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Ditmore, M.H. (2014). “Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile”: Cambodian Sex Workers’ Experiences of Structural and Physical Violence. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 15(1):22-31.
  

(2014). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 15(1):22-31

“Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile”: Cambodian Sex Workers’ Experiences of Structural and Physical Violence

Melissa Hope Ditmore, Ph.D.

Thirty-four sex workers across Cambodia, a small, postconflict country in Southeast Asia, were interviewed about violence including rape that they have experienced as well as life experiences that led them to become sex workers. Poverty and loss of family land were frequent contributing factors to undertaking sex work; sex workers experience high rates of violence including rape and policy abuse. Poverty, displacement, and violence including rape contribute to symptoms of trauma reported by interviewees. Mental health services are not widely available but findings demonstrate that there is great need. The very social structures that contribute to poverty, sex work, and stigmatization of women who do not adhere to gender ideals also inhibit support for effective responses, like rights-based campaigns by sex workers, to potentially traumatic incidents including violence.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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