Around 120 women are street sex-working in Bristol, living with trauma and abuse. Many support services close at weekends but the challenges women face don’t disappear. Our outreach van provides food, safety and links to long-term support. Can you help us stay out every night until Christmas?
The women who step onto the van are some of the most marginalised in Bristol. All are street sex-working and 96% have experienced sexual violence and/or domestic abuse. Last year 87% experienced homelessness. In December 2021 we extended our outreach service from 5 to 7 nights a week following feedback from women. One had told us: “we call it ‘suicide Sunday’ – there is no food.” We see consistently high numbers of women at weekends and for most the van is the only way they access our support.
The van visits areas where women are known to street sex work, distributing food, warm clothing, condoms, safety alarms and harm reduction kits for drug use to help women stay safe. We share information about known perpetrators of violence and connect women to further specialist support, including night shelters, emergency healthcare, and One25’s drop-in and casework services. £20,000 will enable us to provide this service 7 nights a week for another 3 months (until December 2022).