Why we are needed
Around 130 women are sex-working. They’re some of Bristol’s most marginalised women. It’s dangerous, lonely and difficult to leave. But our vision is of a community where all women are valued and able to live fulfilled lives without the risk of being trapped in street sex work.
There’s no one-story-fits all. They’re somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, even somebody’s mother… Most of the vulnerable women we see on the streets are homeless, acutely malnourished and addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
We see women who are deeply traumatised from childhood abuse and the violence of life on the streets. Yet these courageous women show tremendous skills and potential: in their supportive peer relationships, their creativity and humour and their survival.
The women we meet are in desperate situations. They are 12 times more likely to be murdered than other women. About 80% experience homelessness, 92% have chronic ill health and all are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. These women have all experienced domestic or sexual violence and many also experienced childhood trauma.
But each woman’s journey is unique and precious. One25 is the only organisation in Bristol specifically supporting marginalised street sex-working women. Our working ethos of unconditional love means we work with each woman who says she needs us until she is ready to move on. We celebrate each step and we never give up.
So what do we do about it?
- Nearly all are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol1
- Average age of first drug/alcohol use was 13 years2
- All suffer from chronic physical, mental and/or sexual health problems and half suffer from acute ill health2
- The majority (nearly 80%) are homeless1
- Over a third (38%) have been through fostering or children’s homes3
- One third (32%) left school at 14 or younger and only 41% have any qualifications2
- Their age range is 18-531
- Women in street prostitution are 12 times more likely to be murdered than the normal rate for all women in the same age group in the UK4
- One25’s latest statistics on street sex-working women worked with in 2018-29
- Jeal, N and Salisbury, C (2007) ‘Health needs of parlour based prostitutes compared with street based prostitutes: a cross sectional survey’ International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 114 pp875-881. [Based on One25’s service users]
- Jeal, N and Salisbury, C (2004) ‘Self reported experiences of health services among street based prostitutes’ British Medical Journal 65 pp 123. [Based on One25’s service users]
- Salfati, C. G. (2009) ‘Prostitute Homicide: An Overview of the Literature and Comparison to Sexual and Non-Sexual Female Victim Homicide, pp. 51-68. In D. Canter, M. Ioannou, & D. Youngs (Eds.) Safer Sex in the City: The Experience and Management of Street Prostitution