Beyond the Gaze Research: Launch Event 23rd January 2018


The launch event of  findings from the Beyond the Gaze (BtG) participatory action research project, the largest study to date of UK internet based sex work in the UK took place on 23rd January 2018 at the Holiday Inn, city centre Manchester. The project carried out by researchers at the Universities of Leicester and Strathclyde has been looking at how online and digital technology has impacted on the sex industry and at the working conditions, safety and regulation of internet based sex work in the UK. It has also explored how outreach and health services working with sex workers have responded to the needs of this sector and identified good practice. The event brought together people/practitioners in a range of fields for example health, human rights, social care, sex work, academics, researchers, sex work outreach and support projects, sexual violence services, criminal justice and policing.



The aims of this event were:

To bring together sex workers, sex work projects, health practitioners,other practitioners, sex worker rights organisations, policy makers, academics/researchers, and other stakeholders to share knowledge and learn more about online sex work in the UK.
To showcase findings from BtG during the final dissemination and impact year of the project.
To launch several resources produced by BtG

Program and Activities
There were a range of presentations and workshop all related to internet based sex work, presented not only by the research team but a wide range of speakers. Speakers  included:

  • Professor Teela Sanders (Principal Investigator, University of Leicester), Professor Jane Scoular – (Lead Investigator BtG Uni of Strathclyde), Matt Valentine-Chase (Researcher BTG, Leicester University), Dr Rosie Campbell (Researcher BtG, University of Leicester),  Stewart Cunningham (Researcher BTG, University of Strathclyde), Dr Jane Pitcher (Researcher BTG, University of Strathclyde).
    Laura Lee – sex worker rights campaigner (Sex Worker Alliance Ireland)
    Charlotte Rose – sex worker, sexual trainer & campaigner
    Representative from SAAFE website and forum
    Representatives from Sex Workers Opera
  • Tony Shea, National Ugly Mugs
  • Representative from, English Collective of Prostitutes
  • Detective Sergeant Jill Cowling, Northumbria Police
  • Fergal McCullogh,  The Men’s Room Manchester
  • Gemma Scire, Basis Yorkshire.


Delegates had the opportunity to take part in a range of workshops, with many linked to the findings of Beyond the Gaze. These included the following  topics:

  • Managing duality & stigma in sex work
  • Harassment, online abuse & outing
  • Mapping online sex work and ethical issues researching online sex work
  • Sex Worker’s Opera creative tools for inclusion.
  • Customers of online sex workers
  • Transactions: online sex work issues for transgender sex workers
  • Addressing barriers to online sex worker reporting of crime
  • Navigating the balance between activism and academia’


*Learnt  about headline findings from the largest surveys of UK online sex workers and customers who purchase services within the online sector.
*Learnt what the online sex work terrain looks like in the UK- the types of online spaces which make up the sector.
*Saw the first screening of the new short film informed by findings from BtG in which internet based sex workers speak about working in the online sector, their use online technology in their work & dealing with and challenging stigma.
*Were the first to have access to  five  briefings summarising findings from various aspects of the BtG research. These can be accessed here:
*Heard from sex workers about how the legal situation in the UK  impacts on sex workers.

*Took part in a range of workshop



We will be posting a more detailed report about the event.


Towards good practice for working with online sex workers: support & safety Seminar – 8th November 2017 – Part of ESRC Festival of Social Science


About the seminar & aims: Drawing on preliminary findings from the Beyond the Gaze (a participatory action research project looking at the working conditions, safety and regulation of internet based sex work) this event will:

• Present initial headline findings from Beyond the Gaze (BtG): – specifically, those relating to support and safety.
• Consult on draft ‘Good practice guidance on working with online sex workers’: these are being produced as part of BtG in partnership with National Ugly Mugs (NUM) by a working group from the BtG & NUM ‘Practitioners Forum’, with wider consultation with practitioners/sex workers. The forum has met since September 2015 to support BtG & share learning and practice about working with online sex workers.
• Identify ways the guidance can be disseminated.
• Plan for the BTG & NUM Practitioners Forum after the BtG project.

This event will be interactive and workshop focused, with some short presentations from the research team and members of the BtG & NUM Practitioners Forum. Participants will be involved in commenting on the draft good practice guidance.

ESRC Festival of Social Science: The Department of Criminology, University of Leicester are very pleased to present this seminar as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science taking place 4-11 November 2017. The ESRC have provided funding to support the event. The festival aims to take the social sciences to diverse & new audiences: For more information about the festival go to:

Details & Registration
Date: 8th November 2017 Time: 11-3pm Venue: Leicester University Campus (room TBC)

Who the event is for: the event is for existing members of the BTG & NUM Practitioners forum plus other invited practitioners/sex workers who bring expertise in providing information, advice & support for the sex work community.

