A free event for workers exploring compassionate, strengths-based and person-centred service responses to women who sell or exchange sex.

Women who sell or exchange sex often carry multiple and intertwined traumatic experiences. The high prevalence of trauma in this population evidences the need for support services that understand how trauma can play out and continue to be re-lived when women have been involved in the sex trade.

However, the experiences of women reveal that the implementation and accessibility of trauma-informed support is complex and continues to face barriers.

A recent report commissioned by the Scottish Government highlighted that women involved sought support for an average of seven different needs, including mental health, housing and addictions. It identified key barriers to women’s engagement with services, such as fear of judgement and stigma, as well as the need to better understand the issues that come with involvement in selling or exchanging sex.

Following the publication of our CSE Aware Bulletin on trauma-informed support and to mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, this event will offer an introduction to trauma-informed practice when supporting women involved in selling or exchanging sex and examples of good practice.

The session will demonstrate that whilst the values and principles underpinning trauma-informed practice are universal, their practical application must be adapted to the context and individual service user.


This is an introductory session and is not intended to be a comprehensive training session.

The event will offer a mix of presentations and speaker inputs along with the opportunity for attendees to participate through group activities such as polls and a Q&A session. It will cover:

  • An overview of women’s support needs
  • Inputs from practitioners who support women selling or exchanging sex
  • Participation activities to consider how to respond to women’s support needs in practice.

Who is it for?

This event is open to frontline workers and support services. It may be of particular interest to those working in the sectors of violence against women and girls, mental health, sexual health and relationships, addictions, housing, advice and support, criminal justice, public health, and social work.

Please note this event is funded through Delivering Equally Safe and follows the Scottish Government’s approach to commercial sexual exploitation as a form of gender-based violence. The event will address women’s experiences from this perspective.

Accessing the event

This online event will take place over Zoom Webinar. If we can do anything to make it easier for you to join, please let us know. This can include BSL interpretation or getting the slides in advance.

If you cannot access Zoom, we are always happy to share the recording after the event or discuss further training with your organisation. You can email your request to enquiries@womenssupportproject.org.uk.

Can’t attend?

This event will be recorded. You can request a copy of the recording and resources shared during the session by emailing us at enquiries@womenssupportproject.org.uk.