For over a decade our flagship Liberty service has supported, advocated and championed the rights and needs of on street sex workers providing a forum for their voices to be heard and a platform to help bring about institutional change. The Liberty project provides an outreach, engagement and recovery service to sexually exploited women involved in on street survival sex work. Most suffer with poor physical, mental and sexual health struggling with unresolved issues related to historic child sex abuse, domestic violence or family breakdown / being in care. Many suffer abuse, violence and isolation every-day, disconnected from society which increases their vulnerability to further exploitation and violence. The women are often entrenched in high risk behaviours, lack of confidence; skills and to support to engage in training/employment and are reluctant to engage with mainstream services
Our service aims to reach, engage and empower in a uniquely holistic way as part of a focused recovery journey that addresses their immediate needs for safety and inclusion and over time supports and empowers them to exit and break free from these exploitative situations.
We are committed to tackling the root causes of gender based discrimination and violence against sex workers, such as poverty, providing training, practical skills and employability programmes along with food and toiletries to help meet basic needs. We help strengthen awareness around women’s rights empowering them to speak out. We collaboratively work with sexual health, GP and dental practices to improve the standard of health for sex workers, hosting clinics at our centre to improve access and provision. We recognise that challenging poverty, inequality and violence against women is a key objective but it is also part of the solution hence we train magistrates and the police to help influence and change our legal system and inequitable practices.
In partnership with academics we havecarried out participatory research with peer sex workers and have shared the findings with key policy and decision makers to help shape and contribute to the creation of a fairer society with equal rights and an equal voice and say in economic decisions.
Please follow the link below to access the full research report.
Our strength is the longevity of our engagement with the women to bring about and sustain positive change.
Our approach involves:
- 1:1 intensive recovery support
- Low threshold drop-in for vulnerable women
- Drop-in for women on caseload who have or are sex working
- Independent living programmes
- Health and fitness programmes
- Wellbeing Activity group
- Therapeutic programmes
- 1:1 counselling
- Outreach twice a week
- Offering practical support through food parcels, toiletry packs, clothes, hot food, safety packs, harm minimisation and needle exchange
- Family support