Benefit cuts ‘force’ women into sex work

Women in Sheffield are claiming that sex work is the only option left for them as their benefit payments are “too low”.

The charity Sheffield Women’s Working Opportunities Project (SWWOP) have reported that 51 ‘new’ women have become involved with sex work in Sheffield between June and August.

Prior to these figures there was already evidence that Sheffield has a thriving sex industry.

An investigation by student journalists at the University of Sheffield discovered at least 12 brothels in the Attercliffe area of the city alone.

In an interview with student journalist Hannah Jones, one brothel owner only identified as ‘Shane’ said: “If women want to work in my brothel then it is a lot safer than being on the streets”

However, SWWOP claim this isn’t the case, as many women fall into drug-use to cope with what they are doing. Manager at the charity, Sali Harwood, previously told the Sheffield Star that women whose benefits had been sanctioned were being ‘forced’ onto the streets.

Street prostitutes are regularly seen working in the Netherthorpe area of the city close to student accommodation.

Katrina Davey-Reid, a student at the University of Sheffield said: “I lived in student halls close to the red light district last year and I go to the same gym in the area this year, it’s obvious there are more girls stood around in comparison to last year”

Shef News contacted SWWOP for further comment but had not replied at the time of publication.

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