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NHI: Why Serial Killers Target Sex Workers

From 2009 to 2019, 43% of serial killers victims were known sex workers.

Sex workers face significant marginalisation within society, with stigma and social biases often preventing us from accessing the same protection and support systems as other members of the community. Serial killers are known to exploit this power dynamic, seeing sex workers as easy targets due to the social exclusion we face.

Serial killers often select victims who they believe are less likely to be missed, and who are less likely to receive significant attention from law enforcement. On top of this, the vulnerabilities of sex workers, such as working alone, operating in secluded areas, and a historical distrust of police, make us an attractive target.

Some of these men will use 'religious beliefs' and societal stigma as justification for their violence against workers. It's also safe to say that extreme misogyny, a strong hatred of women is a common trait of these men, with their hatred being amplified further when it comes to sex workers.

"For decades, the bodies of sex workers were found in dumpsters or back alleys and they would say 'no humans involved' and they wouldn't investigate these cases... There's an epidemic of sex workers being killed in the past three decades and of society looking the other way." NHI (No Humans Involved) was a designation historically used by law enforcement when looking at crimes against sex workers and other marginalised communities, essentially labelling the crime as not worth investigating. 'No Human Involved' is one of the most dehumanising derogatory terms imaginable, and just goes to show how law enforcement view workers and women. As lesser.

Some experts claim that being a sex worker increases your chance of being murdered by 200 times.

In their lifetimes, 45-75% of sex workers will experience physical or sexual violence while working, likely with no justice, as reporting the crime would mean risking arrest and prosecution. due to the criminalisation and stigmatization of sex work. Human Rights Watch found that sex workers in South Africa do not report rape, abuse or theft to police for fear of being arrested, profiled, harassed or laughed at. ,

Too many violent criminals have admitted to purposely targeting sex workers because they knew it was less likely the disappearances or deaths would be noticed, reported, or investigated. In the words of Gary Ridgeway (aka The Green River Killer) "I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught."

Jack the Ripper killed at least five sex workers in 1888. He has not been identified to this day.

The Yorkshire Ripper killed 13 women, at least 8 were confirmed sex workers. Peter Sutcliffe was not caught for 5 years.

The Green River Killer killed 48 sex workers in a 16 year killing spree. Gary Ridgeway was not caught for over 20 years.

The Butcher Baker killed 15-21 sex workers between 1971-83. Robert Hanson was not caught for 12 years.

The Pig Farmer Killer killed 6-26 sex workers in the 1980's. Robert Pickton was not caught for over 30 years.

The Long Island Serial Killer killed 10-16 sex workers from 1996-2011. He has not been identified to this day.

The Suffolk Strangler killed 5 sex workers in 2006. Steve Wright was arrested 2 years later, and is now a suspect in other unsolved murders dating back to the 1980's.

All of these men evaded justice for years, many for decades, some still unidentified.

These victims never saw justice. All because of society's hatred of sex workers.


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