This is often done through different methods of violence such as sexual, emotional, and physical.Though pimps may be perpetrators of violence against sex workers with 53% of sex workers in one study reporting that violence at the hands of pimps is a major problem, 33% of subjects interviewed in that same study reported that the main benefit to having a pimp is the protection from potential assault.These particular murders are distinguished from other murders of sex workers during the same time period due to the post-mortem mutilations that occurred, and it is for that reason that other murders of prostitutes are not usually attributed to the Ripper, or are disputed.Peter Sutcliffe (aka the Yorkshire Ripper) murdered 13 women, some of whom were sex workers, from 1975-1980 in Northern England. Robert Hansen murdered between 15 and 21 sex workers, near Anchorage, Alaska, between 19.Often verbal abuse will occur either while the service is being given, or after it has been given and the customer is not satisfied.In both these cases, verbal abuse can be a precursor to sexual violence from the client.Violence against prostitutes has been reported worldwide, both on a physical and psychological level.
In countries such as the United States sex work is illegal, and so sex workers are not able to report violence done against them in fear of being arrested themselves.“If we go to the police to report abuse, we’re made fun of, we’re told ‘you deserve it.’ They chase you away,” notes another sex worker.Police officers themselves are common perpetrators of violence against prostitutes.A study of sex-workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia found that half of the women had been beaten by police and about a third had been gang-raped by police."In South Africa, where sex work has been illegal since the former apartheid regime criminalized it in 1957, police officers often fine sex workers inordinate sums of money and pocket the cash, resulting in a pattern of economic extortion of sex workers by state agents." Sex workers (particularly those engaging in street prostitution) are also sometimes targeted by serial killers, who may consider them easy targets and less likely to be missed, or who use the religious and social stigma associated with sex workers as justification for their murder.