Just to keep Harlots Parlour readers informed that our Home Office funding has expired and we’re currently running the National Ugly Mugs (NUM) Scheme on funding reserves as we wait for responses to funding bids and other sources of income.
The UKNSWP, including myself as NUM Manager, have been extremely vocal in advocating for sex worker rights, including opposing proposals for further criminalisation in Scotland and Northern Ireland both formally and in the national media. The UKNSWP is also vocally urging police forces nationally to recognise crimes against sex workers as hate crime and have delivered police training to five UK police forces highlighting the negative consequences of enforcement and raising awareness about sex work.
Some outcomes and successes
Criminal Justice outcomes: none were anticipated in the pilot phase due to the length of time it usually takes from an offence to the conviction of the offender but the Scheme has been instrumental in the identification, arrest and imprisonment of eight serial offenders.
Our independent evaluation found that NUM alerts had resulted in 18.1% of sex workers changing their practices in some way; 15.7% refusing appointments or avoiding specific individuals. 40.7% of sex workers agreed that now NUM exists the police are more likely to take violent crimes against sex workers seriously and 62.7% are more likely to report violent crimes to the police.
NUM has also developed strong links with escort advertising sites and links to existing alert schemes within the industry. Membership continues to increase with up to ten new members per day, mostly private or independent sex workers.
Given the clear successes of the scheme and he impact it has had in a short pilot phase it would be a real tragedy if we ran out of funding before responses to these bids/opportunities are received.
1. UKNSWP is already using limited reserves and funds raised to continue till end of May.
2. 15 funding bids have been submitted to a range of trust funds/grant giving bodies. Decision dates vary.
3. A letter has been sent to all PC commissioners and all Cheif Constables from ACPO lead for Adult Sexual Offences – these will be followed up by a request for funding donations from UKNSWP and meetings with a range of forces.
How can you help??
· Buy NUM merchandise (hoodies, t-shirts, bags, condoms, mugs and more).
· We are also registered as an eBay charity so you can sell your goods and donate the proceeds to UKNSWP and it will go directly to fund NUM.
· Write to your local Police and Crime Commissioner.
· We are also asking for donations and sponsorship from escort sites so please email the administrators of sites where you’re registered asking them to contribute!
Also, if you have any creative suggestions for fundraising please let us know!
Thank you for the support!
An example of recent publicity for the NUM is http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/scheme-aimed-stopping-attacks-sex-2586435
National Ugly Mugs Scheme
An example of how this scheme is working in practice is shown in this email from a sex worker who has given her permission for her email to be published:
The news that the National Ugly Mugs Scheme is under threat because of lack of funding has hit me hard.
After I was attacked in the street, the last thing I wanted to do was contact the police.
I wasn’t working at the time – but that didn’t matter. Calling the police was out of the question.
But I needed to tell someone…it was too hard to hold inside me.
That’s when I heard about the NUM scheme and that’s when I contacted them.
I filled out their detailed report form with as much information as I could remember about the rape. It’s amazing how quickly your mind closes over…tries to forget…so the comprehensive list of questions was so much more helpful than just providing a general description of what happened.
It was quite a shock when they sent me the finished product: how it would look on the website. There it all was, in black and white – committed to record.
I didn’t want to think about it once that was done – what NUM did with my information or where it would go. But after the recent reports on BBC News I know that my answers to all those detailed questions will be examined and cross-referenced and you never know….he might be caught.
And in the meantime, I can still use the number check system on NUM.
But if the funding disappears, I can’t.
And he’ll be in a much better position to attack again.
Follow NUM project on twitter: http://twitter.com/NationalUglyMug”