The Phoenix advice centre of the Phoenix Association has been in Hanover since 1989. Phoenix is the first and, so far, the only non-government organisation for the specific concerns of men and women sex workers in Lower Saxony.
As prostitution is a very complex area all the advice centre’s tasks are accordingly diverse: they range from general health prevention work to advice and support with personal problems and difficulties, information on legal requirements, advising relatives, operators and clients, carrying out public relations work and lobbying. (The services and duties are explained in detail under services.)
Currently there are six women on the permanent staff at the advice centre, each working part-time. One of them is an administrative worker, two are trained social workers or social education workers, one is a social psychologist and two are educators. Two of the employees have further qualifications in trauma counselling. Furthermore counselling is possible in English, Polish and Russian.
The advice centre’s work is one-sided, i.e. it clearly represents the interests of the women and men sex workers, and accepts people’s personal decision to work in prostitution. Further principles of the counselling are that it is voluntary and anonymous. Information, counselling and support are free of charge. The first contact if there are problems, questions or for general information on the subject of prostitution can be made by telephone, e-mail or by post.