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Support for sex workers



The Dorset Working Women's Project (DWWP) has been running since 1998 and is an HIV prevention and sexual health project working with women who sell sex, particularly those who also misuse drugs and/or alcohol. The project aims to help support people working in the sex industry and provides a range of support including:

  • Information on safer sex, contraception, sexual health testing and safer drug use, including clean injecting equipment;
  • Advice on personal safety, including Dodgy Punters information;
  • Promotion of positive sexual health choices;
  • Information and advice on HIV, Hep C, Hep B and sexually transmitted infections;
  • Street Outreach on 2 evenings a week;
  • Home support visits to Sex Workers;
  • Transport to the sexual health service for sexual health check-ups, treatment and emotional support;
  • A weekly drop in session – a safe place for those involved in sex work to relax and chat;
  • A quarterly newsletter containing a dodgy punter list;
  • Support to help people access other services including SWARAC;
  • Referrals and support to access other organisations dealing with substance misuse, housing, welfare or legal issues;
  • Agency or self-referral.

For further information contact:

  • Pauline Smyth at pauline.smyth1@nhs.net or call 07973 235438
  • Karen Johnston at karen.johnston10@nhs.net

Due to COVID-19 our service is operating slightly differently. Women cannot access the outreach van (i.e. get on it) at present and drop in has been suspended for the time being.

Outreach

DWWP runs an assertive outreach 2 times per week on our specially equipped van to engage and see on-street workers as well as doing selective home visits for those workers who have requested support.

On outreach we provide food, harm minimisation supplies, support with incident reporting, general advice and signposting. We also hand out essential items such as toiletries, hats, gloves, socks, umbrellas and hot drinks.

During outreach we can speak to sex workers about the latest information on any risky dodgy punters. We can also take reports on any violent incidents for the National Ugly Mug Scheme. We also signpost sex workers to our drop in as a result of seeing them on outreach sessions.

Off-Street

We support those who work off-street including at home, in flats and other venues. Our specialist off-street workers can arrange regular visits for anybody wishing to receive support from DWWP. This includes harm minimisation, advice on online safety, advice and support on reporting, access to National Ugly Mugs, sexual health screening and supplies.

DWWP is for all women who work, or have ever worked, in any area of the sex industry, and provides information, advice and support on all work related issues.

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