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Published in: Sexuality Research and Social Policy 4/2021

01-09-2021

Why Report? Sex Workers who Use NUM Opt out of Sharing Victimisation with Police

Authors: Raven Bowen, Rosie Hodsdon, Kerri Swindells, Charlotte Blake

Published in: Sexuality Research and Social Policy | Issue 4/2021

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Abstract

Background

National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a UK-wide violence prevention and victim support charity that provides a mechanism for sex workers to share safety information and obtain support for harms that they may experience during the course of their work. Over the past several years, NUM has witnessed a decline in sex workers willing to access police as part of their recovery journeys after experiencing victimisation. In 2012, 28% of those reporting to NUM chose to engage with the legal system; in 2020, this was down to 7.7% amongst off-street independent workers. Statistics for 2021 indicate a continuation of this downward trend. Furthermore, anonymous consent to share information with police also declined from 95% in 2012 to 69% in 2020.

Methods

NUM conducted a survey of 88 sex working members in 2020. This information combined with our data on victimisation provides insights of the factors that deter sex workers from involving police as part of their justice-seeking efforts.

Results

Survey results reveal that sex workers feel alienated and untrusting of police and courts.

Conclusions

The implications of sex workers not sharing information about dangerous individuals with police and choosing not to participate in court processes signal significant flaws in our legal system regarding safe and inequitable access and pose dangers for all of us.

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Metadata
Title
Why Report? Sex Workers who Use NUM Opt out of Sharing Victimisation with Police
Authors
Raven Bowen
Rosie Hodsdon
Kerri Swindells
Charlotte Blake
Publication date
01-09-2021
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Sexuality Research and Social Policy / Issue 4/2021
Print ISSN: 1868-9884
Electronic ISSN: 1553-6610
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-021-00627-1