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Crime, Violence and Safety

This page contains links to research both national and international, regarding crimes, violence/harms and safety for individuals involved in the sex industry. To share research on this page please fill in the form on the 'Contact Us' page or email

Not collateral damage: Trends in violence and hate crimes experienced by sex workers in the Republic of Ireland

Rosie Campbell; Lucy Smith; Becky Leacy; Miriam Ryan; Billie Stoica (2020)

The Republic of Ireland’s new Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 (2017 Act) criminalised sex purchase. Drawing on primary data from reports made by sex workers in Ireland to, trends in violent and other crimes against sex workers are analysed in Republic of Ireland. Read the article here.

Sex Work and Occupational Homicide: Analysis of a U.K. Murder Database

Stewart Cunningham, Teela Sanders, Lucy Platt, Pippa Grenfell, P.G. Macioti (2018) This article presents an analysis of occupational homicides of sex workers in the United Kingdom, 1990-2016. Characteristics of 110 people murdered between 1990 and 2016 are explored including the location of their murder, ethnicity, migration status, and gender.

Access article here.

Reviewing the occupational risks of sex workers in comparison to other 'risky' professions

Professor Teela Sanders; Stewart Cunningham; Dr Lucy Platt; Pippa Grenfell; Dr PG Macioti (2017)

This briefing paper is based on a scoping literature review of existing research on homicide and sex work aswell as empirical analysis of a database of sex worker homicides in the UK between 1990 - 2016.

Access the paper here.

Associations between sex work laws and sex workers’ health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies

Lucy Platt; Pippa Grenfell; Rebecca Meiksin; Jocelyn Elmes; Susan G. Sherman; Teela Sanders; Peninah Mwangi; Anna-Louise Crag (2018)

Sex workers are at disproportionate risk of violence and sexual and emotional ill health, harms that have been linked to the criminalisation of sex work. Evidence was synthesised on the extent to which sex work laws and policing practices affect sex workers’ safety, health, and access to services, and the pathways through which these effects occur.

Access the article here.

Violence against sex workers: Analysis of National Ugly Mugs (NUM) reports

Laura Connelly (2014)

Leeds Social Sciences Institute at the University of Leeds funded a six week placement to analyse the reports received by NUM from July 2012 to July 2014. 961 reports were analysed. A summary of the key findings are outlined in the report here.

The Homophobia and Transphobia Experienced by LGBT Sex Workers

Global Network of Sex Work Projects (nswp) (2018)

This Briefing Paper documents the stigma and discrimination experienced by LGBT sex workers and highlights differences in their experiences when compared with other members of their respective communities.

Read it here.


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