Historically, social work interventions for people in the sex trades have functioned under the criminalization of sex work which regards sex workers as “victims and deviants… incapable of taking care of themselves and therefore in need of protection”(1) This lineage of cop-aligned and savior-oriented social work interventions have reinforced a cultural stigma against people in the sex trades that perpetuate harm by asserting individuals are a monolith of victims. (2) A perception that exists in stark contrast to the reality that each individual has their own nuanced and complex lived experience and reason for entering the sex trades. (3)

How can we address this? Well, research shows that when providers have a background in the sex trades, analysis moves away from “pathologizing and patronizing” and more accurately centers on “analyses of organizational hierarchies and interpersonal power relations”(1). Learning from clinicians with sex work experience creates an access point that shifts the cultural narrative away from saviorism and towards understanding the types of interventions that support people in the sex trades on an individual and systemic basis.

“The Equitable Care Certification (ECC) is created by sex workers, sex work-affirming therapists and sex working therapists. It is led entirely by QTPOC and sex working therapists… The program is made up of twelve, 3.5 hour courses (36 AASECT CE credits). Offering SYNCHRONOUS, HYBRID, & ASYNCHRONOUS learning options.”