#WeNurses - Thursday 28th March 2019 8pm (GMT Standard Time) Sex Worker Access to Health Services

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Hosted by WeNurses using #WeNurses

This chat is guest hosted by @Cahill_Lou @bouncyjohn22

Sex workers face many barriers when accessing healthcare, starting with the generalising and stereotyping of those selling sex. Healthcare staff can possess both conscious and unconscious bias and make moral judgements about the sex industry and sex workers, which can negatively impact their ability to deliver quality healthcare that meets the needs of this patient group. It is illegal for more than one individual to sell sex from any indoor location atone time. This means that sex workers must choose between working alone and risk the increased vulnerability that this brings, or face criminalisation for working together. As such, sex workers fear opening up about their work to healthcare professionals for fear of criminalisation.

The routes taken by those that enter commercial sex work are diverse,with the majority entering the industry due to economic necessity. Some operate with high levels of autonomy and will not experience issues when trying to exist the industry. In contrast there are those who turn to sex work to fund drug or other addictions, or those who are trafficked for the purposes of profiting of sexual exploitation and have little autonomy or control over when to exist the industry. 

Background reading








Book - Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight forSex Workers' Rights – Molly Smith

About our guest hosts

Louise Cahill, RN: Louise Cahill is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in sexual health and also works as an emergency RN in Bristol. Louise has spent six years working with women in both sex work and sexual exploitation/ human trafficking. She is co-author of the Modern Slavery Wheel, a tool widely used across the NHS to support staff in identifying victims of modern slavery. Louise is behind the campaign for a nursing vote to back the decriminalisation of prostitution at the RCN Congress in May 2019.

John P. Gilmore-Kavanagh RGN AFHEA: John Gilmore-Kavanagh is a senior lecturer in the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work at Canterbury Christ Church University. His research interests include sexuality, sexual health and social inclusion; as well as intensive and critical care nursing. He has also had an established career in the voluntary sector in Ireland supporting many minority groups.

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