Preventing another serial killer?

Preventing another serial killer?

A briefing demonstrating how women’s support services can help stop perpetrators in their tracks.

‘Preventing another serial killer? Learning from projects who support women who are sexually exploited or selling sex’ is an insights briefing published as part of the Women and Girls Initiative (WGI) Learning and Impact Services.

It was written through conversations with staff from WGI projects, who were part of the Sexual Exploitation Action Learning Set, which met during 2020 and 2021. The briefing draws on a case study from one of the WGI projects and offers a model of how it might be possible to prevent future serial killers, several of whom in the UK have targeted women in prostitution. Through listening to and building alliances with women, we draw lessons from the case study for policy and practice more generally.

‘Preventing another serial killer?’ demonstrates how specialist, community-based, women’s centres and other support services, working closely with specialist police liaison officers, can help stop perpetrators in their tracks. The case study also highlights the importance of recognising the severe, multiple disadvantages that commonly lead women into prostitution, the gender inequality that underpins the ‘sex industry’ and the desperate need to provide alternatives to survival sex and exploitation through the funding of Women’s Centres and other community-based support services.

Liz Kelly, Child and Woman Abuse Studies at London Metropolitan University (CWASU) and Sara Scott, DMSS Research brought the briefing together working with staff from the following projects: A Way Out, Hibiscus, Nelson Trust, New Futures, Women and Girls Network, Women@TheWell and Women’s Community Matters.

‘Preventing another serial killer?’ is relevant for:

  • Police and criminal justice services;
  • Policy-makers and commissioners wanting to address and prevent violence against women and girls;
  • organisations working with women and girls;
  • anyone else interested in supporting or finding out more about specialist work with women and girls and preventing violence against women and girls.

You can download the briefing here.

The WGI Learning and Impact Services is being delivered by the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR), DMSS Research (DMSS) and the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) – the partners. The partners are delivering a programme of support to projects with the aim of capturing and sharing learning and creating a stronger community of services that has greater influence on decision-making structures across the country.

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