Safety tips for people who swap or sell sex

Safety tips for people who swap or sell sex

In order to keep yourself safe, always trust your instincts.  If it doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t. 

You have a right to be treated with respect and dignity.  If you are sex working, here are a few tips to help you to keep safe:

  • Sign up to National Ugly Mugs (NUM) to receive warnings about potentially dangerous individuals and situations.
  • Use a number or email checker to screen customers before agreeing to see them – NUM have these.
  • Note the client’s mobile phone number in case you need to report a crime; don’t take bookings from withheld numbers.
  • Be clear about the services that you are willing to provide and the cost from the beginning.
  • Use your online profile as a place to be clear about these and always speak to the client yourself.
  • Network with other sex workers through online forums for sex workers where warnings about individuals targeting sex workers are shared.
  • Always agree business and take money first.
  • Have a plan ready in case something goes wrong.
  • Know the escape routes to a safe place within the building.
  • Always carry a personal safety alarm.
  • Never leave a key in the lock, as you could be locked in.
  • If you can, let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back.
  • Try to avoid using drugs or alcohol when working. If you do, then try to use an amount that keeps you aware and stable.
  • If you are offered refreshments by a client, only accept unopened drinks.
  • Carry a fully charged phone with emergency numbers on speed dial.
  • Always trust your instincts and be willing to say no.
  • Always try to take in as much information about a client as possible.
  • Don’t carry a weapon as this can be used against you.
Get in touch via isva@idas.org.uk or ring our helpline on 03000 110 110.
“I just want to thank you. When I first came to you, I had nobody to talk to about the rape and you totally supported me through the whole process. You walked me all the way through everything and made sense of a horrible situation I was in and I don’t know how I would have managed alone. You literally saved my life.”