Prostitution and Sex Work
You may have been forced or coerced to have sex for money by your boyfriend or a man who says he loves you. You may have experienced childhood abuse and find it difficult to cope with life. Drugs or alcohol may help you get through the night but you feel trapped in a cycle of sex work and addiction. Or perhaps you just feel that sex working is the only option you have.
Prostitution, which is also called sex work, is the exchange of sexual services for money. Prostitution itself is not a crime but the following activities are crimes in the UK:
- Soliciting in a public place
- Kerb crawling
- Owning or managing a brothel
- Procuring (this includes trafficking a prostitute, operating a prostitution business and transporting a prostitute to a location of their arrangement).
In addition, it is illegal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to:
- Pay for sex with a prostitute who has been subjected to force. Clients can be prosecuted even if they didn’t know the prostitute was forced.
If this is happening to you, there are things you can do to help keep yourself safe. Click here to find out how.
Main contacts for help
One25 reaches out to women trapped in street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction.
0117 909 8832
The Bridge, Sexual Assault Referral Centre
The aim of the service provided at The Bridge is to empower and support victims of rape and sexual assault. If you are a victim of rape or sexual assault our specialist workers can inform you of your options and assist you in making your own decisions about your care.
Advice and resources
People who can help
You can get help if you are a sex worker from the following organisations.
SAFE link Rape and Sexual Assault Service
Independent sexual violence advisors (ISVA’s) are here to help you with the practical and emotional support you need to put your life back together.
The Green House Bristol
Offers a specialist free counselling and psychotherapy service to women, men and children who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse or rape at any time in their life.
0117 935 1707
Bristol Rape Crisis
A free confidential support service for women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual violence or intimidation at any time in their lives. Including rape, sexual assault, childhood abuse, coercion or stalking.
0117 929 8868
Womankind provides a confidential and professional counselling and helpline service for women who have been sexually abused or raped.
0845 458 2914
My caseworker has helped me to get my daughter back from care, helped me learn to read and write, helped me with getting a safe place to live and managing normal day to day things that I could not before. I have come such a long way.
Lucy got help from One25 to regain control of her life (name changed for confidentiality).