#IDEVASW – A Summary – International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

The Point of Counting: Mapping the Internet Based Sex Industry

Beyond the Gaze is the largest study to explore online sex work in the UK and a key focus was exploring the strategies online sex workers use to try to protect their safety and also to examine crimes experienced by workers in this sector. Very little research prior to BtG had examined crimes experienced by online sex workers and BtG has we hope made an important contribution to research in this area which can inform policy and practice. Key BtG findings relating to safety strategies and crimes against sex workers were published in November 2018 in the British Journal of Sociology Campbell, R et al ‘Risking safety and rights 2018 online sex work, crimes and blended safety repertories’ To read the article go to https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-4446.12493. Rosie Campbell and Teela Sanders have written a blog post based upon this publication that originally appeared in Sociology Lens. An abstract of this will be published here on the BtG website on Monday 17th December 2018, to mark IDEVASW.

Also in recognition of IDEVASW Rosie, last year, wrote the below piece and we felt it fitting to re-post it here, with a few amendments to bring it up to date. Rosie is still very active in sex work research, writing her forthcoming book on sex work and hate crime and is now Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of York. Here is what Rosie has to say on IDEVASW:

International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers is marked every year globally on 17th December.   This day was created to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers and to remember those who have been murdered.   It was originally created by The sex workers outreach project in the US   http://www.new.swopusa.org/ as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the “Green River Killer” in Seattle Washington. It has grown to be a global event, where sex workers, sex work support projects and their allies  come together in towns and cities around the world to remember sex workers who have experienced violence,  to highlight the need for sex worker rights to safety and protection to be respected and enshrined in laws and polices and to challenge stigma, criminalisation and laws which undermine sex worker safety and contribute to violence.

It’s a day when sex workers, sex worker rights organisations, sex work support projects and their supporters/allies come together to remember victims of violence, call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers & reinforce the message that crimes against sex workers are unacceptable and a violation of sex worker’s rights. 

Matt Valentine-Chase, a previous researcher (now webmaster) in the Beyond the Gaze team,  has produced a short slide show video to mark the day on behalf of the team, this will be live on the site on Monday 17th December 2018.

On the 17th December and the days near two it lots of events, actions and remembrances are taking place across the globe including in the United Kingdom.  National Ugly Mugs (NUM) lists some of these on their website where you can also find NUM’s 2018 IDEVASW campaign – ‘Say Their Names’ – this is a powerful and heartfelt initiative. Please visit www.uglymugs.org for further information. You can also download their PDF memorial flyer by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

In solidarity with sex workers and in remembrance,

Rosie Campbell and the Beyond the Gaze Team

NUM ‘Say Their Names’ Memorial Card: International-Day-to-End-Violence-Against-Sex-Workers-Booklet


Newsletter Now Available for December 2018 from Sex Work Research Hub

The Sex Work Research Hub has produced its NEW shiny newsletter and is available here: download PDF and you can also visit them at their website here: SWRH.

This fantastic publication is something the Hub intend to make a regular thing. They say:

Welcome to the Sex Work Research Hub Newsletter, December, 2018. There is so much exciting research taking place around the country that it has been hard to keep up with it all. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this edition, it was a real privilege to showcase all the achievements in a newsletter. We intend to make it a regular publication and to use it to keep you in touch with news and developments which relate to the SWRH, and its members. We are keen to respond to the interests of our members and look forward to your feedback and comments on this edition.
Books, chapters, journal articles, newspaper articles and everything else you have been producing…

This edition of the newsletter contains: Participatory Action Research: Guidance for Researchers, International Comparative Project: Safety at Work for Trans and Non-Binary Sex Worker, Health Impacts of the Criminalisation of Sex Work, A Report and Photographs from the first Laura Lee Sex Worker Human Rights Public Lecture, Latest News and Events… and there is even more! Do download your copy and remember to visit the Hub’s website.

Until Next Time,

The BtG Team 🙂

NB: Excerpt from the SWRH newsletter, please do not copy. Image copyright SWRH.

