Step Up and Help Sex Worker Safety – Laura Lee Blog

No doubt by now, you’ll be familiar with the traditional discourse around sex work, particularly in Ireland. Sex workers are either poor coerced, trafficked women (and it is ALWAYS women) or we’re clever and manipulative, exploiting others for our own gain. More than anyone, I know how difficult that is to read, when those who have never even met you try to speak to your core as an individual and make all sorts of assumptions, more often than not for their own benefit. These are very difficult times in Ireland, fear is widespread and working conditions under constant threat. Yet still, we remain a very strong community, looking out for one and other.

symbolic picture of violence at home

Similarly, the constant barrage of information in the media about “sex buyers” and their complete disregard for other human beings is nothing short of appalling, not to mention largely untrue. Of course there are dangerous clients, if there weren’t, we wouldn’t need safety schemes to warn one and other. Further criminalisation leads to more danger as the very people who should be screened get through the net. But I’m going to let you into a little secret, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard of a client helping a sex worker out of an abusive situation. A far cry from the regularly portrayed monsters who’ll pay tons of cash to have sex with a woman chained to a radiator, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Annoying Questions

Of all of the favourite questions I’m asked in “debates” one of the top ten has to be – “how can live with yourself?” Quite easily, I think you’ll find. After all, I’m not the one advocating harm for an already vulnerable minority group. But what I very seldom get the chance to say (and it’s a great pity). is that not one person I have ever met in the sex industry who has engaged in sex with a consenting adult would ever assert that violence or coercion or trafficking is okay. Not one. No decent human being wants to stand back and watch the suffering of another.

If you’re a sex worker or client and nodding your head whilst reading that last paragraph, good. There’s something you can do to help. In the North of Ireland, we have two dedicated PSNI police liaison officers and I am more than happy to pass on any information on a third party basis using the utmost of discretion, I will never reveal your identity, whether you’re a buyer or seller. In the Republic of Ireland we now have a contact within An Garda Síochána, and similarly I can pass the information on to them, although of course you also have the option of Blueblindfold or Crimestoppers.

Every week without fail, there are violent attacks and rapes committed against sex workers in Ireland, the statistics speak for themselves. This year alone there have been 718. As a community, now more than ever, we need to stand strong and report any and all suspicions. Never be afraid that your report might sound trivial, it may just be the last piece in a puzzle that the police are looking for. One more off the street means one more safe sex worker. It’s time to step up.

Laura Lee

Laura Lee

Irish mother, writer, animal lover, perpetual student and sex workers' rights campaigner.
Laura Lee

One thought on “Step Up and Help Sex Worker Safety – Laura Lee Blog”

  1. True words indeed from Laura Lee, I think most people are sick and tired of the loud liberals shouting from the roof tops “how horrible the purchasers of sex are” the silent majority would never ever allow a person to be abused sexually or indeed in any other way.
    Myself and all my friends see escorts regularly, we love escorts, respect escorts, and would tell the Guards immediately if we suspected an escort was being abused in any way. I think 99.9% of escorts are very happy and there is legislation to protect the escorts that are being abused.
    No right thinking person would see an escort being abused in any way, we need to stand up to the loud mouths that want to criminalise people in the industry, we need to confront them,
    I am sick of labels being thrown around at people, racist, misogynist, sexist. Clients are none of these things, What about the lonely, seeking human affection, what about consenting adults, what about legalising the whole industry.
    Simple quick fix solutions never ever work.

Please log in here to leave a comment.