St Andrews Students' Association
Student Sex Worker Support

Student Sex Worker Support

I’ve been working on creating a support resource for students who engage in sex work, and I’m delighted to say that the resource is now live on the Students’ Association website.


When I was elected as DoWell, one of my core manifesto aims was to create a support resource for students who engage in sex work. This has been an advocacy area of mine throughout my time at university, and I studied sex work decriminalisation activist zines and the creation of community and alternative knowledge as part of their advocacy for my dissertation. 

I’ve been working on this with students, Students’ Association, and University colleagues behind the scenes, and I’m delighted to say that the resource is now live on the Students’ Association website

We have content on:  

  • The law in Scotland 
  • Information from University departments 
  • Harm reduction  
  • Online safety  
  • Physical safety 
  • Sexual health 
  • Mental health  
  • Support resources  
  • Specialist sex work support services 
  • Other support services 
  • Sexual health testing 

It was important to me that the resource centred on harm reduction and non-judgemental support, as my research and the activism of many prominent sex worker-led organisations advocate for this as the safest way for people to engage in sex work. 

While I know that it’s a complex issue for many people, I hope we can agree that it’s important we keep sex workers as safe as we can, which includes acknowledging sex work, reducing societal stigma, and empowering sex workers with information and resources to help keep them safe. 

The cost of living crisis has shown us that people are having to make difficult decisions around money. In fact, research from Save the Student over the last few years has shown that around 3% of students have tried sex work of some form, and that up to 9% would consider working in the sex industry in a cash emergency. Similarly, a national survey from Swansea University in 2015 found that 22% of UK students had considered working in the sex industry. This shows us that these kinds of resources are essential, if people in our community are deciding that sex work is the best option for them to be able to afford to study. Other universities and students’ associations already have support resources on their website for student sex workers, and it’s important we don’t get left behind. 

In January, SRC passed a motion that the Students’ Association should advocate for a harm reduction approach to sex work. This important step has given the Association a strong foundation from which we can advocate for harm reduction approaches when it comes to policy and support initiatives both within our community and nationally. I’m so excited that we’ve taken these initial but important steps in showing vocal support to student sex workers. 

If you are working in the sex industry, or you are considering it, the resource is here for you. 

Caitlin Ridgway, Director of Wellbeing & Equality 2023-24