December 17th is #IDEVASW

#IDEVASW is: International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers. Each year we gather together to remember those we have lost as a result of targeted violence and hate crime committed against sex workers (Campbell and Sanders 2018).

At Beyond the Gaze, following our three year study into the online sex industry, working practices, regulation and safety, we take this time of year particularly seriously. We will be publishing an article on the day itself, 17th December 2018, titled: Change and Continuity in Targeted Violence Against Sex Workers.

We will also be linking in with many other projects and organisations – and individuals – on the website and mainly on social media to not only promote the events happening globally, but also to offer support and solidarity to those affected by violence against sex workers and the associated social, emotional and often psychological effects.

Violence against sex workers affects individuals and communities in very different and often personal ways. We feel therefore that the overriding intention behind our posts, articles, vlogs and tweets – is for all who find these – to feel loved.

You are not alone.

With love,

The BtG Team

Campbell, R. Sanders, T. ‘Change and Continuity in Targeted Violence Against Sex Workers’ 2018 will be published here on the BtG website on: 17th December 2018.


The Laura Lee Sex Worker Human Rights Annual Lecture

Prof Maggie O’Neill, Keynote Speech at the Laura Lee Lecture

Following the Advancing a Social Justice Agenda for Sex Workers conference in Dublin on 16th November 2018, the team at the Irish Sex Work Research Network, presented the first Memorial Annual Lecture on Sex Worker Human Rights, in honour of Laura Lee, a champion supporter of the BtG project, sex worker activist and dear friend of many who attended the event. The topic for this year’s lecture was ‘Sex Work, Sexual Citizenship and Social Justice: Towards ‘a Real Politics of Justice’.

Professor Maggie O’Neill made a moving keynote speech where we all remembered Laura together, focused on her legacy and explored how we can come together to further the cause of social justice and inclusion. Dr. Rosie Campbell of BtG and the University of York, tweeted: ‘Lucky to be in to hear give the 1st sex worker human rights annual lecture focused on social justice & need for inclusive citizenship drawing on decades of participatory action research & creating knowledge…’ Matt Valentine-Chase of BtG said: ‘After a powerful conference, we now remember Laura Lee, at The Laura Lee Annual Lecture: Sex Work, Sexual Citizenship and Social Justice: towards a ‘Real Politics of Justice’.

Laura was known to be a ‘woman of power’ and after her passing, allies, friends and colleagues took to social media to say ‘Rest in Power’. The conference and the following Laura Lee Lecture oozed a sense of sadness tinged with the gift of determination Laura left us all with. The speakers and audience contributors often reflected on this gift and how they will continue this, using it as a tool for change – informing individual, organisational and societal evolution – towards social justice and personal enablement.

Laura – we salute you. Forever in our hearts, our minds – Our Power.

The BtG team xXx

Image credit: Dr. Rosie Campbell

‘Advancing a Social Justice Agenda for Sex Workers’ ISWRN Conference: Dublin 2018

Dr. Leigh-Ann Sweeney of the Institute of Technology, Sligo presenting at the conference.

Some of the BtG team attended the Irish Sex Work Research Networks’ Conference in Dublin on Friday 16th November, at Trinity College. Entitled ‘Advancing a Social Justice Agenda for Sex Workers’, with a range of presentation from academics and activists alike, the day proved to be deeply moving as well as informative.

Do take a look at the ISWRN website for a full review of the day, but here are a few highlights:

Dr. Susann Huschke of the University of Limerick spoke about ‘the danger of a single story: reflections on ‘truth’ and power in sex work research’. Susann talked passionately about approaching sex work research from a  wide angle.

Dr. Leigh-Ann Sweeney presented on ‘a review of health and social care services response to sex workers in the Republic of Ireland’ where Leigh-Ann explored the health impacts on sex workers. Importantly Leigh-Ann looked at ‘where we go from here’ and also facilitated a workshop on health needs for sex workers.

