Thursday, October 14, 2010

Street workers

I've lived in Christchurch for about four years now. The first two were spent in the dull, student-centred suburbs around uni. Then I moved in to town, and discovered real Chch. Which includes prostitutes. I live on a street parallel to Manchester, the main street for such business. It was an odd thrill seeing these women - I could conceivably pay them for sex. Walking home at night, I've found most of them to be very friendly and polite, and I return the courtesy.
For the most part though, things seem pretty terrible. Hearing people yell things at them from their cars is disheartening, as is seeing single men driving past, doing U-turns to reevaluate their options. Knowing that substance abuse drives a lot of women to the street is also really sad, and though it's decriminalised, it still seems very dangerous.
Most of the action takes place between Armagh St, and near Bealey Ave. One night, friends and I counted 17 women along this stretch. T'nealle and I pasted some messages last night, which read '11: Love Thy Street Worker'. I think it's a nice message (to clients, and the general public (they are part of our city)), and perhaps also suggested being an 11th Commandment - I'd like them to be treated nicer, and judged less.


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