to over 300 attendees from across more than 75 organisations in the community social service sector.

Almost 1/3 of the 300 workshops participants surveyed have supported over 300 women from the sex industry in the last 12-18 months. Only 8 of these workers had ever received specialised training on how to support women in the sex industry.

Nearly 10% of participants had knowingly supported women who had experienced trafficking for sexual exploitation in the previous 12 months. Only 2 of these workers had received specialised training.

This demonstrates a need to build the capacity of the community sector to better support and refer women in the sex industry and women trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Community Lunch 

The Community Lunch is held once per month. It provides an opportunity for women with experience of the sex industry to come together, relax, eat some delicious home cooked food, make new friends, and be able to talk openly and freely about their experiences in the industry without fear of judgement or stigma. 

The Project Respect Community Lunch is a longstanding program, and has been an important space for many women who have been engaged with the organisation over our long history. The Community Lunch had a short hiatus in 2017, and came back new and improved in 2018. The Community Lunch is now a peer-led space, hosted by a member of the Project Respect WAG and has its very own cook to dish up the delicious meals! 

You can read more about the Community Lunch by participants themselves on our Blog!

Advocacy 

Project Respect undertakes advocacy to all levels of government to foster broad policy change to better support women in the sex industry, women trafficked, and women more broadly.

In 2003, we spearheaded the campaign which put human trafficking on the National agenda. Since then, we have been an active contributor and subject matter expert in the anti-trafficking movement in Australia.  This includes a seat on the Senior Officials’ Meeting of the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery since inception in 2008; membership of the National Roundtable subsidiary group, the Labour Exploitation Working Group established in 2016; being called as a public witness for the public consultations of the Inquiry in to Establishing a Modern Slavery Act; and, invited to be involved in a global first, bringing together 10 NGO’s around the world to develop fourteen essential principles of practice of working with survivors of human trafficking. 

Project Respect has membership to the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance Advisory Group and the National Advocacy Group on Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence.

Our People

CEO

Rachel Reilly ,

Names of Board Members

Amy Poynton – Chair 

Natalie Francis – Treasurer 

Charmaine Jessup – Secretary 

Amanda Carlile 

Sarah Ogilvie 

Number of Employees

4

Number of Volunteers

3

Registration Information

ABN

41 909 510 696

Tax Deductible

Yes

How to help us

Wills and Bequests

A bequest is a very significant way to make a positive difference to the lives and welfare of women who are trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry. We use donations to support various programs that address the needs of women including legal support, advocacy and research, community lunches, and therapeutic programs. 

General Donations

Despite being operational for 20 years, Project Respect does not receive recurrent ongoing government funding, which makes it difficult to sustain the organisation and keep our important programs operating. 

Significant donations allow us to cover essential staffing costs to ensure women who need our support, can be supported. 

If you would like to make an individual donation, you can do so via our website. Individual donations allow us to continue to run our important programs to complement the support we provide women. 

A donation of:

  • $20 will enable us to provide a supermarket food voucher for women experiencing financial stress 
  • $50 will enable us to purchase essential items which are distributed in our gift packs during outreach each week
  • $200 will ensure the Women’s Advisory Group will run each month to provide a platform for women’s experiences to be heard
  • $500 will ensure our peer led community lunch for up to 14 women runs each month 
  • $1,000 will provide for a two day train-the-trainer program to be delivered to women wishing to learn new skills to transition out of or reduce their hours in the sex industry. 

Whether it’s $5 or $500, we use every donation wisely to make the biggest impact possible for the women we support. 

Other support

Speaker Events:

If you are looking for keynote speaker get in touch with Project Respect and we can come a present at your event. 

Training for Social and Community Sector:

Project Respect can offer training workshops on working with and supporting women trafficked and women in the sex industry. Get in touch and we can organise a training program tailored to your needs. 

Fundraising Initiatives:

Whether you are participating in a marathon or having a local bake sale, Project Respect is a happy recipient of fundraising and crowd-funding initiatives.

Work with us

Volunteer with us

With only a handful of paid staff, volunteers are such an important part of the team. We welcome everyone to the Project Respect community – so whether you’re a woman in the sex industry, student, a professional and/or just interested in learning more we would love to have you.

Depending on the different roles available, we ask volunteers to commit for up to a period of 12 months. We have formal induction and training programs for volunteers and our staff are happy to support you.

You can register your interest via our website. 

Our Mission / Objective

Project Respect’s vision is a world where women are free from trafficking, violence, and sexual exploitation.

Project Respect’s primary mission is to support and empower women trafficked and women in the sex industry, be guided and informed by the women we support and to advocate for the structural change needed to end all forms of sexual exploitation. 

Project Respect is a feminist organisation, with all advocacy, support and programs based on a feminist philosophy. We position trafficking and sexual exploitation as a global, gendered and structural issue and our work is women-centred, collaborative, and respectful of women’s decisions. Our strong evidence-base supports proactive and courageous work.

Our Services

Project Respect is a specialised essential support service for women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry. A non-judgemental service, we are open to all women in the industry.  

