This book is concerned with violence in the sex industry. It aims to provide an understanding of the nature of violence against sex workers and the relationship between violence, government legislation and policy, and law enforcement practices - an essential task in view particularly of the 2006 Ipswich murders and the public and media response to this which illustrated how poorly the context of violence in the sex industry is understood.
The book describes the incidence of violence against sex workers, culminating in some cases in murder. It shows how the risk of violence is strongly dependent on the physical and legal context in which sex workers operate; how repressive policing tactics exacerbate vulnerability and how discourses of abhorrence towards sex work promote perceptions of sex workers as worthless human beings. It also examines how inadequacies in the criminal justice system lead to failures in investigations and prosecutions, and failures to prevent violence from known offenders; and how the stereotyping of sex workers, their clients and perpetrators of violence, in the media and in other spheres of academic debate, distorts reality leading to inappropriate or harmful public responses.