Single mum fears she will die after being forced into sex work by Universal Credit – The Sun

A SINGLE mum with a disabled son turned to prostitution after universal credit failures left her struggling to survive.

Alison, who had her son when she was 18, could not find a job that fitted around her caring duties and so she started selling her body for sex.

She told the BBC: "I would drop my son off on a Friday and start to get goosebumps thinking, 'I know what I've got to go and do tonight.

"There are some weeks after you've paid your bills, you don't have enough and you think, 'I have to do it'."

Although the extra money has helped her to support her son, the experiences have been traumatising.

She said: "I always have lots of showers. Once there was this guy, I could smell him on me afterwards – a big, disgusting man.

"He said he deliberately didn't wash for a week because he wanted to be near a woman that's clean. It's disgusting.

"One guy, his mum opened the door and he was in the shed in the back trying to make me do drugs, so I had to escape.

"I do get scared of dying – some men take things to a whole other level."

The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work

UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.

One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.

But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.

And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.

Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.

It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the Government to:

  1. Get paid faster: The Government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
  2. Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
  3. Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.

Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.

Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email [email protected] to share your story.

Women are increasingly being forced into taking up sex work to survive and earlier this year the work and pensions committee recognised a strong link between survival sex work and the change to universal credit.

Independent MP Heidi Allen, who sat on that committee said: “This is something that shouldn't be happening in a wealthy nation.

"I'm shocked, embarrassed and I'm angry."

She added: "The welfare state should be there to pick you up when you are at your lowest.

"At the moment rather than a net that's holding people up, it's dragging them down and that's the bit we need to change."

Around 700,000 single parents miss out on an average £2,380 per year because of the new universal credit system, according to the Institute Of Fiscal Studies.

Alison said: "The government needs to get a system in where they can put enough money in people's banks.

"They really need to understand we're not like them – we haven't got loads of money."

Alison says she has stopped doing sex work as she is now in a loving relationship.

She said: "I'm still on universal credit and my partner helps to looks after me and my son."

But when asked if she would ever return to sex work, she said: "Honestly, I dread thinking about if we ever split up and it's just me and my son.

"I'd have no choice, really."

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