To support women, Project Respect works in four ways:  

 One, we facilitate access to essential services – such as healthcarelegal representation and housing services. We provide emotional support for women making police reports or going to courtWhile many organisations become targeted, addressing just one area of need, Project Respect remains open. Led entirely by the needs of women, we assist and support women by linking in to the broad range of community and social services. At the centre of our support work is regular outreach, where we visit and deliver information to licensed brothels in the Greater Melbourne Region. We do this so woman know we are available to them – without judgement – should they need us.  

We also connect women together, supporting them to support one another, in their shared experiences. Intense stigma around the sex industry means it can be isolating. Through peer-led community lunches we nurture a safe, non-judgemental and supportive network. For many women, Project Respect is simply and powerfully about belonging. It’s their place to be. Outside the mainstream, in these rare spaces, women are understood, welcomed, and treated with respect.  

Three, we develop the workforce capability of the broader services system, to build their knowledge and understanding of the issues women experience, and the barriers they face in accessing the mainstream system. We educate services about human trafficking in Australia, and build their ability to identify, respond and refer potential cases of trafficking. We aim to build a service system where woman can access services free from stigma and discrimination, and where they have choice in the services they can select. 

Lastly, we advocate for women’s rights against violence, trafficking and exploitation. To improve life for women in the sex industry, we must improve the status of women overall. That’s why we work directly with all levels of government, lobbying for broad policy change. We argue for a human rights-based approach to protecting survivors of trafficking. We argue for better conditions for women while they are in the sex industry. We help expose violence against women, and push for solutions to eradicate it. In all this work, we ensure the voices of women with lived experience are heard. We offer women a platform to write, speak and meet directly with decision makers. We know that their voices and leadership will create the positive change we seek.  

At Project Respect, we believe that all women have the right to feel safe and respected. We are fundamentally for and about women’s rights and needs. We are committed to doing what is needed to achieve a world free from sexual exploitation. 

Our Beneficiaries

Approximately 70% of the women we support are from migrant backgrounds, with many women on temporary visas which can hinder their ability to access government funded services. 

More than 80% of the women we meet during our outreach to licensed brothels are women from migrant backgrounds on temporary visas, many who only have basic english language skills. 

Currently, this financial year, 77% of women individually supported from the industry have disclosed experiencing family violence, and 76% of women who have been trafficked have disclosed experiencing family violence IN ADDITION TO their experience of being trafficked.

Nearly 85% of women supported have disclosed experiencing a current mental health issue. 

Our specialised tailored case-management support for women who have been trafficked is generally used by women who are unable to access the Commonwealth funded Support for Trafficked People Program (STPP)

Access to the STPP is dependent on people participating in the criminal justice system. This means women must consent to being referred to the Australian Federal Police. Once referred, they must assist the AFP to raise a prosecution against traffickers. Many women don’t want to do this, for many reasons including fear for their safety or their family’s safety, reprisal or because they don’t want to have to relive their experience of harm and exploitation, repeatedly. Further, if a woman does consent to being referred to the AFP but the evidence they provide is insufficient to raise a prosecution, women are exited from the STPP which means they lose access to financial payments, housing, counselling and a range of other wrap-around services to assist in their recovery from exploitation 

It is these women, who the system has not been set up to look after that Project Respect supports.  

Projects in Progress

In addition to providing support and referrals for women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry, Project Respect runs a number of additional and complementary programs, including: 

Women’s Advisory Group 

The Women’s Advisory Group (WAG) consists of women with current and past, as well as diverse experiences of the sex industry. 

The WAG meet once per month at the Project Respect office, and on a needs basis, should there be a specific reason to convene, such as meetings for specific consultations with national, state or local policy makers or agency staff.  

The role of the WAG is to ensure Project Respect’s work remains informed by women with experience of the sex industry, and to provide the platform to amplify women’s voices and experiences.

The WAG provide: 

  • advice about the sex industry
  • strategic direction in the development, implementation and sustainability of Project Respect’s strategies, operational plans and programs
  • advice and feedback in the implementation of strategies and programs
  • advice and feedback on identified and emerging risks and advise on their prevention, mitigation and management.

The WAG provides the members with skills development opportunities. WAG members learn how to chair meetings and take minutes in a formal setting. 

Membership to the WAG provides members with tangible work outcomes, with the opportunity to be paid to host the Project Respect Community Lunch once per month.  

The WAG was established in March 2017 and currently has 5 active members. 

Breaking Barriers: Enhancing Employment Pathways 

This program aims to assist women who express an interest to transition out of, or reduce their hours in the sex industry, recognising this can be a difficult process, requiring multiple attempts. The program name was developed in consultation with Project Respect’s Women’s Advisory Group, and reflects that many women have transferrable skills, however face significant barriers in accessing mainstream employment and educational opportunities.

The program provides case-management support, information, warm referrals and advocacy which aims to reduce the barriers women face, whilst addressing their unique needs to achieve the personal goals they have identified relating to skills, training, educational and employment options.

