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Brighton Uni Freshers’ Fair sex work stand branded ‘beyond disgraceful’

A Freshers’ Fair stall offered students advice on how to be a safe sex worker

The University of Brighton's Student Union has been accused of encouraging their students into sex work after a stand at their Freshers' Fair offered students advice on how to safely enter into the sex work industry.

The stand was organised by the Sex Workers' Outreach Project (SWOP) Sussex; a group which aims to "promote and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of sex workers".

The group had previously published a leaflet which provides advice to potential sex workers about how to keep safe: "A find my phone app will make you easier to trace if you can't get away."

The Student's Union has received a national backlash against the SWOP stand. Journalist and feminist campaigner Julie Bindel tweeted that she found the stall "beyond disgraceful" and told her followers that the "sex trade's become normalised & pimped to women as though it is a harmless […] way to earn a living".

SWOP responded to the backlash in a tweet, stating:

With rising tuition fees, rising rent and the cost of living going up, increasingly more students are turning to sex work (which can include stripping, prostitution, webcam work, escorting etc.) as a way to make ends meet.

A recent study by Swansea University found that 5% of students had been a sex worker at some point during their lives, and 20% had seriously considered entering into sex work in order to pay bills.

The University of Brighton is yet to make a statement.