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Staying Safe Whilst Working

We recognise that working in the sex industry carries risk

Here are a few tips about how to stay safe while you're working, particularly if you work on your own.

  • TRUST YOUR GUTS If you feel uncertain about a situation, there’s probably a good reason. Listen to your instincts and take action, whether that means saying no to a potential client or running away.

  • USE A SCREENING STRATEGY Set up a screening system for potential clients to help you decide whether or not to agree to see them. For example, where possible speak to them on the phone beforehand to hear what they sound like, use the NUM number/email screening service, keep a record of people you don’t want to see or talk to again.

  • COMMUNICATE YOUR BOUNDARIES Be clear from the start about prices, and what you are and aren’t prepared to do. Make sure you take payment first.

  • DRESS FOR SAFETY Think about what you wear that could be used to harm you, eg a scarf or belt. Can you run away quickly in the shoes you're wearing?

  • BUDDY UP Set up a buddy system with a friend so that someone knows when and where you’re working, and when you’ve finished. Agree on a code word that you can use to discreetly alert them of danger.

  • KEEP YOUR ROUTE CLEAR Never let a client get between you and your nearest exit.

  • RAISE THE ALARM Carry a safety alarm with you and/or have a few hidden around the space in which you’re working. Throw the alarm in the perpetrator’s direction to distract them and give you time to escape. If you don't have a personal alarm, contact us and we can send one to you.

  • CONSUME WITH CARE Don’t take food or drink offered by a client that they’re not also consuming. Intoxicated clients can be more of a risk.

  • SAFETY FIRST If you’re in danger, escape, shout for help, don’t worry about making a scene. In an emergency always CALL 999

  • BE PREPARED Have a plan in case anything goes wrong, but don't carry a weapon as this could be used against you. Know your escape routes and don't let a client block your exit.

READ MORE: Safety and Privacy for Online Sex Workers (from Beyond the Gaze)


National Ugly Mugs

We would encourage you to set up a free account with National Ugly Mugs to receive warnings about dangerous individuals in your area. If you have a bad experience with a client, including time wasting, non-payment and verbal or physical abuse, you can make a report anonymously to National Ugly Mugs that will be shared with other sex workers and potentially save their lives. Saffires can help you set up an account or make a report on your behalf if you'd like, and we pass on ugly mug alerts during our outreach visits and one to one appointments.


Every person is unique. Wherever possible, we aim to tailor our support to each person’s needs. We’re open to ideas and suggestions, so if you have an idea, please get in touch

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