Intended for healthcare professionals


Violence towards female prostitutes

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 28 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:230

Violence in sex work extends to more than risks from clients

  1. Sophie Day, honorary senior lecturer,
  2. Helen Ward, senior lecturer (
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College School of Medicine, London W2 1PG
  2. Royal Free and University College Medical School, London NW3 2PF

    EDITOR—Church et al report that violence by clients was strongly associated with street prostitution in three British cities.1 Although they say that violence in sex work has seldom been the focus of public and academic interest, it has been extensively documented in much of the historical and contemporary literature.23 Moreover, they simplify the situation by focusing exclusively on violence by clients. In a survey we conducted in London (1989-91), 112 (58%) out of 193 women reported previous assault; these women worked in all sectors of the industry, including 57% of indoor and 68% of street workers. Women reported that 40% of recent assaults were by clients.

    Survey data are defined by the pre-existing knowledge and concerns of the investigators. We interpreted material from …

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