Victoria has a proud history of sex worker rights. With the advent of HIV in the 1980s, Australia lead the world by deploying a community based response- it gave money to the most vulnerable communities (gay men, injecting drug users and sex workers) to form their own organisations to fight the virus. Melbourne was the first place in the world to commit funding to a sex worker organisation. The Prostitutes Collective of Victoria were pioneers in organising sex workers. In 2001, the organisation was taken over by a community health service and it ceased being an organisation of sex workers.
Victoria was once again without a collective voice of sex workers.
Vixen started off as an idea first discussed between founding member, Tabitha, and another person in late 2004. A small group gathered together in 2005, had a few meetings, put together a zine and launched ourselves at the 2005 Scarlet Alliance conference. Riding on the enthusiasm of the conference a big meeting was held after the conference, various issues were talked about but membership dramatically dropped off with lots of people travelling abroad etc. and although the group still met (albeit infrequently), there wasn't the critical mass to execute any planned activity. Through
, Vixen was linked with other sex worker activists and following the event a new group of people got involved and regular meetings started to take place. Camp Betty
Vixen became members of Scarlet Alliance in 2007. Since then members have made countless media appearances, written submission after submission to government supporting the rights of sex workers, held events that educated and entertained and connected sex workers through collaboration and friendship. After having achieved so much, our organisation, Vixen continues today, stronger than ever. With so much to achieve for sex worker rights, Vixen has never been more prepared to face the future.