Jayne Rogers, a Community Mental Health Team Leader, is interviewed to explain why the Merseyside model – of making all crimes against people in prostitution/sex work hate crimes – is so desperately needed throughout the UK.
She says, “There is a long history of women with mental health problems being violently sexually abused and forced into prostitution by pimps… The police are generally of very little help… The women I work with feel it’s pointless reporting anything to the police – nothing ever happens. They feel powerless to act, and this makes working with people for a better future very hard!”
How do you feel about the police?
I come from a perspective of working in mental health; there is a long history of women with mental health problems being violently sexually abused and forced into prostitution by pimps.
The police are generally of very little help and appear to think that abuses should be managed by services operating safeguarding policies to protect the vulnerable. Of course this means that women do not receive a service.
You need to be very persistent to get police to attend. However, once there, they revert to the standpoint of services protecting users through safeguarding policies. It’s intolerable that vulnerable women do not get a helpful service from the police.
How do you think those in the sex trade feel about the police? Are you able to expand on this with specific examples?
The women I work with feel it’s pointless reporting anything to the police…
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