Sex Workers and Attacks From The Press

It is safe to say, sex workers get a bad rap in the press. They are either ‘trafficked victims’, or ‘manipulative harlots who are destroying lives’. We know that this narrative is nonsense, with most sex workers being consenting, happy individuals, who are performing a job they love. Yes, there may be issues with individuals on either end of the spectrum, but the press doesn’t want to tell you about the vast majority of sex workers who love what they do, and who are like any other professional worker.

sex worker in street

This was highlighted last week with the trial for the murder of 25 year old Georgia Symonds by her millionaire boyfriend Peter Morgan. The incident took place in Llanellen, Monmouthshire, in January.

A Sorry Case

I will give you a run down of the case. Mr Morgan was seeing Miss Symonds and was letting her live in his bungalow, free of charge.

Well, it seems that Mr Morgan put a listening device in the bungalow to see what she was up to. What transpired was that in a telephone conversation, she revealed she was going to blackmail him by threatening to send explicit photos of him to his family, unless he signed the bungalow over to her. She was then going to leave him.

After suffering this provocation, he strangled her. He was subsequently told he would have to serve at least 25 years in prison.

Now it is safe to say her behaviour was disgusting. In mitigation, Morgan’s defence barrister, Patrick Harrington QC, told the judge his client suffered from a mental disorder and had been provoked by prolonged stress.

The judge agreed Morgan had a “mild form” of Asperger syndrome but said the plans he made for killing Miss Symonds “demonstrate perfectly clearly that you retained self-control”.

He did however acknowledge Morgan was provoked, saying the abuse he suffered was “vicious, persistent and extreme” and the threat of blackmail by Miss Symonds was “gross and appalling and an abuse of trust.”

Obviously the punishment for such behaviour shouldn’t be death. He is in prison, she is dead, there are no winners. That should be where the story ends. However, the press have got themselves obsessed with the fact she was an escort.

It seems he paid her £10,000 a month to be his personal companion. This sent the media wild.

Morgan, worth an estimated £20m, said he started seeing escorts during a “mid-life crisis”, and had never planned to see anyone more than once until he met Miss Symonds.

Everything here seems to be framed through the fact she was an ‘evil escort’. Let’s face it, her behaviour was terrible. However, you meet selfish people in all walks of life. The fact her behaviour was not so subtly linked to her being an escort is seriously poor. She could have worked in a call centre and acted in such a manner.

Not a True Reflection of Sex Workers

I have met and spoken to numerous escorts in my time, and none of them were like this. They were well regarded service providers. Miss Symonds was just a bad egg (I am well aware there may have been underlying mental issues which caused this, I have no idea). As I said before, that doesn’t mean she deserved to be killed. She has paid for her behaviour and then some. I am not looking to speak ill of the dead.

I really hope one day that the press begin to give a rounded view on sex workers. It strikes me that most of them just start from a place of moral abhorrence, and frame anything sex worker related from that point. It is only then that we can have proper discussions about legalisation, decriminalisation ect.

Finally, what a sad, sad story. There is so much hate, nastiness, and anger in the world. Maybe in 2017, we will see an improvement.

I’m not holding my breath

Martin Ward
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Martin Ward

Martin Ward is a well respected editor and writer with over five years experience in the adult industry. After stints in the Escort Advertising call centre and on the escort forum, he moved into the site editor position around three years ago.

Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.

When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
Martin Ward
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