The Experience of Prostitution: Recordings of the webinar

This page provides access to recordings and transcripts of the talks from our ‘Experience of Prostitution’ webinar on 27 September 2020.

This webinar aimed to provide an antidote to the notion that prostitution is empowering for women and that “sex work” is just a job, not much different from any other work. We heard from women who have lived prostitution, have extensive experience of working with women involved in it, and who see the impact of the infamous red-light zone in Holbeck, Leeds, on their local community.

Linda Thompson

Linda Thompson works for the Scottish women’s charity, the Women’s Support Project, and is the national coordinator for commercial sexual exploitation. She gets funded by the Scottish Government to develop and deliver programmes to raise awareness of the harms and realities of commercial sexual exploitation as a form of male violence against women.

In this talk she discusses the Scottish context of exploitation and violence against women and the links between them, the lived experiences and realities of women involved in prostitution in Scotland, and she proposes some ways ahead.

Transcript and slides


Duration: 34.08 minutes | File size: 32.1 MB | Play in new window (with option to download file)


Rebecca Mott

Rebecca Mott used to do indoor prostitution of various types, all of which allow punters to be violent. She is now an abolitionist and has been blogging about her experiences for more than 12 years, explaining the conditions of prostitution and the impact of having trauma as an exited woman. Her talk focuses on what it is to be prostituted from the inside.


Hidden in plain sight


Duration: 7.30 minutes | File size: 5.8 MB | Play in new window (with option to download file)


Paula and Claire

Paula and Claire are campaigners against the decriminalised red-light zone in the Holbeck area of Leeds – which is officially known as the “Managed Approach.”

Claire has lived a mile from the zone since 2006 and has seen street prostitution proliferate and migrate into residential areas since its pilot in 2014. Her family sees soliciting on her street, they are approached outside their home and she is frequently kerb-crawled walking to work in the city. She joined with other residents to form local campaign group, Save Our Eyes, in 2017 with the aim of holding the council to account for letting this experiment increase street prostitution to the detriment of prostituted women and deplete the quality of life for the community.

Paula was a founding member of the Save Our Eyes committee in 2017. She joined to represent the interests of future residents in the urban regeneration area of Holbeck. Paula currently lives in another part of Leeds but intends to move to Holbeck in 18 months time. She also sits on the Holbeck Neighbourhood Forum board.


How living near the Holbeck red-light zone turned us into activists against the sex trade


Duration: 36.35 minutes | File size: 27.5 MB | Play in new window (with option to download file)


Alice Glass

Unfortunately, one of our advertised speakers was unable to attend the webinar due to unforeseen personal reasons. A young performing artist stepped in at short notice and read a piece that Alice Glass wrote about her experiences of prostitution.


Duration: 7.23 minutes | File size: 6.6 MB | Play in new window (with option to download file)


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