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We believe that all communities across Merseyside have the right to be free from violence in order to provide the best life chances for all.

Halting hate, humanising sex workers

Merseyside is one of a few areas in the country that classes attacks against sex workers as a, “Hate Crime.”

And it is the only place in the world to support a scheme that actively engages with sex workers to encourage them to report crimes against their person – and then supports them with police interviews, forensics, hospital treatment and even attending court.

Red Umbrella does outreach work on the streets and in-house, advocating for this most vulnerable group whom, Service manager/Specialist IDSVA Rachel Fowler says, are painfully aware of the exploitative predicament they are in.

“The girls almost accept danger as an occupational hazard” she said, “but they suffer rapes, sexual assaults and assaults.

Often trauma, systematic abuse, neglect and mental health issues have led them to this position. They are someone’s daughter, mother, sister, but they often tell me sex workers are the last concern. Yet some have risen from the streets to successful careers and useful lives.”

COVID presented the team of two with some significant challenges, which we will explore in a future article.

Red Umbrella is brought to you by national charity Changing Lives. Learn more about them at: My CMS - Building Futures For Vulnerable People Nationwide (

Discover more about National Hate Crime Awareness Week by going to National Hate Crime Awareness Week - Nationalhcaw

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