31 October 2016
For all sex workers in the UK, safety is one of the most important issues. Working conditions often make staying safe difficult, especially as the law can force sex workers to operate alone, isolating them from people that can help them in an emergency. If you work in the sex industry and want to stay secure, read our guide to staying safe and knowing your rights.
Contrary to popular belief, exchanging money for sex is not illegal in the UK. However, pimps, brothels and solicitation are illegal. This means that women often have to work alone, putting them at increased risk as they carry out their work.
To stay within the law, you have to operate alone when you work indoors. If there are two or more people working from the same address, it could be considered a brothel and would therefore be illegal.
Working on the street
When working on the street, the law says you’re not allowed to solicit. This means it’s illegal to accost someone and offer your services. It’s also illegal to use a pimp to solicit for you.
Whether you work indoors or outdoors, it’s important you stay as sober as possible when meeting clients. If you take any drugs or drink alcohol before you work, you’ll be less able to make good decisions and good end up in situations that put your safety at risk.
Getting regular health checks is essential for everyone who works in the sex industry. STDs can easily be passed between clients and sex workers. Though condoms will help to prevent infection, it’s still essential to get checked on a regular basis.
Use Ugly Mugs
Ugly Mugs is one of the most powerful tools sex workers have at their disposal. The app lets you report dodgy customers or suspicious behaviour in your area, allowing you to warn other sex workers of potential dangers. Before you start work, especially if you work on the street, it’s important to check Ugly Mugs to see if there are any known dangerous people in your area.
Check your exits
Wherever you work from, it’s important you can get away quickly in an emergency. Check to see where your nearest exits are and plot an escape root you can use quickly and easily if you need to.
Trust your instincts
Last but not least, it’s incredibly important to trust your instincts. If a customer seems violent, agitated or just odd, get yourself out of the situation straight away.
To find out more about the support and help that’s available to sex workers, or to talk to someone about staying safe, give us a call today on 0808 800 1030.