According to the English Collective of Prostitutes, which runs a helpline for people working in the sex industry, the number of calls it receives from students has at least doubled over the last year.
Research from the University of Kingston suggests that 20% of women working as lap dancers are students and 16% of all students asked said they would consider working in the sex industry.
Sarah Walker, who works for a prostitute helpline, has noticed an increase in calls since the government announced the planned rise in tuition fees. She told the BBC: “they [government ministers] know that the cuts they’re making are driving women into things like sex work. It’s a survival strategy so we would hold the government responsible for that.”
One young woman has revealed how she started working as an escort when she was 17 in order to fund her £70 weekly travel expenses to college.
The woman decided that in order to complete her A levels and eventually make it to University, she would have to find a job that didn’t clash with her study hours. In the end a friend encouraged her to work for his escort agency and she accepted.
According to the BBC, the young woman now thoroughly regrets her decision and has lost self-confidence and trust in others as a result. She encourages other young people in her position to find out as much as possible about available grants and benefits before making such life-changing decisions.
In light of these worrying reports, the Department of Education has released plans to offer £180 million worth of financial support to the most vulnerable 16-19 year olds hoping to go to University.
If you have worked or are working in the sex industry and you want to speak with a counsellor, you can find out more about the help on offer by visiting Types of Distress. Alternatively you can search for a counsellor using the search tool on the Counselling Directory homepage.
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