I visited the head office of Orchards in Streatham Hill to find out more about their safe housing programmes for women who have experienced sexual exploitation. Established in 2019, they provide supported move-on housing to help women achieve a sustained exit through a holistic support plan that involves trauma counselling.
The lack of affordable housing is one of major reasons that women enter into sex work. It is also one of the biggest barriers to leaving sex work. Many women face the unenviable choice between selling sex to pay rent and falling into debt, a situation which is only getting worse with the rent crisis currently unfolding before our eyes. Orchards are currently receiving an uptick in enquiries and having to turn women away due to funding shortages.