What was the issue that required change?
Through pre-existing work, the project team were aware that women involved in the sex industry are vulnerable and in need of considerable support. However, there are a number of barriers to accessing this support, including fear, stigma, financial pressure, mental health issues or drug and alcohol dependence.
How did you tackle it?
A project team including a mental health nurse and project worker from ‘Another Way’ – a SACRO service dedicated to sex work had weekly visits to lap dancing bars and saunas across Edinburgh. They negotiated access with owners, and were able to offer welfare and sexual health guidance, along with information on what was available at the Women’s Clinic.
What was the outcome?
Visits took part at different days and times during the week to reach out to as many women as possible. There was initial and understandable wariness of the visitors, so initial contact was low, but trust was gained through discussing other issues and several women attended the Edinburgh Women’s Clinic for additional support.