One of our key aims is to support you to keep safe
We can provide
- Safety information and advice for sex workers in all sectors
- Support you through any crimes that are committed against you, including reporting to the police, completing an ugly mugs or support in court
- Free personal safety alarms and a safety card with top tips and emergency numbers to keep you safe
- Emotional support
- Fortnightly updates on Ugly Mugs alerts
If a client or other person does or says anything to make you feel upset, worried or uneasy you can chat to us in confidence and we will do whatever we can to help you. It is never acceptable for you to be the victim of bullying, abuse, violence or assault, and it is never your fault.
Basis Sex Work Project supports women in reporting violence, attacks, and incidents through our local Ugly Mugs scheme which is part of the national Ugly Mugs scheme . This scheme allows women to report anonymously if preferred.
An ‘ugly mug’ is anyone (a client, a member of the public or another sex worker) whose behaviour you feel is unacceptable. You should report anything that causes you concern, like violence, threatening behaviour (including threats to out you as a sex worker), abuse, harassment, fraud, disclosure of other incidents or intentions. BUT remember an ugly much can can be any thing that makes you feel uncomfortable & anything you think other should be aware of. You provide personal and intimate services and it is your right to have your boundaries respected.
By completing an Ugly Mugs report, you can increase the chances of the Ugly Mug being brought to justice and help keep all sex workers safe. The information you provide can be shared with the Police, anonymously or with full details, and only with your permission. It will also be shared with sex work projects around the UK who circulate alerts so that other women can be made aware of any dangerous individuals.
To make a Ugly Mugs report to Basis call, text or What’s App Emily sex work project outreach worker on: 07710304306 you can also call the Basis Office: 0113 243 0036.
Sign up to National Ugly Mugs and get alerts online, to your phone and you will be able to to use the NUM number checker https://uknswp.org/um/ Alerts are also published in a fortnightly newsletter which we can share during drop in or visits to your work or home.
IF IT IS AN EMERGENCY AND YOU ARE IN DANGER CALL 999!
Reporting to the police & the police Sex Work Liaison Officer
We can liaise with the police on your behalf if you wish us to help you report to the police and we also provide lots of emotional support to help you through it.
Basis work closely with Jo Parkes the specialist police sex work liaison officer for Leeds. She is there purely for your welfare and so you can confidentially discuss any problems that you might have. She can deal with any reports of crime or harassment that you have experienced. Jo’s role is to work with sex workers in all sectors including online escorts, agency workers, sauna workers, street women or any other sector. Some issues you may want to discuss with Jo include stalking, harassment, unwanted communications, threats to out sex workers, domestic abuse, physical assaults, sexual offences, robbery, frauds and theft.
You don’t need to give your personal details to discuss a crime and your options with Jo. If, however you then decide to make a full report to the police she would then require your details to take it further, but she would talk this through with you.
Basis can put you in touch with her or you can contact her direct. Phone or text Jo on: 07921282316 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are considering reporting an attack to the police, there are things you can do to help preserve the evidence. Try not to bathe, shower, brush your teeth or change your clothes. If you do want to change your clothes, do not wash the ones that you were wearing at the time of the attack. If the attack happened in your home, try not to move or change anything, as there might be vital evidence there.
Supporting around Sexual and Domestic Violence
If you are experiencing domestic violence or have in the past, if you have been raped, sexually assaulted or experienced any form of sexual violence we can support you. Basis have a Specialist Independent Sexual & Domestic Violence Advisor (ISVA/IDVA) for sex workers, her name is Cassandra. She can help you understand your rights and options, provide emotional support, practical support with helping you access services appropriate to your needs and can link in with the police – if you choose to report. She will of course still support you if if you don’t choose to report. We recognise women who access our service are a diverse group with different experiences and for those who experience violence this has different impacts and people deal with this in different ways. We are committed to supporting people on the basis of their individual needs and wishes. Contact Cassandra by text, WhatsApp or calling 07495516926 or email: email@example.com
IF IT IS AN EMERGENCY AND YOU ARE IN DANGER CALL 999!
Advice to stay safe while working
- Be clear about the services that you are willing to provide and the cost from the beginning by speaking to the client yourself
- Always agree business and take money first
- Have a plan ready in case something goes wrong
- Know the escape routes to a safe place within the building
- Always carry a personal safety alarm
- Consider asking the establishment to fit an alarm in the room
- Never leave a key in the lock as you could be locked in
- If you can, let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back
- Try to avoid using drugs or alcohol when working, if you do then try to use an amount that keeps you aware and stable
- Only accept unopened drinks if you are offered refreshments by a client
- Carry a fully charged phone with emergency numbers on speed dial
- Always trust your instincts and be willing to say no
- Always try to take in as much information about a client as possible
- Do not carry a weapon as this can be used against you
- Think about the shoes you are wearing and whether they will allow you to escape an attack quickly
If you are attacked, there are a number of steps that you can take to help and protect yourself.
- Use your mobile to call for help
- If you have a safety alarm, use it as a distraction to give you time to escape
- If someone attempts to attack you, make a lot of noise by screaming and shouting
- If you need to shout for help, shout “fire” or “police”