Keeping safe online
As platforms like OnlyFans and AdmireMe rise in popularity during the pandemic, we want to let you know about the support that is available to help protect you and your content. You have the right to feel safe online – free from abuse, harassment, and piracy.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the way women sell and exchange sex. Back in March, when the UK entered lockdown, government-imposed social distancing protocols made it harder for women to meet with clients in person. Faced with a significant drop in income, many women have moved online to connect with clients via platforms like OnlyFans, AdmireMe, and AdultWork. Women who have lost jobs in sectors like retail and hospitality have also entered the sex industry for the first time via these platforms during the pandemic. As a result, many platforms have become saturated – with many women producing content and not necessarily the same levels of demand to match.
In this month’s episode of CLiCK Cast, Anna (CLiCK Development Worker) and Shannon (CLiCK Resource and Information Officer) hear from women and services about how this saturation can make it really difficult to make any sort of meaningful income on these platforms. Establishing a subscriber base can take a considerable amount of time, effort, and money. On top of this, platforms also take a percentage from each sale a woman makes. As a result, many women find that they often break even or operate at a loss. This raises questions about women’s ability to set and maintain boundaries with clients, as many women are finding that they have to take every opportunity they can to sell content. Women also report experiencing abuse and harassment on these platforms, and have also had their images and videos stolen by subscribers and shared widely. Although legislation and regulation have a long way to go before they effectively meet the rights and needs of women who sell or exchange sex online, there is help and support available if you have experienced digital abuse.
Emotional and Practical
You can access emotional and practical support around digital abuse with our Women’s Workers via our anonymous live chat and helpline and through one-to-one support with a local CLiCK Women’s Worker. All support is tailored to what you want and need. You can chat to us about how things are going, and we can give you information on your rights and support you to access other services (e.g. legal and advocacy services). We can also help you access financial support via the Encompass Fund and Victim Fund.
You can refer yourself into one-to-one support with a
Women’s Worker here.
Alternatively, you can chat to a Women’s Worker anonymously on our live chat
and helpline at the following times:
Live chat times
MONDAY: 11AM-1PM & 4PM-6PM
TUESDAY: 11AM-1PM & 4PM-6PM
THURSDAY: 11AM-1PM & 3PM-7PM
The Encompass Network is a network of services providing
support to women involved in selling or exchanging sex or images across
Scotland. If you have experienced digital abuse, Encompass Network services can
help inform you of your rights, link you with other services, help you access
emergency funds, and can provide longer term support if this is something you
are looking for. All support is tailored to what you want and need, at a pace
that is comfortable for you.
You can find your nearest Encompass Network service here
Revenge Porn Helpline is the only dedicated service in the UK to support adults experiencing intimate image abuse. If you have had your content stolen, the Helpline can provide you with emotional support, as well as practical support around having your content removed if it has been shared elsewhere. The Helpline can also provide you with information on your rights and support you with reporting the incident to police if you wish to do so.
Due to the pandemic, the Helpline is operating an email only service for the time being. You can contact the Helpline on firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday-Friday from 10AM to 4PM.
National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a UK wide scheme where women can
report incidents and receive warnings about dangerous individuals. If you have
experienced digital abuse from a subscriber/client, you can report this
incident to NUM which will then be turned into an alert to warn other members
of the scheme. This alert will have enough information to alert others, but not
to identify you. NUM can also support you to link in with local services, if
this is what you want, and can also support you to report incidents to the
police if you wish to do so.
You can find out more about NUM and join the scheme here
Client Eye is an anonymous safety app
where women can search, share, and report abusive clients to help warn other
You can find out more about the app on Twitter @ClientEyeApp, and can download the app here
The Rape Crisis Scotland helpline offers free
and confidential emotional and practical support by phone, email, and text to
anyone affected any form of sexual violence, no matter when or how it happened.
The Helpline can put you in touch with your local rape crisis centre or other
You can call the helpline on 08088 01 03 02 every day between 6PM and midnight. You can find out more about the helpline here
Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) provide free, confidential legal advice through their helpline and surgeries, as well as advocacy support and legal representation. If you have experienced digital abuse – such as intimate image abuse – you can get in touch with their sexual harassment helpline on Thursdays between 5PM and 8PM on 08088 010 789. You can also contact them via email at email@example.com.
Umbrella Lane is a sex worker-led network, offering emotional
and practical support to anyone involved in selling or exchanging sex. Umbrella
Lane can help you to access legal support and advice if you have experienced
digital abuse, and you can also be part of their community via their virtual
drop in every Tuesday from 12PM – 4PM.
You can find out more about Umbrella Lane and the range of support they provide, here