Daisy jumped off a bridge twice but was told she couldn’t have support because she wasn’t suicidal. Julie Tomlin hears about the Catch 22 situations that keep sex workers on the streets, addicted to drugs and separated from their children
Former sex workers in Hull have written a book about their lives, telling stories that include childhood abuse, drug addiction and their experiences selling sex on the city’s Hessle Road. An Untold Story was written and self-edited by 12 women. Laying bare the realities of street prostitution, the book also explores the failures of those who could have helped the women and how cuts are affecting what few services do offer support. The women also write about the devastating impact of having children taken into care. A last resort that often seems like the only course of action left to underfunded authorities, the experience often sends women deeper into the spiral of addiction. Here, five of the women talk about their experiences and the negative impact of Hull’s use of Section 222 local government powers against antisocial behaviour to crack down on sex work. They also discuss their hope that if their voices are heard, then their struggles to rebuild their lives could help create effective alternatives.