2022 SWP Fact Sheet


• Sex workers are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence at work. Sex workers of color, migrant sex workers, transgender sex workers experience even greater risk of sexual violence and assault.
• There are very limited options to report the violence, and sex workers are reluctant to go to the police because of potential arrest or further assault.
• According to a systematic review of research, globally, sex workers have a 45% to 75% chance of experiencing sexual violence on the job.
• According to a report submitted to the United Nations by three sex worker advocacy organizations in 2004, police violence against sex workers has a pattern that includes “assault, sexual harassment, public ‘gender searches’ (police strip searches for the purpose of viewing genitalia) and rape.”
• Because of the stigmatizing notion that “sex workers cannot be sexually assault,” sex workers are usually left out of the national conversation around #MeToo.
• Sex workers are often ineligible for rape victim compensation funds or received reduced amounts.

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers: Every December 17, sex workers, allies, and advocates gather to recognize the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers by organizing against discrimination and remembering victims of violence.
It was first recognized in 2003 as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle, Washington. Since 2003, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has empowered individuals from all over the world and raised awareness about violence that is commonly committed against sex workers.

Sex Workers Project Fact Sheet Sexual Violence Against SWers Sources

  1. TIME: ’They Don’t Want to Include Women Like Me.’ Sex Workers Say They’re Being Left Out of the #MeToo Movement
  2. A Systematic Review of the Correlates of Violence Against Sex Workers
  3. Human Rights Violations Sex Workers, People in the Sex Trades, and People Profiled as Such
  4. The Guardian: ‘It absolutely should be seen as rape’: when sex workers are conned
  5. Huffpost: 17 Facts About Sexual Violence and Sex Work
  6. Vice: What Happens When a Sex Worker Is Sexually Assaulted
  7. Bustle: Sex Workers Can Be Sexually Assaulted Too, And We Need To Talk About It

We welcome your questions and comments

Telephone: 646-602-5617

Email: swp@urbanjustice.org

SWP does not receive walk in clients or inquiries. Please call our helpline at 646-602-5617