Workplace violence, by clients or predators, poses serious negative health consequences for sex workers. In 2013, the Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada Police Department changed their guidelines with the goal of increasing safety for sex workers by focusing law enforcement on clients and third parties, but not sex workers. We sought to examine the trends and correlates of workplace violence among female sex workers (FSW) before and after the guideline change, using data collected from prospective cohorts of persons who use illicit drugs in Vancouver, Canada. Among 259 FSW, 21.0% reported workplace violence at least once during the study period between 2008 and 2014. There was no statistically significant change in rates of workplace violence after the guideline change. In our multivariable analysis, daily heroin use was independently associated with workplace violence. The 2013 policing guideline change did not appear to have resulted in decreased reports of workplace violence. Increased access to opioid agonist therapies may reduce workplace violence among drug-using FSW.
Prangnell A, Shannon K, Nosova E, DeBeck K, Milloy MJ, Kerr T, Hayashi K. Workplace violence among female sex workers who use drugs in Vancouver, Canada: Does client targeted policing increase safety? Journal of Public Health Policy, 2017 Nov 6. PMID: 29109517
Journal of Public Health Policy
Workplace Violence among Female Sex Workers Who Use Drugs in Vancouver, Canada: Does Client Targeted Policing Increase Safety?
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