Dublin (PRWEB UK) 26 August 2013
Ugly Mugs for Android is a new mobile phone app that automatically screens incoming and outgoing calls and text messages and alerts the phone user if they have contact with a number that is listed in the UglyMugs.ie database of individuals who pose a risk to sex workers.
Sex workers are far more likely to be victims of violence and other crimes and abuses, and far less likely to report crime, than non sex workers. Whilst prostitution is legal in Ireland, laws criminalising activities around prostitution mean sex workers must work alone and in private in order to work legally. Isolated, partially criminalised, stigmatised, marginalised, and without access to support services, the vulnerability of sex workers in Ireland is obvious. Some offenders deliberately target sex workers because of this vulnerability.
Ugly mug schemes allow sex workers to share information about dangers with each other. When a sex worker encounters a dangerous person, they can report the incident to the ugly mug scheme, and a warning will be made available to all sex workers.
Most sex work in Ireland is arranged via the Internet and mobile phones, and UglyMugs.ie integrates with the main escort website, Escort-Ireland.com, making it easy to access for sex workers. The advantage of Ugly Mugs for Android is that sex workers can install it once on their Android phone and from then on it will automatically check each number they have contact with against UglyMugs.ie and warn them if there is a match. It means sex workers don’t have to manually check numbers against the UglyMugs.ie database, which many do, but equally many do not always do.
Ugly mug schemes have long been established in many parts of the world as being really useful in warning sex workers about dangerous people and situations. The digital age brings many opportunities to further develop ugly mug schemes. Ugly Mugs for Android will complement the existing UglyMugs.ie service and make the lives of sex workers safer.
Ugly Mugs for Android is free and available at http://www.UglyMugs.ie.
Note to editors: Established in August 2013, Safe IQ develops safety products and services for sex workers, carries out research and raises awareness of the need for sex workers to have the same protections as other workers.