Some women have taken up sex work for the first time because of money worries, while others who had left the trade have returned
Sex workers across the UK are facing increased violence and hardship as a result of lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions, charities and support organisations have warned.
They say sex workers are in more dire and drastic situations than they have ever seen before. Women who had left the sex trade have fallen back into it, others who had regular clients and who had stopped working on the streets have had to return and some have taken up sex work for the first time because they have no money and are desperate.
Violent incidents are increasing, they say, because clients are taking advantage of the desperate situation sex workers find themselves in. Workers’ mental health has suffered considerably, with many contemplating suicide.
“The stories we’re hearing are drastic,” said Anastacia Ryan, founder of Umbrella Lane, a sex worker support project in Glasgow. “The impact [of the pandemic] is an increase in homelessness, and working in violent situations that could lead to them potentially being killed.”
Fewer people are seeking sex workers’ services because of lockdown and restrictions, she said. As a result, sex workers can’t pick and choose who they see and may be forced to go with dangerous clients.