Free & refreshments: this is a free event and tea/coffee and lunch will be provided.

Invitation only: Please note this is an invitation only event and anyone who has not been registered with the organiser will not be permitted to attend. If you are interested in attending please contact Dr Rosie Campbell –


European Society of Criminology Conference 2017 – 13th-15th September, Cardiff University


Prof. Teela Sanders (Dept. of Criminology, University of Leicester) from the BtG team is presenting at the 2017 European Society of Criminology Conference, taking place on 13th 15th September at Cardiff University. This presentation she will be making draws on one element of another research project she is involved with, funded by the Wellcome Trust being carried out with researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Teela is presenting on behalf of the team which consists of Stewart Cunningham (Leicester University), Lucy Platt, Pippa Grenfell & PG Macioti (all of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) . The paper she will deliver is called ‘Trends in Homicide Against Sex Workers in the UK’ and it will present an up-to-data analysis of the UK sex worker murder database held at the National Ugly Mugs scheme, which consists of 180 individuals over a 26 year period between 1990 – 2016. Within this database the research sampled for occupational homicide specifically examining those people who were killed during the course of their work. It will explore the trends in victims targeted in relation to sex market, migrant status, making comparisons between those work worked on street and those indoors. The paper surmises that patterns of victimhood are changing in line with the broader changes in the sex industry. It will also look briefly at conviction and sentencing patterns with the limited data we have to suggest that investigations into sex worker homicides are increasingly successful. The research also makes comparisons with some other ‘risky’ professions to examine the highest risks of mortality for certain occupations, suggesting that sex work is amongst the highest.

For more info about the conference itself including how to register go to:

British Society of Criminology Conference – 4-7 July 2017

Prof Teela Sanders from the Beyond the Gaze Team will be presenting as part of a panel of speakers on sex work at the 2017 British Society of Criminology Conference. The conference is taking place between 4th-7th July at Sheffield Hallam University.  She will be presenting some initial findings from Beyond the Gaze.

The theme of the conference is ‘Forging Social Justice: Local Challenges, Global Complexities’. For more information about the conference including registration go to;



COST ProsPol Conference ‘Displacing Sex For Sale’- 29th-31st March 2017


The final conference of the COST ProsPol action will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark at AAlborg University between 29th-31st March 2017.   This vibrant conference event entitled ‘Displacing Sex for Sale’ has a diverse and lively program of academics from a range of disciplines who will come together with sex worker organisations, policy makers and others to  reflect on sex work and sex work policy in Europe and Beyond.  The Beyond the Gaze team will be participating presenting findings from our participatory action research project in two separate panels, one of these panels ‘Sex Work in the Digital age’ is being coordinated and Chaired by Professor Teela Sanders (University of Leicester) from Beyond the Gaze.  We are really looking forward to presenting alongside other researchers  in that panel.  Professor Jane Scoular (University of Strathclyde) from Beyond the Gaze sits on the organising committee for  ProsPol and has been involved in many of the actions events.


For information about the program go to;   For information about registration go to;

COST ProsPol  is ‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ and aims to exchange, enhance and compare knowledge about prostitution policies across Europe. ProsPol provides an innovative platform of exchange to enhance understanding of how concepts, policies and practices transfer across national cultures and local contexts, and the implications this has for knowledge exchange and coordination in this field. By offering insight into the empirical effects and contexts of various regulatory regimes, the Action seeks to inform future prostitution research and policy, including comparative work between different prostitution policy regimes.  For more info go to:

Responding to Sex Work in Wales – Conference – 3rd Feb 2017, Swansea University


On 3rd February 2017 the conference  ‘Responding to Sex Work in Wales: Reflections, Research & Future Directions will be delivered in collaboration between the the Consortium for Sexuality Studies (CSS), College of Law and Criminology, Swansea University ( and the Sex Work Research Hub (SWRH).  The CSS brings together partners from practice and academia across Wales, the UK and Europe with the aim of establishing innovative research projects across three interlinked themes:

  • Sex work
  • Sex and the Life Course
  • Sexual Exploitation

The SWRH comprises over 100 academic researchers and post graduate students who engage in ethical and robust scholarship on sex work, social justice and sexual exploitation. The SWRH is housed at the University of York and aims to co-create knowledge about the sex industry with sex workers, practitioners and grassroots organizations as a means to inform social policy development and public debates, as well as shape the practices of sex workers and the work of rights advocates around the world. Follow on twitter @sexworkreshub or see the hub website







