The violence inflicted upon sex workers worldwide doesn’t just span in its immensity of how many ways they can be harmed in, but also impact the victim psychologically. Predominantly, the victims happen to be women, which include extreme cases of murder in both insides & outside their workplace.
The WHO defines physical violence as ‘the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation’. Physical violence often is seen in the form of kicking, punching & slapping the victim, wherein 55% of the violence was committed by the client. The same study finds that a gross 82% of participants have reported having experienced some of the other forms of violence after getting into the business. But a different study claims a much lower rate of physical abuse, quoting at 74%.
Psychological abuse sometimes referred to as mental or emotional abuse is indicated by a person exposing or subjecting another to a psychological ordeal which includes chronic depression, anxiety, or PTSD. The certain types of mental abuse that prostitutes are subjected include the denial of basic needs, being arrested for carrying a condom, & forced alcohol or drug abuse. Prostitutes who are women are particularly vulnerable to psychological abuse, particularly verbal abuse. This is major because of the customers or other members of society perceiving them as whores or as needy women. Verbal abuse is often seen either while the service is being given, or if the client is not satisfied with the service that has been given.
Sexual violence can be termed to any sexual act or even an attempt which is acted out to obtain a sexual act by coercion or violence, or unwanted sexual comments. The probabilities of sexual abuse taking place are lesser than physical abuse, with the exception of indoor sex workers, who are said to report a higher chance of rape than a specific type of physical violence. A study claims that 44% of prostitutes are reported to have experienced sexual abuse in their ‘work-life’. The rate of rape & sexual assault is higher among women than men, simply due to the fact that most of the prostitutes are women. Another study claims that the overall rate is higher, reporting that at least 68% of regular prostitutes have been raped since entering prostitution.
Studies have also revealed that younger prostitutes tend to experience more of the brunt of sexual violence than older prostitutes. Furthermore, transgender & cisgender female workers have reported having experienced more sexual violence than any of their male counterparts.