New Eaves report highlights the barriers for women to exit prostitution

A new report shows that lack of support services, criminal convictions, alcohol and drug abuse, housing, and violence from buyers and pimps are the most common barriers that stop women from exiting prostitution.

The report – Breaking down the barriers: a study of how women exit prostitution – is a three-year joint study between Eaves and London South Bank University. Funded by the Big Lottery, its aim was to assess the effectiveness of interventions designed to support women in England who want to leave prostitution. Given the number of women who participated in the research, it provides a great deal of insight into the exiting process.

The findings of the executive summary report are based on 114 in-depth interviews with women involved in or exited from prostitution, and other experts and professionals working in the field. It is the largest UK-based study of its kind.

Yesterday, Monday 5th November 2012, was the launch of the executive summary, with the full report to be published later in the year.

Some key findings:

1. Many women were able to leave prostitution by receiving the appropriate support to overcome the barriers at the right stage for them.

2. Having a criminal conviction was identified as a major barrier to exiting. 49% of the women had criminal convictions for prostitution related offences.

3. Women involved in indoor prostitution faced a range of barriers to exiting including, problematic alcohol and drug use (61%), housing (55%), childhood violence (67%).

4. Violence from buyers was frequently reported as a motivating factor for women to exit from prostitution. 61% of women in the sample reported experiences of violence from buyers of sexual services.

5. Providing dedicated support to help women who want to exit was found to be an extremely cost-effective way of preventing further physical or emotional harm associated with their continued involvement in prostitution.

6. Services that provide support to women in prostitution should ensure that the support they offer doesn’t just help to maintain women in prostitution but proactively seeks to assist them to exit and rebuild their lives.

Press contacts:
For further information please contact Lisa Young, Exiting Prostitution Development Officer on 020 7840 7148 or at [email protected] or Laura Craddock, Communications Officer on 020 7840 7132 or at [email protected]

Our success stories

Molly, 38 from London

3rd May 2012

Molly* says… “When I was 38, I was raped and beaten by my boyfriend. He turned my life upside down and it… read more

Maria, 23 from Greater London

3rd May 2012

Maria* says… “I first came to Eaves’ Scarlet Centre just before Christmas after my boyfriend’s friend… read more