There were also fascinating and impassioned presentations, and respectful debate, throughout the day. With contributions from: Dr. Pippa Grenfell of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Mr. Luca Stevenson of the International Committee on the Rights of Migrant Sex workers in Europe (ICRSW), Dr. Belinda Brooks Gordon of Birbeck College and a knowledgeable post-speaker’s panel – we came away with more knowledge and insight than we arrived with – always a good sign after a conference. 🙂

We would love to tell you everything about this amazing day – but there simply isn’t room to do this justice. Do pop along to the ISWRN’s twitter here and website here to catch up.

Following the conference, the team at ISWRN organised the Laura Lee Sex Worker Human Rights Annual Lecture this was a moving, deeply powerful and inspiring public lecture that was well attended. We shall honour this here on BtG in a separate dedicated post. Laura Lee was a champion of BtG, a colleague, a mother – a friend. Read the full post: here.

The BtG team

Image credit: Dr. Rosie Campbell

The Latest from BtG: Risking safety and rights: online sex work, crimes and ‘blended safety repertoires’

Risking safety and rights: online sex work, crimes and ‘blended safety repertoires’

Sociology Lens is the latest platform to showcase some of the BtG findings. Teela and Rosie have written a blog post for Sociology Lens that looks at the wider sociological perspectives and impact, of safety and rights for online sex workers. With excerpts from their main article in The British Journal of Sociology (Risking safety and rights: online sex work, crimes and ‘blended safety repertoires’ ,  this quick yet informed look through the lens is another great opportunity for BtG’s findings to reach a wider audience.

Sociology Lens is read by a diverse readership of researchers, academics, students, interested community members and policy makers.  Please use this link to share the blog post (and do take a read!) and below you will find the full article originally published in The British Journal of Sociology.

The full list of authors are (and must be cited when referencing the article) as follows:

Campbell, R. , Sanders, T. , Scoular, J. , Pitcher, J. and Cunningham, S. (2018), Risking safety and rights: online sex work, crimes and ‘blended safety repertoires’. The British Journal of Sociology. doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12493

Until next time! The BtG Team.

New Article in Social Sciences: The Point of Counting: Mapping the Internet Based Sex Industry

The Point of Counting: Mapping the Internet Based Sex Industry

The Beyond the Gaze findings continue to be shared with the wider community. It is very important to the team that the three year project has a positive impact and that more awareness comes from this. The latest article appears in Social Sciences and can be found via this link or by clicking on the image.

To cite the article, entitled, The Point of Counting: Mapping the Internet Based Sex Industry please reference the below in full:

Teela Sanders, Rosie Campbell, Stewart Cunningham, Jane Pitcher, Jane Scoular, The Point of Counting: Mapping the Internet Based Sex Industry, Social Sciences. Vol. 7, No. 5, 2018, pp. 233-241. doi: 10.11648/j.ss.20180705.15

That link to the main article again, is here: The Point of Counting: Mapping the Internet Based Sex Industry

Please do share the article far and wide!

The BtG Team

Teela Sanders: Beyond the Gaze Project: Background and Outcomes

Teela Sanders, BtG Director of Research, reflects on the BtG project and looks at just some of the outcomes so far, including impact on policy and practice. If you are a sex worker, we have produced many resources for you, based on the findings and sex worker involvement. These will be added to the site shortly in easy downloadable format! Now, here’s Teela…

The Beyond the Gaze project (funded by the ESRC) has come to an end after three years. We set out to look at the working practices, safety and regulation of online sex work. We have achieved a lot with an impressive team of researchers (Professor Teela Sanders, Dr Rosie Campbell – University of Leicester and Professor Jane Scoular, Dr Jane Pitcher, Stewart Cunningham University of Strathclyde) and co-researchers from the sex work community.