The program includes strong partnership development with external organisations who are delivering services and programs which support the aim of the program. The program establishes warm-referral pathways and delivers capacity building training to partnership organisations to ensure referral organisations are knowledgeable about and responsive to the needs, barriers and issues women in the sex industry experience when transitioning out of or reducing their hours in the industry.

Workforce Development and Training 

The Partnerships & Community Education program aims to build a network of organisations within the social service sector that are knowledgeable of and responsive to the experiences and issues of women women trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry.

These aims support our long-term goal of reducing the stigma and discrimination experienced by women in the sex industry and women trafficked for sexual exploitation.

In the last financial year, we delivered 19 workshops to over 300 attendees from across more than 75 organisations in the community social service sector.

Almost 1/3 of the 300 workshops participants surveyed have supported over 300 women from the sex industry in the last 12-18 months. Only 8 of these workers had ever received specialised training on how to support women in the sex industry.

Nearly 10% of participants had knowingly supported women who had experienced trafficking for sexual exploitation in the previous 12 months. Only 2 of these workers had received specialised training.

This demonstrates a need to build the capacity of the community sector to better support and refer women in the sex industry and women trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Community Lunch 

The Community Lunch is held once per month. It provides an opportunity for women with experience of the sex industry to come together, relax, eat some delicious home cooked food, make new friends, and be able to talk openly and freely about their experiences in the industry without fear of judgement or stigma. 

The Project Respect Community Lunch is a longstanding program, and has been an important space for many women who have been engaged with the organisation over our long history. The Community Lunch had a short hiatus in 2017, and came back new and improved in 2018. The Community Lunch is now a peer-led space, hosted by a member of the Project Respect WAG and has its very own cook to dish up the delicious meals! 

You can read more about the Community Lunch by participants themselves on our Blog!

Advocacy 

Project Respect undertakes advocacy to all levels of government to foster broad policy change to better support women in the sex industry, women trafficked, and women more broadly.

In 2003, we spearheaded the campaign which put human trafficking on the National agenda. Since then, we have been an active contributor and subject matter expert in the anti-trafficking movement in Australia.  This includes a seat on the Senior Officials’ Meeting of the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery since inception in 2008; membership of the National Roundtable subsidiary group, the Labour Exploitation Working Group established in 2016; being called as a public witness for the public consultations of the Inquiry in to Establishing a Modern Slavery Act; and, invited to be involved in a global first, bringing together 10 NGO’s around the world to develop fourteen essential principles of practice of working with survivors of human trafficking. 

Project Respect has membership to the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance Advisory Group and the National Advocacy Group on Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence.

Our People

CEO

Rachel Reilly ,

Names of Board Members

Amy Poynton – Chair 

Natalie Francis – Treasurer 

Charmaine Jessup – Secretary 

Amanda Carlile 

Sarah Ogilvie 

Number of Employees

4

Number of Volunteers

3

Registration Information

ABN

41 909 510 696

Tax Deductible

Yes

How to Help us

Wills and Bequests

A bequest is a very significant way to make a positive difference to the lives and welfare of women who are trafficked for sexual exploitation and women in the sex industry. We use donations to support various programs that address the needs of women including legal support, advocacy and research, community lunches, and therapeutic programs. 

General Donations

Despite being operational for 20 years, Project Respect does not receive recurrent ongoing government funding, which makes it difficult to sustain the organisation and keep our important programs operating. 

Significant donations allow us to cover essential staffing costs to ensure women who need our support, can be supported. 

If you would like to make an individual donation, you can do so via our website. Individual donations allow us to continue to run our important programs to complement the support we provide women. 

A donation of:

  • $20 will enable us to provide a supermarket food voucher for women experiencing financial stress 
  • $50 will enable us to purchase essential items which are distributed in our gift packs during outreach each week
  • $200 will ensure the Women’s Advisory Group will run each month to provide a platform for women’s experiences to be heard
  • $500 will ensure our peer led community lunch for up to 14 women runs each month 
  • $1,000 will provide for a two day train-the-trainer program to be delivered to women wishing to learn new skills to transition out of or reduce their hours in the sex industry. 

Whether it’s $5 or $500, we use every donation wisely to make the biggest impact possible for the women we support. 

Other support

Speaker Events:

If you are looking for keynote speaker get in touch with Project Respect and we can come a present at your event. 

Training for Social and Community Sector:

Project Respect can offer training workshops on working with and supporting women trafficked and women in the sex industry. Get in touch and we can organise a training program tailored to your needs. 

Fundraising Initiatives:

Whether you are participating in a marathon or having a local bake sale, Project Respect is a happy recipient of fundraising and crowd-funding initiatives.

Work with us

Volunteer with us

With only a handful of paid staff, volunteers are such an important part of the team. We welcome everyone to the Project Respect community – so whether you’re a woman in the sex industry, student, a professional and/or just interested in learning more we would love to have you.

Depending on the different roles available, we ask volunteers to commit for up to a period of 12 months. We have formal induction and training programs for volunteers and our staff are happy to support you.

You can register your interest via our website. 

PRINT

You Might Be Interested In

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook