Disabled caregiver needs help exiting sex trade
I'm organizing this fundraiser for a good friend of mine, Nicole, an amazing community organizer in Toronto. She urgently needs help in exiting sex work and supporting herself while in school, recovering from trauma, and looking for other work (which is made more difficult as a disabled woman who is visibly trans). For her safety we are not including her photo. She describes her situation in her own words below, **CW for sexual assault.**
Last week, I was sexually assaulted by a client. He started by trying to penetrate me without a condom several times, though he missed (and missed hard enough to hit my pubic bone instead painfully). At that point I told him I didn’t have sex without a condom and asked him to put one on. He agreed, and I thought that would be the end of it. But then after a while he pulled out and said “I think the condom has slipped off inside you.” Taking his words initially at face value (though they seem more insincere every time I think on them), I got him out of my place as quickly as possible, put on gloves, and attempted to manually extract the condom. Nothing. So then I went to urgent care, to get it removed and also to get a prescription for PEP. I got the prescription, but they couldn’t find the condom either, and I was told it should come out if it’s in there (though they expressed doubt that it was). It didn’t come out over the next couple of days, at which point my suspicions increased. I had the idea of excavating my garbage to see if he’d dumped it there while cleaning up. I found it scrunched inside the cleaning wipe I’d given him.
It's not the first time I’ve been sexually assaulted by a client (one time even being at knifepoint), but I desperately need it to be the last. I need to not be doing this anymore. I have as a result of this event developed a visceral distrust of clients to the point that I don’t think I would be able to see them even if I did want to continue in this line of work. Unfortunately, the reason I got into sex work in the first place is because after months of looking, applying to innumerable jobs, etc., I was unable to find work (likely in part due to being visibly trans) — let alone work that was compatible with my disabilities (I cannot stand for long periods of time, so no retail), ADHD and autism, etc., let alone that worked with my schedule and paid enough to live on. I’m the primary homemaker for my household, have a dog to look after, no car, etc. I am also going to be quite busy with classes (unfortunately, the OSAP for the spring and summer terms will only really cover classes and materials, etc., not enough to live on). I am also on PEP for the next month and having some wicked side effects (fatigue, grogginess, and the worst nausea I have experienced in my life). While I originally planned to support myself with sex work through this period, that is no longer an option for me.
So, I am trying to raise funds to cover my expenses (including my rent, bills, food, transit, etc.) until September when my next significant chunk of OSAP will come. Hopefully I will be able to graduate and find other work during this time without needing to go back into the industry, but even if I cannot it will give me a period of time to rest and recover from my assault. Your support is both desperately needed and highly appreciated, as without it I will be forced back into an industry I do not want to be in, where I would be retraumatizing myself wondering when the next client will do something similar. Even on a purely rational level this work has been extremely dangerous for me over the time I’ve been doing it.
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