Home > Communities of interest - female sex workers.

Murphy, Karen (2010) Communities of interest - female sex workers. In: Community drugs problem: defining the problem - defending the responses conference, 15 October 2010, Dublin.

PDF (Working with female street sex workers - presentation) - Published Version

Karen Murphy - Chrysalis Community Drug Project explained that:
• The majority of sex workers Chrysalis encounter are: white, Irish, aged between 25 and 35 and dependant on class A drugs and alcohol.
• Despite popular assumptions, teenagers are not engaged in this type of work anymore.
• The majority of these women work on the street in order to support their drug use as well as to buy food, pay bills and pay for accommodation - they get into this type of work because they can earn money quickly.
• These women experience rape, violence and assault.

Current Issues for sex workers
• Violence
• Stigma
• Housing -moving between hostels, B&Bs and substandard rented accommodation
• Drug and alcohol use -barriers to accessing stabilisation programmes e.g. childcare & time restraints (work unsocial hours)
• Limited access to needle exchange
• Lack of informed support from agencies such as homeless, drug, alcohol, and health services

Common Support Service Needs
• Assertive outreach
• Referral to drug/alcohol detox and rehab
• Crisis intervention
• One to one support
• Counselling
• Community events/activities
• Mobile Health Clinic
• Link to SATU unit
• Case Management
• Sex Work Resource Library

Chrysalises engages in harm reduction outreach and provides sex workers with condoms and encourage them to report those who abuse them. They have set up an information sharing system so women can warn each other about violent men and they provide a mobile health clinic.

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