red light lantern sex worker discrinimation
(Image: Unsplash/Olha Zaika)

The day Sally* and her partner paid off their house together she bought a cake. Her partner ate a piece, looked up, and told her she had to leave. The relationship was over.

Sally is a sex worker. In the years leading up to the purchase of the house, the Commonwealth Bank had closed her business account, and her attempts to set up merchant services at other banks had been rejected. The banks refused to say why, let alone put the information in writing. American Express said they would provide these services, but charge her a rate that would make work unsustainable.