Dame Catherine Healy on prostitution – 'We are people too'

Weekend Life 10/06/2018
Photo: Getty.

Dame Catherine Alice Healy DNZM is a New Zealand sex workers' rights activist, field researcher and former prostitute working for decriminalisation of prostitution and generally for the improvement of the sex work profession.

Dame Healy joins Trudi Nelson to discuss the reality of sex work, her own experiences with the profession and her new title.

Dame Healy has acted as a voice and face of some the most marginalised and vulnerable in our community for decades.

Photo: File

Having been one of the founding members of the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, Dame Healy was one of the driving forces behind the occupations decriminalisation.

Having started out as a sex worker in the 1980’s, Dame Healy could see the stigma and lack of protection in place for those working in the field. When her co-worker was raped, Healy took her to the police station to file a report.

Upon being searched in the database, she was told she could be arrested and was turned away.

This lack of protection was a driving force for Healy.

Dame Healy wants the message to be shared that “we hold our heads high, and I know it’s difficult for our families to absorb this news sometimes about us, but we are people too”. 

Listen to the full interview with Dame Catherine Healy above.

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