Support to the red light workers(19 Posts)
So I may be really bonkers, but I have been watching the BBC documentary throughout about the women who work in the only legalised red light district in the uk.
I live and work in this city, but miles away from where it is, and just didn't have a clue it was going on.
When I say miles it's about 12 miles away, I live in the affluent part of the city, and I feel totally ashamed and stupid that I didn't know this was happening, I am now getting restless legs knowing these women are on the streets paying for their drug habit, putting drugs before food, starving and freezing cold.
It's just taking only my own personal safety interests (not the girls but the punters) to go down there and take some old coats, jumpers (still fashionable, but I got fat) and some hot food.
Do you think I would be totally bonkers just to drive down there and hand out hot drinks, soups, a few sandwiches and some warm clothes? There is literally no charities that do this.
On a side note I am so fucking cross that my council have set up a red light zone but other than police controls every now and then, nothing else is happening to help these women.
I have been watching it too. Made me so upset for these women, wish I could help them. I actually lived near Holbeck, and didn't realise till I saw it on the series that it was a legalised red light zone.
It would be safer to donate to charities that offer women a way out of prostitution.
And dont vote Tory. Universal Credit and other austerity measures are driving this.
The girls won't want to wear really warm clothes as showing their bodies will attract punters. Most of the street prostitutes are addicts and they do this to support their addictions, that's why most of them are so skinny. Heroin > food, sadly
I can see that you want to help which is lovely but are you sure there are no charities around there dealing with addictions? That is where the real problem lies.
Daria Pionko was murdered within weeks of the establishment of the so-called safe zone. Her murder hit the headlines in the same week as the press (inc. the BBC) were carrying fulsome interviews with the councillor who'd campaigned for the red-light district, in which he waxed lyrical about how much safer it would make sex work. It didn't, did it?
I used to live in Leeds, and I gather from people who still live and work round Holbeck that it has made harrassment of all women sky-rocket. So it hasn't made life safer for the prostitutes, it hasn't made life safer for women as a whole... Who does it benefit? Oh yeah, punters and pimps, yet again.
I agree though, don't just go down there - look into charities that help. I'm pretty sure they do exist (a friend's wife used to work for one in Bradford, but that was twenty years back so I don't have any contact details).
No you should not be a Lady Bountiful blundering into a situation you have no experience or understanding of.
A quick google throws up the Joanna Project who seem to work with women in prostitution in Leeds. They might be a good starting point.
NB - it's a Christian charity, but they say explicitly that they don't use it as a vehicle for evangelism. So more the Oxfam/Christian Aid end of the spectrum than the various dubious shoebox charities.
Or this charity: Basis. They hand out food and free condoms, and also insist their volunteers go through safeguarding training. (Though they do seem in favour of the red-light district, but if that's based on a sincere belief that it's a pragmatic strategy to minimise the damage, that's probably okay.)
I'll stop spamming now.
The documentary you spoke about in the OP actually showed a Christian charity out on the streets of Holbeck, I remember one of the prostitutes avoiding them. Maybe see if you can contact them? (Probably the charity a previous poster has named above)
"It would be safer to donate to charities that offer women a way out of prostitution.
And dont vote Tory. Universal Credit and other austerity measures are driving this."
It's been going on a lot longer than tories have been in power.....
I did a placement with a church group in Leeds, they were based in mabgate area, near lady beck. They would go out and provide hot drinks, condoms and somewhere safe to rest. They had then residential placements for prostitutes who wanted to come away from the lifestyle. Some converted to Christianity and it turned their life around. Didn't work for all but the ones that did was life changing.
No, you should not do it. You should donate or qualify to volunteer.
The ladies need more than just food and drink, they need people to get really involved, unless you have lots of time to really invest, I would leave it to professional agencies, or well established charities.
Yes I second above, definitely don't go down there it's much too dangerous. I did rate the church group though if you were to offer your help
I live in holbeck and I am also heartbroken by what is happening to the women. I agree it is not safe for you to go into the zone at night and hand out food and things. It just isn’t safe for you. It isn’t safe for them, either. But the Joanna project advertise for volunteers, and Leeds together women project in town collect clothes to give to vulnerable women, though not specifically in holbeck. The biggest problem we have and the main thing that keeps them trapped is crack. And unemployment. But the ones on the streets in holbeck are the most desperate of all sex workers, and usually it’s crack. I don’t know how to help either. There is a politician called Laura Walton who is campaigning to end the managed zone, you will find her Facebook here www.facebook.com/LauraWaltonHolbeck/. Perhaps she could use help. I don’t know what else to suggest. Thank you for telling people what is happening. I have hope that when people find out the truth, they will support us.
I’ve set up a regular amount to the Joanna project. I do not usually support Christian charities as I worry about the missionary aspects but I think their approach is a better one and basis are part of the lobby for full decriminalisation. Joanna project appear to have an holistic approach led by what the women actually want and need which can be easily dipped in and out of and can continue as long or for as little as the women want which I support.
I agree with Lass TBH but would not have put it quite so bluntly! I think the starting point for doing something kind for any person is first finding out what they actually want/need. Going down there with stuff would be more about your guilt than actually helping.
But you are probably not bonkers, just shocked and wanting to help!
Another thread here with a blog about Holbeck
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