Faq & Research

Survivors present the evidence alongside their experiences   [upsetting content]

Those harmed in porn & prostitution are told ‘it’s just work’. How do you square that with the extreme trauma experienced (even by those who freely chose it and never experienced punter violence)?

The only possible explanation is that they just ‘weren’t strong enough’  for this kind of ‘work’.

Knowing the reality, can help reduce this stigma because, unfortunately, being deeply harmed in the sex industries is the norm, not the exception.


The sex trade is usually ‘chosen’ by those already abused and vulnerable – often while  underage. It is certainly never an informed choice – not a single person in the industry has ever entered it knowing the harms or risks involved. Is that a genuine, free and informed choice or a total failure to protect the most vulnerable?

  • 60% of women in prostitution sexually assaulted as a child    Global
  • 33% spent time in care                         Home Office
  • 60% beaten to the point of injury by a care giver as a child       Global
  • 75% of those in prostitution have been homeless    Global
  • 55%-90% report childhood abuse prior to entry       Global
  • 45% report childhood sexual abuse in the UK                         Home Office
  • 50% (possibly up to 75%) entered sex trade as a child             Home Office
  • 70% say childhood abuse influenced their decision to enter     Global

The Real Choice

The evidence shows that the only real choice (ie: free, informed and made by an adult) that the vast majority in the sex trade would make is to get out. Although this can be done relatively swiftly with the right support, this is rarely provided. Without this, the barriers can be overwhelming. This leaves many trapped in the industry far longer than they want (or might even survive):

  • 50% coerced to remain in sex trade         UK
  • 50% have debts, making it hard to leave   UK
  • 40% have no formal qualifications, making it hard to leave      UK
  • 67% have a criminal record (50% directly due to prostitution)   UK
  • 50% have a substance dependency   UK
  • 77% are experiencing homelessness/housing problems    UK
  • 90% would choose to escape (but feel unable to)           Global 
  • 85% want to escape where pimps & buyers decriminalised    New Zealand Government
  • Exiting is highly achievable with appropriate support  UK 

Harm in the industry

Decades of evidence from across the globe clearly shows that ‘the oldest profession’ is, always has been and always will be, inherently harmful and almost invariably violent, regardless of any and all attempts to regulate it:

 Violence  in prostitution is ‘near pandemic’  APPG on Prostitution

  • 50% UK women in prostitution raped/seriously sexually assaulted Home Office
  • 50% women in indoor prostitution experience punter violence  UK 
  • 70% of women in prostitution physically assaulted  Global
  • 65% of women in prostitution threatened with a weapon  Global
  • 60% of women in prostitution raped  Global
  • [most raped multiple times] 
  •  60% of women/transwomen in prostitution endure traumatic brain injury North America
  • [The same as for professional boxers]
  • Harms of strangulation [normalised in porn/prostitution] J Sex & Marital Therapy
  • Harms of anal sex for women [normalised by porn/prostitution] Guardian
  • Multiple and extreme physical harms of sex trade Gynaecologist

 Paying the Ultimate Price 

  • Women in street prostitution 60-100 times more likely to be murdered than average
  • Murder rate highest where pimps & buyers legitimised Sex Industry Kills
  • 60% say: ‘legitimising pimps/buyers did not improve safety’ Germany 

   The Buyers & Sellers 


   The Wider Impact


Scale & Cost  of the Industry

The Consequences

The impact of sex without desire and of turning sex into a transaction (let alone the high levels of violence, exploitation and abuse within the industry) are extreme and long term:

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