Sex workers in Scotland condemn the 'outing' of a sex worker by the media

Sex workers in Scotland, and sex worker-led organisation SCOT-PEP condemned the front page exposure of a sex worker in yesterday's Scottish Sun. They stated, "sex workers are parents, friends, and people who do an honest day’s work, unlike some journalists - who we can only hope one day encounter the full force of their apparently suppressed consciences."

They called the coverage "pointless" and "titilliating", and added: "We note that the European Women’s Lobby is gearing up for a lavishly-funded day to eradicate “prostitution” in Europe. If only so much money and energy went into eradicating stigma, rather than eradicating sex workers. In fact, the legal model that the EWL are advocating - the Swedish model - is one acknowledged by the Swedish government itself to increase the stigma that we face; to further empower journalists to out us, and to put us as further risk of violence or exclusion when publicly exposed in this way." Sex workers in Scotland spoke of their fear of media intrusion, and the accompanying stigma. One woman wrote about her experiences, concluding, "There were times, through that dreadfully dark period, when I really thought I was going to have a breakdown."

The SCOT-PEP statement concluded, "[we] offer our solidarity to the woman in today’s paper, and to all sex workers in the UK who are today reminded of our vulnerability in the face of media intrusion and stigma."

Sex workers around the world share this fear, as recent events in Kenya demonstrate.