The best way to stay safe is to do your best to not even see people who may endanger your safety.

For indoor workers, it can be useful to try & assess whether a person may be dangerous before even meeting them face to face. Some tips on how to assess whether or not a person may be dangerous:

1.) When someone emails or calls you, ask for to at least one (and preferably all of) the following:

a. full name & place of employment (you can also sometimes get this by searching the person’s phone number).
b. a reference from another person he has interacted with before.

2.) Ask for an ID when they arrive to confirm their identity.

3.) If you must meet with someone who does not give you their full name and work information, try to:

a. Google whatever information you have about them, and search that information using internet-based background check and bad date lists. (See suggestions for bad date lists below).
b. Spend some time talking to them on the phone to get a sense of whether or not they are aggressive, using substances, or mentally unstable.
c. Meet them in a public place first. They may feel more comfortable giving information to you after you meet in person, and meeting in public will give you more time to assess the person as well as an out in case the person seems dangerous or ‘off’.
d. Ask them about themself and their life in a friendly, laid-back way. Even if they’re nervous, they should follow your lead and feel comfortable sharing information like “what do they do for a living?” “do you like your job?” “You seem sorta stressed…what have you been working on lately?” If it feels like they’re aren’t respectful of you or don’t follow your lead, this may mean that they won’t be respectful of you or will be aggressive or dominating when you’re alone together, or may pressure you to do things you aren’t comfortable with.
e. Avoid traveling super-far to see someone you haven’t met yet: if something just doesn’t feel quite right when you show up, it will be harder to turn around and follow your gut if you’ve spent an 45 minutes trekking out.

Sex Workers Outreach Project – Chicago has more comprehensive advice on how to screen clients. Click here.

 Other tips:

  • Have a safety buddy, and call them at the beginning or end of each appointment.
  • If you don’t have a safety buddy, pretend to make a call or send a text when you arrive at the client’s place or he arrives at yours.