11th April: MASH (Manchester Action for Street Health)

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Went to the office of MASH (Manchester Actions for Street Health) at 11th April 2014, for their volunteer evening. The place was small but delicate, while workers in MASH are very friendly and kind. I enjoyed the session greatly, despite the shame that I wasn’t able to be involved with their work as they require someone who can stay longer than three months.

However it is the location of the office that got me thinking – MASH’s office despite being near the train station, the office was located in a remote part of the city. As I walked to MASH, the path was so silent to the point I feared for my safety even in broad day light. 

Within me it is visible that the location was very much related to the government’s decision on the existence of sex workers. Often marginalized groups in the societies gain different treatments from the public, based on how media portrayed their existence (based on the history of their existence). For example, people with disabilities often being given a treatment of sympathy in public. This as a result, shared a strong chances of influencing the government’s treatment on those marginalized groups. 

In MASH’s case, as the visibility of street sex workers in cities is not accepted in public, based on reasons such as nuisance. SSWs often being placed in somewhere more remote, or as current British law put it – criminalizing street sex works…

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The photo above is one of a doggy punter report produced by MASH (Manchester Actions for Street Health).

Doggy Punter equals doggy customers in sex worker studies, often these people carried trails and characteristics that Hilary Kinnell (1998 & 2006) mentioned on violence toward sex workers. For example, a despise attitude toward sex workers. However as Sex Workers received bad treatments because of stigmas in society, ended up their fear on reporting crimes to law enforcement and there were cases which SWs didn’t get treated with seriousness. As a result, support services become important on mediating between sex workers and law enforcement. Doggy Punter report also serve to be helpful for sex workers to help each other, by raising awareness to one another on people they best be careful of. 

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