The conference is a free event, funded by the Welsh Government and will take place at Swansea University. Dr Rosie Campbell from the Beyond the Gaze team will be presenting (sharing some initial findings from the research) alongside a range of confirmed speakers including;  Nici Evans – Head of Partnership for Cardiff Council,  Alex Feis-Bryce – CEO National Ugly Mugs,  Debbie Jones and Professor Tracey Sagar – Swansea University,  Kim Ann Williamson – CPS, Chair of Sex Worker Safety Group for Wales

For more information and to register go to;




5th Annual SWRH Postgraduate Sex Work Conference- 20th January 2017 Leicester University


Following on from previous successful postgraduate sex work conferences the 5th   Annual postgrad conference will take place on 20th January, at the University of Leicester.  This is part of the program of events for the Sex Work Research Hub, the  SWRH comprises over 100 academic researchers and post graduate students who engage in ethical and robust scholarship on sex work, social justice and sexual exploitation. The SWRH is housed at the University of York and aims to co-create knowledge about the sex industry with sex workers, practitioners and grassroots organizations as a means to inform social policy development and public debates, as well as shape the practices of sex workers and the work of rights advocates around the world. Follow on twitter @sexworkreshub or see the hub website

The postgraduate conference is being hosted by Professor Teela Sanders of the Beyond the Gaze Project & Head of Research,  Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester,This event provides an opportunity to present postgrad studies at any stage in development, engage with seasoned sex work researchers, and build networks and relationships among new and emerging scholars who are advancing knowledge in this space.  This conference is open to registered Postgraduate students doing sex work related research in the UK.

Those who who want to attend the event should go to the following link and book a place;
This is a free event and there are five bursaries of £25 each available to support the attendance of eligible Postgrads.

Red Film Project -Nottingham 23rd/29th Nov & 17th Dec

The Red Project is back after the success of the pilot edition held in Leicester in 2015, the project is taking to the road.  Funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, the event is delivered in partnership with  POW Nottingham, in collaboration with New Art Exchange and Nottingham Contemporary. The aim of the project is to raise awareness amongst the general public and healthcare professionals of the stigma and violence experienced by sex workers.
The Nottingham Red Project is a short film season providing an insight into the lives of those who work in the sex trade. The event features three British and two Italian films (with English subtitles) from the 1960s to the present day. As the Red Project is a journey across the UK, it is also a journey across time and space.
This edition opens at New Art Exchange on 23rd November at 6:30pm with a screening of Personal Services by Terry Jones, which is followed by a Q&A session with Dr Rosie Campbell  from Beyond the Gaze (Leicester University)/ Co-Chair Sex Work Research Hub and Daniela Scotece, CEO POW Nottingham.
From Tuesday 29th November the programme continues at Nottingham Contemporary for three weeks, ending on 17th December (International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, also known as Inline image 1Red Umbrella day). Each film will be accompanied by a Q&A session, during which audience members can pose questions to guest speakers made up of sex workers, activists and researchers. The aim of these sessions is to expand on the issues raised by the films and to offer new perspectives on the lives of sex workers.
Tickets for the opening night and film screenings are FREE, but booking is recommended as spaces are limited. Book online at:  or call on 0115 924 8630
For more information, go to   or  Twitter @NottRedProject.

British Society of Criminology Conference- July 2016

Prof. Teela Sanders will be presenting at the British Society of Criminology Conference, taking place 6th-8th July 2016 at the Nottingham Conference Centre. Her presentation is entitled ‘New trends in crimes against sex workers: digital crimes, doxing and exposure’. For more info about the conference and how to registrar for the conference go to;   Teela will be discussing  issues of violence and risk for those who are specifically working through the internet, drawing on empirical findings from a Wellcome Trust survey of internet based sex workers.  She will explore new trends relating to digital crimes in the context of work which was considered by research participants as yielding high levels of job satisfaction and control of their working conditions. The ‘new’ types of crimes facilitated through digital technologies such as text and email harassment and the concept of ‘doxing’ by clients are discussed as areas for further understanding and practice/policy solutions. She will flag up the ongoing Beyond the Gaze participatory action research project which is further exploring trends in such crimes against internet based sex workers.

Parallel Session ‘Sex work & new technologies’ – Prospol Meeting

18th-21st September 2016  COST Action Prospol Meeting, University of Zagreb:  

Rosie Campbell & Prof. Jane Scoular will be chairing  a parallel session on ‘Sex work & new technologies’, which is taking place as part of the  COST Action Prospol Meeting in Zagreb, Croatia. They will also contribute to the session by presenting initial findings from Beyond the Gaze, specifically from interview with internet based sex workers.   COST Action Prospol is ‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ which is part of ‘European Cooperation in Science and Technology’.