Sunday, December 9, 2007

Navigating Risk

Lessons From the Dockside Sex Trade for Reducing Violence in South Africa's Prostitution Industry

Dockside Prostitute
During my research into dockside prostitution in Cape Town and Durban, I found that sex workers who catered to foreign sailors faced a reduced risk of violence compared to their streetwalker, truck-stop, and brothel colleagues. After conducting comparative research on the different prostitution sectors in South Africa, I published an academic article on why dockside prostitutes are relatively safer than their peers. In it, I discuss the different sex sectors and then make policy recommendations that would enhance the safety of sex workers throughout the industry.

This is the abstract to the article:

The diversity of South Africa's prostitution industry exposes sex workers to varying levels of violence. The street, truck stop, hotel, agency, brothel, and dockside trades are characterized by different structural features that determine the prevalence of client, police, and third-party abuse against prostitutes. Comparing the structural elements of each sector allows not only gauging the likelihood of violence within a given niche but also devising more precise policy instruments to reduce violence at an industry-wide level.

This article, "Navigating Risk," focuses on the dockside prostitution sector in Cape Town and Durban, showing how its structural features enhance the women's power vis-à-vis their clients and the police. It discusses 5 key variables that influence the likelihood of violence within each prostitution sector:

Sexuality Research & Social Policy: Journal of NSRP
- the social and legal status of the client
- the location of negotiation
- the location of the sexual act
- the level of discretion in the solicitation process
- and the role of third-party involvement

Detailed policy recommendations conclude the argument.


Click on the PDF icon to download article:

Trotter, Henry, "Navigating Risk: Lessons From the Dockside Sex Trade for Reducing Violence in South Africa's Prostitution Industry" Sexuality Research & Social Policy: Journal of NSRC Vol. 4, No. 4 (Dec 2007): 106-119.

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