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Balkan Med J. 2012 Jun;29(2):153-9. doi: 10.5152/balkanmedj.2011.018. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

The experiences of violence and occupational health risks of sex workers working in brothels in ankara.

Author information

1
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.
2
Department of Medical History and Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.
4
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to reveal and discuss occupational health risks, violence against sex workers working in brothels and their working conditions in Ankara.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The study included 138 sex workers. Data were collected at face to face interviews with a questionnaire composed of 40 questions about socio-demographic features, familial characteristics, reasons for becoming a sex worker, experiences of violence and occupational health risks.

RESULTS:

Twenty-two point five percent of the women were aged 21-30 years and 39.9% were aged 31-40 years. The mean time of education was 5.9±3.5 (0-14) years. Forty-eight point five percent of the women were exposed to physical abuse and 13% of the women had been exposed to sexual abuse in their childhood. Fifty-five point eight percent of the women reported that their clients always used condoms, but 97.1% of the women noted that their clients insisted on not using a condom. Fourteen point five percent and 70.3% of the women were exposed to physical and verbal violence respectively from their clients. Ten point one percent of the women suffered sexual assault while working.

CONCLUSION:

Sex workers, like other people, should have human rights, all types of violence that they face should be eliminated and the social conditions they are exposed to should be improved. Sexually transmitted diseases, the most important health risk of sex workers, should be considered as occupational diseases in the new regulations.

KEYWORDS:

Prostitution; human rights; sex worker; sexual transmitted diseases; violence against woman

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