Violence leads to diseases among sex workers

A fifth of female sex workers live with violence, attacked four times a month, on average, according to an analysis of data on 109,366 such workers, gathered over six months to September 2015 by Swasti Health Resource Centre, a Bengaluru-based nonprofit, as part of its work under the Avahan initiative. Those with more clients and income were more likely to be attacked, data reveals, which in turn placed them at greater risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV-AIDS. This could be because they were less likely to get tested.

As many as 24,815 women, or 22.7 per cent, reported 92,838 bouts of sexual, emotional and physical violence against them in the six-month period of the survey, carried out in five states: Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The most prevalent form of violence is physical with 39,832 incidents reported, followed by emotional (35,887) and sexual violence (17,119). Sex workers are among those most vulnerable to HIV infection, according to a 2005 World Health Organization (WHO) report.

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