Not making the hate crime approach the national standard for people in prostitution is a hate crime in itself while women are being beaten, raped and murdered as the state looks the other way... If a particular policing approach was known to be achieving a 67% conviction rate for those who rape people in society in general, and yet it was only being used in one part of the country, there would be public uproar.
In Liverpool, over the last ten years, I have worked in a climate and ethos that is progressive in relation to crimes against sex workers, where the police have been committed in increasing confidence amongst sex workers in the police and as part of that introduced the sex work and hate crime policy.
The women I have worked with here in Merseyside now have a great level of trust in Merseyside Police. That has been the result of massive amounts of trust building from the women themselves, the ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) and sex work project. So in the beginning, women would do Ugly Mug reports if they were attacked and wouldn’t dream of going to the police. Now, they will ring 999 just like any other victim would which is a direct result of the partnership.
These very real women photographed above are dead. They were murdered, and most of their cases remain unsolved. Women in prostitution suffer higher rates of murder [the mortality rate for women in prostitution in London is twelve times the national average - Home Office 2004a], higher rates of rape [more than half have been raped and/or seriously...