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Safety advice

We recognise that working in the sex industry can carry risks.

We recognise that working in the sex industry can carry risks.

We have therefore put together some safety advice; it’s wisdom and advice gathered from other much wiser people than us, and sadly from some people who’ve had to learn from experience after being in dangerous situations whilst working.

We recognise for a lot of people these are very obvious pieces of advice but we hope some of it might be helpful or at least some food for thought if you haven’t recently thought about your safety when you’re working or if you’re new to the sex industry.

*If you work in the sex industry and have some more advice to add to this please do let us know, or if you think any of it isn’t helpful please do say too.

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Here is some safety and privacy advice:

  • Have a safety screening routine that you stick to, using things such as: sex worker forums and schemes like National Ugly Mugs and SAAFE - which are recommended places where you can check warning alerts about people who have created problems for other sex workers.
  • Tell someone you trust where/when you are working and when to expect you back. Ideally, agree what they will do if you don’t return and who you want them to contact. For more advice about this check out BtG’s buddying advice.

    Some people find it helpful/easier to use a location sharing app with the person you trust - some of the apps also have ways of alerting the person at the other end of the phone if you are in danger.

  • If you tour on your own you do not need to advertise this.
  • Always have a fully charged mobile phone (and if possible a backup phone in a place where you but not clients are aware of).
  • Set up your phone to speed dial a number which it can call at one press – make this the number of the police or someone you trust.
  • Be alert and aware of your customer and the environment. Plan your exit routes wherever you are working. Never let the client park with the passenger door of the car against a wall or let them block you from any exits in a room. Make sure nothing can be used in the room as a weapon against you.
  • Never lock doors or windows and don’t leave keys in the locks as you could be locked in.
  • Hide any valuables or anything that is precious to you.
  • Communicate your boundaries. Be clear from the start about prices, times, and what you are and aren’t prepared to do.
  • Always insist on payment up front. Look at secure ways to accept payment and which options might compromise your privacy.
  • Keep money out of sight and locked away, but keep some cash on you in case you need to escape.
  • Carry a safety alarm with you and/or have one hidden around the place in which you’re working. The sound of the alarm should shock the perpetrator and give you time to escape. If you don’t have an alarm feel free to contact us and we can give you one or send you one in the post.
    For more information about when and how to use a safety alarm visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust
  • Have a working name with a separate phone, social media accounts and emails. Don’t reveal your real name or too many other personal details to a client.
  • Advertising images; think about if you want your face or anything that may easily identify you (like a tattoo) in your photos.
  • Check if there’s anyone else (that you haven’t agreed to) in the room, home, car etc when you go to an outcall.
  • When dealing with a customer; act confident and be assertive - even if you feel scared try not to let on.
  • Appearances can be deceptive. Don’t assume someone is OK just because they look respectable.
  • You can use reasonable force to defend yourself against an attack.
  • You do not have to have already been attacked before you defend yourself, but you must act in response to an immediate threat.
  • Don’t wear a scarf or place anything around the neck. Make sure earrings or other jewellery cannot be pulled off you.
  • Remember that carrying a weapon is an offence.
  • If someone tells you they are a police officer, always ask to see ID. Never assume they really are police.
  • Try to avoid drinking or taking drugs whilst you are working as this can impact on your ability to recognise and escape danger.
  • Always pour your own drinks and never leave them unattended. Do not accept food that is not sealed or prepared by you. It is strongly advised not to accept drinks or drugs from clients - particularly if they are not consuming them themselves.
  • Try not to accept any clients who are too intoxicated.
  • Always trust your gut instinct. If you feel uncertain about a person or situation, there’s probably a good reason why. Listen to your instincts and take action, whether that means saying “no” to a potential client or running away. It’s not worth ignoring your instinct and later wishing you hadn’t

If you are in danger or do not feel safe at any time, please call the police on 999 and say "Help".

If you are unable to speak, once the operator has answered then dial 55.

The police have a duty to help and protect you.

Call 999
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FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT ONLINE SAFETY written by sex workers go to Safety and Privacy for Online Sex Workers (from Beyond the Gaze)

Also, is a website set up by and for independent sex workers. Have a look for safety tips from people with experience of working in the sex industry.

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The Beyond the Streets charity have created this resource of information about how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic if you choose to continue working, where to go if you need financial help, and other important organisations you might need to contact.


NUM (National Ugly Mugs) is a charity committed to supporting sex workers who have been victims of crime.

If you are a sex worker you can sign up to NUM for free to receive warnings about dangerous individuals in the area that you’re working.

You can also check NUM’s database to see if a telephone number or email address of an individual has been reported to them.

If you have a bad experience with a client, including time wasting, non-payment and verbal or physical abuse, you can make a report anonymously to NUM that will be shared with other sex workers and potentially save their lives.

The Charis team receive the NUM warnings about dangerous individuals so, if you don’t want to sign up but want us to let you know about dangerous individuals in your area then please do contact us.

Equally if you’d like help making a report to NUM or signing up to their site we are happy to help you with this too.

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If you are worried about someone and wish to make an anonymous report you can also contact Crimestoppers