Statement on Murder at a Bordello

by the Sex Work Section

It is well-established fact that, throughout history, murderers target sex workers because of law enforcement’s tendency not to investigate too closely and because we are seen as socially disposable. Even in 2023, many people believe that, by working in this precarious field, we are “asking for it.”

The death of a woman found murdered on 17 April inside a brothel in Friedrichshain concerns us as sex workers and our union gravely. Even with the ProstituiertenSchutzGesetz in full effect for 6 years, there is little to no protection for people working in the sex trade, a situation being taken advantage of by malevolent people. As a union, we are aware of the unsafe and isolating working conditions maintained by managers and the law.

We call for a thorough investigation into what conditions made this murder possible and to finally take action on improving the legal rights and working and living conditions of sex workers. For a long time, sex workers have been vocal about concrete steps they need in order to improve the situation, but with barely any reaction or commitment from the city’s officials or lawmakers’ side. Too often, we are not being listened to, left on our own and all we can do is take care of another.

No one deserves to go to work wondering if this is the day they will be attacked or murdered. We too, deserve to work and live in safety.

We mourn our lost colleagues. We are heartbroken that yet another woman was killed. It is awful and gut-wrenching, how familiar and frequent this mourning is. With this statement, FAU Berlin and its Sex Worker Section call for the people in this city, decision makers, workplace managers and society as a whole to do better. We are watching the police’s investigation with intense attention. If you treat us as disposable, you will give us no choice but to act.