“I try to help vulnerable women who sell sex on the streets"

“I try to help vulnerable women who sell sex on the streets"

A support worker from Beyond the Streets has written of their experiences trying to help vulnerable women who sell sex on the streets.

The stories they shared included a woman who recently died due to a suspected overdose, as well as a homeless woman who is sleeping with her abusive boyfriend (who forces her to share needles and sell sex), because it’s safer than sleeping rough on her own. They note that coronavirus has made life even harder for the women they support and wonder – “who would buy sex from such vulnerable women”?

Too often we are told that prostitution is “a job like any other” and that “sex work is real work”. What we are not told about are the dire circumstances that force women and girls into the sex industry in the first place, nor of the devastating repercussions for their physical and mental health.

Prostitution is clearly not “a job like any other”. It is not “work”. It is sexual exploitation dressed up in euphemisms by the sex industry and all those who seek to benefit from the exploitation of vulnerable women.

Beyond the Streets is a UK charity that “has been working on behalf of women exploited through prostitution since 1999”. Their vision is “to see a world where people are free from sexual exploitation, and where those involved in prostitution have the option to pursue genuine alternatives, free from constraints such as poverty, drug dependency, and abuses of vulnerability”.

You can read more about their work here.

Women’s Forum Australia is an independent think tank that undertakes research, education and public policy advocacy on issues affecting women and girls, with a particular focus on addressing behaviours and practices that are harmful and abusive to them. We are a non-partisan, non-religious, tax-deductible charity. We do not receive any government funding and rely solely on donations to make an impact. Support our work today.

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