"You have to support us, you have to help us. By resisting decriminalisation you are permitting people to kill us. "
Veronica F. is a sex worker. As an activist for sex workers' rights, she is part of the movement that aims to decriminalise and destigmatise sex work, and ensure fair treatment before the law for all people within the sex industry. Veronica is passionate about dispelling the myriad of stereotypes that paint sex workers as victims, criminals or exotic, 'other' creatures: "It's so important to show that sex workers are people; we are not animals with no rights and no will. We live normal lives – we have good moments and bad moments like everybody else." Veronica is a member of the Sex Worker Open University, which empowers its sex worker community through workshops, debates, actions and art. She is part of x:talk, a sex worker led project which provides a support network for migrant sex workers and helps them improve their English. She is also a member of the Sex Workers' Opera, a unique production written and performed by sex workers and their allies. Fiercely political, Veronica is a feminist and an anarchist; as a sex worker, she sees herself as being outside the capitalist power structure, fighting against it. She is warm and full of laughter, welcoming us into her home and introducing us to her girlfriend. She speaks to Ladybeard with candour and wit about her experiences, and the desperate need for decriminalisation of sex work.