The Sunday Times: ECP letter – Price of austerity

Price of austerity

Yes, women working in Chelsea Cloisters are paying a “huge rent” to an “astronomically wealthy” landlord: that is a widespread London experience. Yet women say they feel safer knowing they are not the only sex worker, and neighbours are not complaining — in fact they help one another, as in any good community.

There are calls to evict the women and criminalise their clients. Yet forcing women onto the streets will only make them more vulnerable to violence; and criminalising clients makes it harder to screen them for safety.

It is true that prostitution is increasing. So why not target the real culprit — a government whose austerity cuts and benefits sanctions have targeted women, forcing many into prostitution?

Niki Adams, English Collective of Prostitutes