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Journal Article

Citation

Suresh G, Furr LA, Aylur Kailasom Srikrishnan . J. Contemp. Crim. Justice 2009; 25(2): 186-201.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2009, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/1043986209333590

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Prostitution, which is considered a public-order crime in India, is a way of life and employment for a large number of Indian women. Most choose prostitution for a living, in the absence of other opportunities for employment. The psychological costs of prostitution, however, are high. Violence against sex workers is common and is believed to affect their psychological well-being in general and affective disorders in particular. To date, little empirical research on this subject exists. This cross-sectional study attempts to fill this gap in the literature by investigating the relationship between workplace violence and mental health among sex workers in Chennai (formerly Madras), India. The study analyzes the social pathways to depression and suicidal ideations and found that workplace violence was the key variable that predicted higher depression scores. The article concludes that this group of marginalized women has major mental health needs that are currently unidentified and unmet.

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