Desperate parents turn to prostitution to earn money during coronavirus lockdown

Parent shave turned to prostitution in order to make money to feed their families after losing work due to lockdown, a sex worker charity has uncovered.

Dr Raven Bowen, CEO of sex worker's charity Ugly Mugs, says the economic and employment chaos caused by the ongoing coronavirus crisis has led many to make the desperate choice to sell sex for money.

Reports in Newcastle alone have uncovered hundreds of men and women turning to prostitution this year – with fears that sex workers’ health could be threatened as Covid-19 cases flare up again in the North of England.

ChronicleLive reports that one website alone featured adverts for 150 escorts working in the Newcastle area – while police have been making multiple arrests relating to sex work since the UK was plunged into lockdown in March.

Speaking to the publication, Dr Bowen explained that many had turned to sex work due to finding themselves in financial turmoil either due to a reduction in normal work – or losing their jobs entirely – amid the ongoing pandemic.

However, the increase in sex workers has had an adverse impact on the trade – as prices have been driven down by the sudden increase in workers.

The charity CEO said: "People have turned to sex work just because they and their family are hungry.

"If the market is saturated, it becomes a buyer's market – just like real estate.

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"And they compromise their price, their safety – a lot of things – because the power is shifted to the person with the money.

"If you have a lot of sex workers competing for the same amount of clients, you are going to see a compromise, and when they make compromises, that is when they experience harm."

It is feared many sex workers have undertaken greater risks to their health in light of the pandemic as they have been unable to gain financial relief from the Government.

While some sex workers are registered as self-employed who can access funding, others have been forced to apply for Universal Credit and join the waiting list of others hoping to be granted financial support through the controversial system.

But other sex workers have continued to work – adding extra risk to their health due to the pandemic, and with some being forced to offer services for less money to undercut other workers.

One sex worker speaking to ChronicleLive said: "I’ve heard of women in the past doing sexual acts for a few quid, maybe a fiver or even just food.

"A lot of the women are drug addicts or incredibly poor, so as sad as it is, I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of that in the next few years, as it is going to be a really, really hard time for a lot of people."

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