While street prostitutes compriseonly a small minority of sex workers, they have the highest rates of physicaland sexual abuse, arrest and incarceration, drug addiction, and stigmatization,which stem from both their public visibility and their dangerous work settings. Exiting the trade can be a daunting task for street prostitutes; despite this,many do try at some point to leave sex work behind. Focusing on four differentorganizations based in Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Hartford thathelp prostitutes get off the streets, Sharon S. Oselin's LeavingProstitution explores the difficulties, rewards, and public responses tofemale street prostitutes' transition out of sex work. Through in-depthinterviews and field research with street-level sex workers, Oselin illuminatestheir pathways into the trade and their experiences while in it, and the hostof organizational, social, and individual factors that influence whether theyare able to stop working as prostitutes altogether. She also speaks to staff atorganizations that aid street prostitutes, and assesses the techniques they useto help these women develop self-esteem, healthy relationships with family andcommunity, and workplace skills. Oselin paints a full picture of the difficultiesthese women face in moving away from sex work and the approaches that do and donot work to help them transform their lives. Further, she offersrecommendations to help improve the quality of life for these women. A powerfulethnographic account, Leaving Prostitution provides an essentialunderstanding of getting out and staying out of sex work.
Getting Out and Staying Out of Sex Work