Guilty of wanting to be safe
In January 2012, Sheila Farmer was prosecuted for keeping/ managing a brothel (SOA 2003). Ms Farmer became a single mother at aged 23. With great difficulty she trained and got work as a computer programmer but after she lost her eyesight and developed a brain tumour as a result of childhood diabetes, she turned to sex work to support her son. She worked on her own but in one horrific incident was raped, tied up and nearly strangled to death and vowed never to work alone again. In the flat where she worked with other women everyone kept their own money but jointly paid towards the rent, bills and advertising. In September 2011 the flat was raided and Ms Farmer arrested. Ms Farmer, who by now was seriously ill, fought an 18-month campaign including numerous court appearances. On the day of the trial the prosecution dropped the case. Ms Farmer has since died.
Life is hard enough for prostitutes without our work being criminalised, (The Guardian, 6 January 2012)
Action Alert: Stop this prosecution – safety must be the priority
Action Alert: Demand prosecution for brothel-keeping be dropped