Key achievements:

  • Largest data sets in the world on online sex work; sex workers survey (n=641), customers (n=1,345)
  • Significant academic outputs including open access journal articles
  • Responded to media requests and driven evidence-based pieces
  • Active website and Twitter which will carry on for foreseeable future

Impact on policy and practice:

  • Sitting on NPCC police working group
  • Home Office and National Crime Agency meetings
  • Made links and developments with key adult platform websites
  • Over 20 training events in 2018, 15 police forces and national SPOC events.
  • 200+ practitioners trained alongside NUM
  • Practitioners forum gained momentum over 8 events
  • Continued participatory action research model where resources have allowed to have sex workers and co-researchers expertise

What practitioners said:

  • 84% (26) said it had increased the knowledge a lot
  • “Having an evidence base for some of the work delivered. Having the opportunity to hear from other projects about their work with online sex workers. It has been useful for developing peer involvement.”
  • “We have not yet expanded to advertising our project online but the BTG research & events have had a massive impact in the way we have started designing our service information & the kind of service we will be offering.”
  • “So far my work has been solely with street-based sex workers so BTG has been vital in informing the way we approach, advertise & work with internet workers.”

BtG website: will be maintained for the foreseeable future: https://www.beyond-the-gaze.com/

Briefings: download free briefings about various aspects of our research project at: https://www.beyond-the-gaze.com/briefings/  Other documents such as journal articles can also be accessed.

Safety/privacy resources: download free safety/privacy info resources for online sex workers at: https://www.beyond-the-gaze.com/safety-info/  this includes a comprehansive PDF info document and flyers.  We will be uplaoding tips cards at a later date.

Practice guidance: download free ‘Practice Guidance for Working With Online Sex Workers’  (2018)  https://www.beyond-the-gaze.com/practitioners/

BtG twitter: we will remain on Twitter for the foreseeable future but will be less active: https://twitter.com/BeyondtheGaze

Practitioners Forum: At the final event a discussion group was held on the BtG and NUM Practitioners forum this will continue lead by NUM and Supported by the University of Leicester Del from NUM and Teela from BtG/Leicester Uni teela.sanders@leicester.ac.uk

You can also contact Teela using the form below:

    Beyond the Gaze: Where Now and Introducing Your New Webmaster

    Beyond the Gaze Project Website

    As you will probably know if you are familiar with BtG, the three year research project has now completed and we have launched our findings. Teela Sanders, our Director of Research, will be writing a news piece soon on the project’s outcomes (some of them), a bit about the team and a look at some of the wider impacts of the project. This website will continue (yippee!) for the foreseeable future. Here we will be continuing to list our resources for sex workers, practitioners and wider community and allies so do keep popping back and do look out for some creative tips, ideas and posts that relate to our research and to the sex work community.

    We will also be updating you on news, events and developments within BtG and the connected projects we have direct or indirect contact with.

    It is important to know that the BtG research (and many other research projects) are designed, developed and delivered with the community it researches front and centre – so……

    We want to hear from you!

    I’m Matt, one of the previous Research Assistants for the BtG project and now Webmaster. I’m here to post updates, do a bit of polishing to the site and to keep the news flowing with things you want: want to take part? Pop me an email (contact form below) and let me know your:

    • News piece
    • Sex work related blog post
    • Research related news or updates

    You might also just want to:

    • Introduce yourself (in a blog post) if you are a:
      • Sex worker interested in sex work research and related projects
      • Sex work project worker
      • A new sex work project
      • A researcher

    As the BtG project drew to a close – so far as the research itself is concerned – we got together and discussed how we can gift to the community what we have learned and what you (the wonderful sex workers who responded to our survey) have suggested to improve your satisfaction, safety and privacy in your day to day lives.

    You will already be able to find most of our safety, privacy and practitioner guidance here on the site but we want to take this further. We want you to, again, please pop us an email and let us know where you think we could outreach our resources in order to support you all further.

    Do take a look around the site (we’re still updating, bear with us…) and feel free to make a suggestion.

    Chat soon,

    Matt ?

    PS Do look out for Teela Sander’s update/review of the BtG project so far…. Coming soon!

    The SMALL print: it will be lovely to hear from you all but do note, sending a post/news piece does not guarantee inclusion. Thank you.

    NB Using the contact form below will only send your email to Matt for website related enquiries/submissions. For  BtG enquiries please email Teela Sanders via the contact page.