threaten vulnerable sex workers
of sex workers are not drug users -- not even the Home Office claims
that (Guardian 18 Jan 2006). Women
who donít use drugs donít use the Home office funded projects on
which these figures depend. These
figures dominate while the major factors that force women into
prostitution Ė poverty, domestic violence, homelessness and debt, are
hidden. Even the government
acknowledged that 74% of [sex workers] cited the need to pay household
expenses and support their children as the prime motivating factor [for
getting into prostitution].*
single mother with two children is expected to live on £156 a week and
can lose 40% of that benefit if she refuses to name to the Child Support
Agency, the often violent father of her children, women on average
receive 52% of menís income (Black women earn even less).
30% of children are living in poverty, thousands of asylum
seekers have been made deliberately destitute, student grants have been
abolished and many major industries have been run into the ground.
No wonder women turn to prostitution to survive. In the face of these injustices and inequalities, the best the government can do is introduce a crackdown against clients which will hurt women working on the street most. The limited proposal to allow two women to work from premises is just a cover for this brutal treatment of the most vulnerable.
English Collective of Prostitutes
*Paying the Price, Home Office