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The challenge of change – improving services for women involved in prostitution and substance use

The challenge of change – improving services for women involved in prostitution and substance use Purpose – Against Violence & Abuse (AVA) and DrugScope undertook research into good practice interventions for supporting women involved in street‐based prostitution and substance use. The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings of a survey of service providers and interviews with both service users and providers about women's involvement in prostitution and substance use, their associated support needs and how these can be met by services. Design/methodology/approach – As part of a mixed methods study, this paper focuses on the findings of interviews with 19 women involved in prostitution and of a survey of and interviews with 64 services that support women involved in prostitution. Findings – Generic substance misuse services are more likely to associate women's involvement in prostitution with funding their own or their partner's substance use. By comparison, specialist sex work projects are more likely to report women using substances to manage the emotional and physical pain of selling sex. These beliefs impact on the interventions delivered, with specialist services offering a more diverse package of care than generic services. Research limitations/implications – This study covered predominantly two English regions. A more systematic study of service provision across the UK would be welcomed and could be used to inform guidance for national and local policymakers. Originality/value – This paper adds to the existing evidence base of “what works” in supporting women involved in prostitution. It is novel in its focus on women involved in prostitution who also use substances and in offering a detailed picture of the types of support currently available in England. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Advances in Dual Diagnosis Emerald Publishing

The challenge of change – improving services for women involved in prostitution and substance use

Advances in Dual Diagnosis , Volume 7 (2): 10 – May 13, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1757-0972
DOI
10.1108/ADD-02-2014-0005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Against Violence & Abuse (AVA) and DrugScope undertook research into good practice interventions for supporting women involved in street‐based prostitution and substance use. The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings of a survey of service providers and interviews with both service users and providers about women's involvement in prostitution and substance use, their associated support needs and how these can be met by services. Design/methodology/approach – As part of a mixed methods study, this paper focuses on the findings of interviews with 19 women involved in prostitution and of a survey of and interviews with 64 services that support women involved in prostitution. Findings – Generic substance misuse services are more likely to associate women's involvement in prostitution with funding their own or their partner's substance use. By comparison, specialist sex work projects are more likely to report women using substances to manage the emotional and physical pain of selling sex. These beliefs impact on the interventions delivered, with specialist services offering a more diverse package of care than generic services. Research limitations/implications – This study covered predominantly two English regions. A more systematic study of service provision across the UK would be welcomed and could be used to inform guidance for national and local policymakers. Originality/value – This paper adds to the existing evidence base of “what works” in supporting women involved in prostitution. It is novel in its focus on women involved in prostitution who also use substances and in offering a detailed picture of the types of support currently available in England.

Journal

Advances in Dual DiagnosisEmerald Publishing

Published: May 13, 2014

Keywords: Staff attitudes; Substance use disorders; Female; Prostitution; Risk behaviours; Sex work

References