Sex workers are one of the most harassed group of people in the country
In the UK, thousands of sex workers are being harassed each day offline and tens of thousands of them are suffering sex worker harassment on the internet.
Why is harassment of sex workers so common?
Sex workers' harassment is so rife that many sex workers feel completely let down by law enforcement agencies who, they believe, take no notice of them and of their problems. Sex workers are often being controlled by men and woman who are able to take advantage of their vulnerability. This is not to say that all sex workers are forced to work or are harassed. Many sex workers enter the industry because the pay for working as an escort or as a casual sex worker is relatively high, at least at the beginning. Unfortunately, on too many occasions (like most things in life), slowly but surely matters tend to get out of the sex worker's control. The beginning of the loss of control is often a tempting offer to work with someone, the temptation to create sex videos or the opportunity to perform for a higher price. However, at one point or another most sex workers lose control over their own free will and are forced to take part in acts they would not have chosen to had they had a real choice. Once a sex worker becomes the subject of harassment, he or she starts to believe that they are to blame for the situation they find themselves in. They also don't expect a great deal of sympathy or understanding to their situation by those who are in charge of law enforcement.
Why Sex worker harassment goes mostly unreported to the police?
Sex workers, porn stars and sex video actors can suffer horrendous abuse and harassment, just as all people from all walks of life can, but many sex workers do not seek legal advice or go to the police, for a number of reasons. Firstly because they are scared. Sex workers who are harassed are often worried that their complaint will not be followed through by the police and that matters could be made worst for them as a result. Second, sex workers who are harassed often suffer from lack of confidence, particuarly if they had been subjected to humilation by their harasser or by somebody else who is connected to their harasser. Third, sex workers who are subject to harassment often are unable to go freely to the police. In some cases they are being controlled by their harasser as part of a coercive relationship. Fourth, sex workers who are being harassed are often depending on their harasser for income. They are worried that the souce of income could disappear should the harasser get arrested. Fifth, some workers are also being blackmailed. They are often being blackmailed with information that relates to their sex work. Sixth, many sex workers who are being harassed do not have the mental strength to deal with the legal justice system.
How common is online harassment of sex workers?
Many sex workers choose to do sex work and manage their own business online, through social media and their own websites and the sex worker harassment and abuse that they can be up against, due to the stigma and lack of support for the safety of sex workers, can leave many sex workers feeling vulnerable.
Many sex workers that are controlled by others can find themselves in 'coercive and controlling behaviour sex work situations' from which escape is both difficult and dangerous, and they often fear their pimps or sex film producers. Some sex workers are migrants and fear deportation and trafficked sex workers do not hold their own passports.
Producers of sex videos often exploit the sex video performers, plying them with drugs and alcohol to get them to sign consent orders and release forms and all the while, humiliate them, sexually and physically abuse them and keeping them under their control. Fearing for their lives and of exposure, many sex workers and sex video actors feel unprotected and at the mercy of their clients, pimps and sex film producers. This gives oxygen to the perpetrators of sex worker harassment.
Sex workers are also harassed online by former clients who threaten to reveal their real names or to publish sex videos of them. In one recent successful case, a sex worker was harassed on the internet by someone who falsely claimed that she had HIV and that she was having unprotected sex.
Are there lawyers who specialise in harassment of sex workers?
There are only a few lawyers in the UK who have experience in providing legal advice to sex workers. Advising on online harassment, breach of privacy and coercive and controlling behaviour for instance, are specialist legal topics, which means you should always seek advice from a specialist porn lawyer who represents sex workers and pornography actors, who knows what to do in all instances. One that understands the intricacies of the internet and the laws and one that does not judge, appreciates the privacy required for their clients and one that deals with online sex-related cases for any person from whatever walk of life - in any profession.
Our lawyers are specifically trained to deal with cases of sex workers harassment. Cohen Davis don't care about your passport status or where you are from but we do care if you are being abused, harassed and treated badly. We concentrate on prosecuting the perpetrators of sex worker harassment and abuse. Whenever you feel confident enough to make a call, you can call us free: 0800-612-7211. You can also email us to helpline(at)cohendavis.co.uk or use our contact form.