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Australian Current Affairs

Australia: Single mums turn to brothels, stripping after welfare cuts


Austalian Single Mums StrippersSome single mothers hit by recent welfare cuts to parenting payments have turned to prostitution and strip clubs in order to keep a roof over their family’s head.

The payment cuts came in at the start of 2013 and affect 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who received parenting payments.

The majority have been shifted onto the Newstart unemployment allowance when their youngest child turns eight.

More than 60,000 single parents now receive between $60 to $100 a week less under entitlement changes.
While the budget will look $728 million better over four years and make the system more sustainable, welfare groups have been concerned families will fall into poverty.

A spokeswoman from a Brisbane brothel told AAP there had been “influx” in applications from single mothers looking for work since the welfare changes came through.

She said there had been about 20 applications.

“They’re looking for extra cash to help cope following the cuts and Christmas and back to school,” said the spokeswoman, who did not want to be identified.

Women working at this brothel could make up to $1000 during an eight hour shift, seeing three to five clients, she said.

A spokeswoman from an inner-city Melbourne brothel said she knew of some single mothers, affected by the cuts, applying for jobs in strip clubs.

“They find pole dancing is a bit more palatable,” she said.

“It’s an easier step compared to going all the way with sex work.”

A woman from a St Kilda brothel said she had also noticed a huge increase in single mothers seeking sex work.

“It’s sad. They’re doing it to pay their rent,” she said, but also declined to give her name.

Single Parents Action Group spokeswoman Katrina Rae said she was not surprised women in her position were turning to sex work and stripping to pay the bills.

“I wouldn’t personally, but you would do anything to feed your family,” she said.

“The cuts have made people desperate.”

Ms Rae, a Sydney mother of four teenagers, said she had done her family budget on Sunday morning and was $287 behind for the next fortnight.

“I don’t have breakfast or lunch. If there’s not enough food for dinner I’ll have toast so the kids can eat,” she said.

“We look at our budgets and we cry ourselves to sleep.”

She said the federal government was “clueless” about how hard single mothers work to care for their families and pay the rent.

“We’re not sitting at home watching daytime television,” Ms Rae said.

“We run around like headless chooks.”

She said as a victim of domestic violence she didn’t choose to be a single parent.

“Society sees us as a bunch of teenagers who can’t close their legs,” Ms Rae said.

“For me the choice was continue to be a punching bag or get out.”

Ms Rae works a full time job in insurance, commutes 22 hours a week for work, and only manages to stay $25 above the poverty line each week.

“I’ve considered moving our family into a garage and living in the car,” she said.

“At the moment I sleep on a lounge so the kids can sleep in a bed.”

Comment is being sought from the Federal Government departments concerned.

Source: The Telegraph “Single mums turn to brothels, stripping after dole cuts”
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Australia: Single mums turn to brothels, stripping after welfare cuts

  1. It is so strange & wrong to indicate “like” for this, but seems to be the only option. Thank you for this very important posting. I am literally fighting tears. No one (male or female, male/male female/female & if I have missed any other combination, please forgive) should be a punching bag for another. She had to get out. I feel their pain. It’s simply dreadful to think of this as a social norm & the victims are without resources or any tangible support. Catholic Church Archbishops: YOU NEED TO STUDY THIS & YOU NEED TO ACT APPROPRIATELY! The next time you rant about the importance of an intact family unit, ask if violence to your person is a part of your vows. Did you dream of being a punching bag for some out-of-control freak when you were a child growing up? Of course you didn’t! Step up to the plate & help these people!

    Posted by thomasoutt | January 21, 2013, 06:03
  2. Hi,
    This is so sad and it hurts. I liked it because I am glad you have exposed it. I hope that something will change.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

    Posted by patgarcia | January 21, 2013, 22:04

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