As a full-time journalist I'm constantly exposed to the shitty, bleak side of life. As a result, I've learned not to sentimentalise and that certainly benefits me in this role. Because there is no point in breaking down in tears while a sex worker tells you she has been raped or robbed or both. It doesn't help. What I can do is empathise. Provide a hug. Organise immediate, practical assistance such as food, clothes, medical care or arrange police intervention. Violence against sex workers is a huge problem and this is exacerbated by the fact that selling sex is, after all, illegal.