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Vulnerability and involvement in drug use and sex work

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Vulnerability and involvement in drug use and sex work
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  Home Office Research Study 268 Vulnerability and involvement indrug use and sex work Linda Cusick and Anthea Martin, Imperial CollegeTiggey May, South Bank University The views expressed in this report are those of the authors, not necessarily those of the Home Office (nor do they reflect Government policy). Home Office Research, Development and Statistics DirectorateNovember 2003  Home Office Research Studies The Home Office Research Studies are reports on research undertaken by or on behalf ofthe Home Office. They cover the range of subjects for which the Home Secre t a ry hasre sp on si b i l i t y. Other publications produced by the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate include Findings, Statistical Bulletins and Statistical Papers. The Research, Development and Statistics Directorate RDS is part of the Home Office. The Home Office's purpose is to build a safe, just and tolerantsociety in which the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and communities areproperly balanced and the protection and security of the public are maintained.RDS is also part of National Statistics (NS). One of the aims of NS is to inform Parliament andthe citizen about the state of the nation and provide a window on the work and performance of government, allowing the impact of government policies and actions to be assessed.Therefore – R e s e a rch Development and Statistics Directorate exists to improve policy making, decisiontaking and practice in support of the Home Office purpose and aims, to provide the public andParliament with information necessary for informed debate and to publish information forfuture use. First published 2003Application for reproduction should be made to the Communications and Development Unit,Room 201, Home Office, 50 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AT.© Crown copyright 2003ISBN1 84473 049.2ISSN0072 6435 Vulnerability and involvement in drug use and sex work  Foreword This re p o rt is one of five re s e a rch re p o rts published as part of the Vulnerable Gro u p sRese arch Programme. The central focus of the programme was to investigate patterns of d rug use among groups of vulnerable young people and their access to services. Eachp roject focuses on a diff e rent group of vulnerable young people, who tend not to beincluded in general population surveys. The project reported on here concentrates on youngpeople involved in sex work. The four other projects examine: young people leaving careincluding runaways; homeless young people; young drug users who are in contact withjuvenile drug services; and young people in contact with youth offending teams. Many ofthe young people across these projects are likely to have had similar backgrounds andvulnerabilities. A number of the studies explore this area and the degree to which the youngpeople are in fact the same population caught at diff e rent points in their lives and viadifferent services.Vulnerable and socially excluded young people involved in prostitution tend to be a hiddenpopulation. This study aims to build on existing knowledge of the complex re l a t i o n s h i pbetween drug use and routes in and out of sex work. It examines what links drug use andprostitution for young people, and what circumstances influence exiting from problem druguse and sex work. The authors suggest that the shared environment of problem drug use andsex work may link together and become mutually reinforcing. They systematically analysethe factors, which particularly when working in combination, were seen to trap youngpeople, offering them little opportunity to exit either problematic drug use or sex work.Teresa WilliamsProgramme Director, Drugs and Alcohol Research,Research, Development Statistics Directorate i  Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the 125 young people with experience of sex work anddrug use, who participated in interviews for this study. We would also like to thank theservice providers in statutory and voluntary agencies who helped access and recruit theseparticipants and also provided private accommodation for the interviews. Our thanks alsogo to those who helped carry out the research and evaluation: Mark Davis, Ali Judd andHelen Fox of Imperial College; Mel Cowley from Dataplus Solutions and Melissa Echalierfrom the University of Surrey.Linda Cusick – Imperial CollegeAnthea Martin – Imperial CollegeTiggey May – South Bank UniversityThe Research, Development and Statistics Directorate would like to thank Dr. Susan Carr(The Sandyford Initiative, Greater Glasgow NHS) and the other reviewer, who wished toremain anonymous, for acting as independent assessors for this report. Vulnerability and involvement in drug use and sex workii  Contents ForewordiAcknowledgementsiiExecutive summaryv1Introduction1Youth prostitution prevalence1Vulnerabilities1Problematic drug use and sex work5‘Trapping’ and ‘exiting’7Research aims and objectives142 Method17Sampling17Recruitment17Participants18Data collection18Interviewing procedures20Analysis20Definitions used203 Vulnerabilities23Drug use comparison with British Crime Survey findings23Vulnerability factors for problematic drug use and sex work27Relationships between vulnerability factors294 Problematic drug use and sex work31Qualitative insight into ‘shared environment’ as potential explanation forrelationships between problematic drug use and sex work31Quantitative evidence on ‘shared environment’ as explanation forrelationships between problematic drug use and sex work31Drug use and sex work – order of involvement in the two activities33Routes into sex work35 iii
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