For our core project we were given maps of Coventry, and were asked to choose a location to research for a ‘Site Specific’ themed project.
I’ve chosen Hillfields, Coventry, and its notorious reputation of prostitution and crime. When moving into a flat on the outskirts of Hillfields last year, my flatmates and I were told never to wander into the suburb alone, and to especially avoid it at night. I took that advice and almost never wandered out-of-town. I had heard rumours of sex workers hanging around on my corner and around the area, but either me being oblivious or naïve, I’d never seen them.
I had noticed that people saw the women as a nuisance, often referred to them as dirty whores, they were highly looked down on and rarely pitied or felt sorry for. I guess I’d just turned a blind eye, and didn’t believe that there were sex workers.
Since doing research into the prostitution in Hillfields, I came across countless articles of rape and murder (well the ones that were reported, God knows what actually goes on.)
I decided to further my research into prostitution to find the facts shocking:
75% of women in prostitution started as children.
74% of women who entered prostitution, stated that they did it as a way out of poverty.
Astoundingly, half of the UK sex workers have been raped/ sexually assaulted, and a quarter have been physically assaulted.
68% of women in prostitution meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, in the same range as torture victims and combat veterans undergoing treatment (Ramsey et al 1993).
The mortality rate for a sex worker in London is 12 times higher than the national average.
Many people see prostitution as a chosen profession, but studies show that 9 out of 10 women would exit if they could.
They suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, as well as other related illnesses including acute anxiety, depression, insomnia, flashbacks, and emotional numbing. Coping mechanisms may include alcohol, drugs, mental breakdown, suicide, self-mutilation, and abortion. An alarming number of the women were abused in their past, making them vulnerable to further exploitation.
It’s estimated that 50-80% of sex industry workers are or will be HIV positive.
Info found at: