The BBC has a very interesting article titled How an ambulance became a place for safe sex. From the article:
It’s not very inviting as I step inside. It still looks very medical – grey walls, blue seat. And it’s cold – it’s -1C and snowing outside.
But this old ambulance – called “Sexelance” – is a safe space for Copenhagen’s sex workers. They can bring clients here with the knowledge that volunteers are around to step in if things get ugly.
And the stats show that often things do.
Ambulances have often found themselves reincarnated into other forms. There’s the Pizzalance, Taco-Mergency, and the Spiritual Care Unit to name just a few. This is the first time, that I know of, where an ambulance has been knowingly converted into a haven for sex workers plying their trade. Sex work in Denmark has been legal since 1999, but other prohibitive legislation often leave the workers in unsafe situations.
The Sexelance has a few amenities for its occupants. A heater, three choices of condoms, lubrication lotion, sanitary cleaning wipes, and a polystyrene cushion (for the workers knees) help to facilitate the business being conducted. Additionally there is a warning sign that acts of violence will be promptly reported, and a sign directing victims of human trafficking where to get help.
This isn’t the first time the originator, Michael Lodberg Olsen, has used an ambulance for alternative purposes. His first foray into alternative ambulances was in 2011 with Fixelance, a safe place for drug users to inject with a doctor and nurse armed with Narcan on site. The success of Fixelance jump started changes to Danish drug policies leading to the establishment of permanent “fix rooms” where addicts could safely inject. According to the article, there have been no reported fatal overdoses in a “fix room” anywhere in the world.
Perhaps Sexelance will have a similar effect, changing laws to allow sex workers to legally rent rooms for their trade which is currently against Danish regulations.