Guest Blog from Author and Charity and Human Rights Campaigner – Ruth Jacobs
From “Hate Crime, Harm Reduction & Social Inclusion: Addressing Violence Against Sex Workers in Merseyside” by Shelly Stoops (ISVA) Armistead Street Project, Liverpool CHT. http://www.ihra.net/files/2010/08/31/1009.pdf
“These very real women photographed above are dead. They were murdered, and most of their cases remain unsolved. Women in prostitution suffer higher rates of murder [the mortality rate for women in prostitution in London is twelve times the national average – Home Office 2004a], higher rates of rape [more than half have been raped and/or seriously sexually assaulted in the UK – Home Office 2004b], and higher rates of physical violence [at least three quarters have been physically assaulted – Home Office 2004b]. And when they are made to disappear, most of society does not care.
In 2006, Merseyside police declared crimes against people in prostitution/sex workers hate crimes. The results are so astounding I cried reading them. In Liverpool, in 2009, police convicted 90% of those who raped sex workers. In 2010, the overall conviction rate in Merseyside for crimes against sex workers was 84%, with a 67% conviction rate for rape. 6.5% is the national average conviction rate for rape.”
To read the rest of this article click here.
To demonstrate the desperate need for the Merseyside model to be made UK wide, author and charity and human rights campaigner, Ruth Jacobs, is running a series of interviews which can be read here.
In a poignant interview with Kate who is an escort, we hear how after she suffered being raped twice, on neither occasion was she able to turn to the police. She says,
“I would like to think that no matter which part of the spectrum you belong to – pro or anti, the actual health and safety of those working in the here and now would be uppermost. The Merseyside model should not be allowed to become part of the sex trade debate – it’s more important, more urgent than that. It should be a separate issue.”
To read Kate’s full interview click here.
Jayne Rogers, a community mental health team leader from London discusses the need for the Merseyside model for those in the sex trade with mental health issues.
“…There is a long history of women with mental health problems being violently sexually abused and forced into prostitution by pimps. The police are generally of very little help… Of course this means that women do not receive a service… The women I work with feel it’s pointless reporting anything to the police – nothing ever happens. They feel powerless to act, and this makes working with people for a better future very hard!”
Jayne’s full interview can be read here.