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Sex, Drugs & Murder: Life in the Red Light Zone Review

This is definitely one of those shows that you kind of put on because there’s nothing else to watch – and then you get hooked.


Sex, Drugs and Murder is a documentary series with a bunch of episodes at around 15 minutes to half an hour each. Within these episodes you follow a group of women who all come from different walks of life but all have one thing in common: they all work in England’s first legal red light district. A lot of these women are on hard drugs, have no proper living accommodation and issues with the police, each other, and the men that buy them by the hour.

It’s quite a hard hitting documentary that shows the dark side of England and how people fall through the cracks and become addicted to terrible things and do awful things to pay for their habits. This includes stealing and fighting people around them.

Some of the worst bits are that these girls have family that love them. That are willing to do things and change their lives just to help them. But these girls often don’t take the help and, even though they complain about their lives, do nothing to change their lives or situation. It’s hard to watch because you want them to get over their issues and do better but at the same time it’s hard to believe anything they say about wanting to change when we’re shown again and again they do nothing to help themselves.


So what’s the point of this documentary series? Of course it’s interesting, it’s a different life a lot of us will never live and it shows the harsh reality of what drugs can do to you. Most of these women sell themselves to feed their drug habit and that’s it. Maybe if they got more help with that they could become better people in proper jobs that won’t cause them harm. But, on the flip side, you can’t help anyone until they’re willing to help themselves.

This is a sad documentary but also one to easily watch and drop in and out of. It’s hard to see what these girls go through but at the same time you have to ask yourself: what can we do to help? It’s a hard question.

Check this show out on iPlayer I highly recommend it.

Until next time.

1 Comment »

  1. Actually I think it’s a brilliant programme because it gives the sex workers a voice – a battered, inconsistent voice that isn’t easy to listen to but it’s very much their story.

    It also shows that there aren’t easy answers to the complex factors that have put them on the streets of Holbeck – if there were, they wouldn’t be there.

    One thing I have noticed and that is borne out by studies on prostitution is how young they all were when they started and that pretty much all of them were abused as children. So our society has created these women. The least we can do is listen to them.


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