Academics support project to protect sex workers from violence

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LJMU is set to be part of a ground-breaking Merseyside partnership that protects sex workers from violence.

Academics in the Schools of Justice Studies and Humanities and Social Science have begun working with The Red Umbrella project, run by charity Changing Lives.

Red Umbrella, set up February 2018 with funding from the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner's Office, works in conjunction with the police to offer support to women across the city-region.

Their combined efforts have led to the convictions of some of the most dangerous men to walk the streets of Merseyside, including serial rapist Eugen Ancuta - jailed for 18 years at Liverpool Crown Court earlier this year.

Shelly Stoops, service manager at Changing Lives, explains the project work at a guest lecture at the School of Justice Studies on October 23. Shelly was the first specialist independent sexual violence advisor for sex workers in the UK and has worked with the victims of rape, domestic and sexual abuse since the late ‘90s.

The event organiser and Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice Dr Karen Corteen explained: "Shelly will discuss sex worker hate crime and Merseyside Police's ground-breaking response to it.

It's a great example of how agencies can collaborate against crime and the event has already sold out.

Colleague Dr Emma Vickers, senior lecturer in History, is now planning a research project around Red Umbrella. The project will entail an evaluation of the project and the creation of a documentary that will be filmed by the renowned American visual sociologist Molly Merryman.

Shelly Stoops' talk takes place on Wednesday 23 October at 2pm, Redmonds Building LT2, Liverpool John Moores University, Brownlow Hill.


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