Violence in contract work among female sex workers in Andhra Pradesh, India
George,Annie; Sabarwal,Shagun; Martin,P.
Journal of Infectious Diseases 204(suppl 5): S1235-S1240
Publication date: 2011
Female sex workers (FSWs) are vulnerable to physical and sexual violence at work. This article examines the prevalence of recent physical and sexual violence victimization and associations of type of sex work among a large sample of young FSWs.
We used data from a cross-sectional survey on sex trafficking and sex work in southern India that included 1138 FSWs aged 18-25 years residing in 3 districts of Andhra Pradesh state. The independent variable was organization of sex work. FSWs on contract at sex work establishments outside their home district were classified as contract workers, as compared with women who worked autonomously within their home district. Using logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic factors, we assessed the relation between contract/ non-contract sex work and various forms of violence experienced by FSWs.
Results indicate a high prevalence of work-related physical and sexual violence; 50% FSWs reported physical violence, and 77% reported sexual violence. FSWs performing contract work were at increased risk of physical and sexual violence at work, compared with women engaged in sex work in their home districts.
The findings that contract work outside the home district increases the vulnerabilities faced by FSWs in India suggest that violence and disease prevention services aimed at FSWs would be more effective if organization of sex workdas contract or noncontractdis taken into account.