I was thirteen when I started working as a prostitute.. not one punter complained or refused due to my age Jo
75% of women involved in prostitution entered when they were children (Women's Resource Centre)
It tears me apart when programmes like Diary of a call girl etc are on TV. It devalues my experience, makes me feel less able to speak about the reality Angel
Up to 70% of women in prostitution spent time in care, 45% report sexual abuse and 85% physical abuse within their families (Home Office,2006)
More than half of UK women in prostitution have been raped and/or seriously sexually assaulted. At least three quarters have been physically assaulted (Home Office,2004)
If I pay £20 then you have to do whatever I want Male punter
65% of UK population believe paying for sexual services is an act which exploits women (ICM,2008)
the real choice in prostitution is up to the punter and whether he decides to be violent or not. But even if he doesn't, he is using and legitimising an industry which other men exploit to be abusive and cause harm Rebecca
Up to 95% of prostituted women are problematic drug users, including around 78% heroin users and rising numbers of crack cocaine addicts (Home Office, 2004)
You pay for the convenience, a bit like going to a public loo Male punter
9 out of 10 surveyed women in prostitution would like to exit prostitution but feel unable to do so (Farley et al, 2003)
I was expected to make up to £400 per day for the men[pimps]. I was not allowed to keep any of it Olena
Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Lithuania, Cambodia and South Korea have outlawed various forms of purchasing sexual acts. Numerous other countries are considering the introduction of simliar legislation
FACT 2: Prostitution is not about sex. It is about exploitation, violence and abuse.
FACT 6: Treating prostitution as ordinary work does not remove the stigma.
FACT 7: Legalising indoor prostitution does not make women safer.
Is this what we want, for generations of boys to grow up thinking that it is normal for men to have entitlement over women as sexual commodities? What is the meaning of our efforts to combat sexual harassment and male violence in the home, the workplace and the streets if men can buy the right to perpetrate these very same acts against women and children in prostitution?
Legalising or decriminalising the entire industry of prostitution normalises an extreme form of sexual subordination, it legitimises the existence of an underclass of women, it reinforces male dominance, and it undermines struggles for gender equality. It is time to start tackling the attitudes which say that it is acceptable to view and treat women as sexual objects by tackling the demand for commercial sexual exploitation.
Legalisation and complete decriminalisation gives a green light to pimps and traffickers making it easier for them to operate. In New Zealand, complete decriminalisation has led to the illegal sector expanding to make up 80% of the industry (Instone and Margerison, 2007), and according to the Mayor of Amsterdam “it is impossible to create a safe and controllable zone for women that is not open to abuse by organised crime” (Bindel and Kelly, 2004).
FACT 10: Tackling demand for prostitution decreases prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Want to get involved in raising awareness about the reality of prostitution as exploitation and in urging the government to follow the 'Nordic' model to stop the demand?
Baklinski, Thaddeus (2007) Swedish Prostitution Ban An Apparent Enormous Success. Accessed at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/nov/07111506.html
Bindel, Julie and Kelly, Liz (2004) A Critical Examination of Responses to Prostitution in Four Countries: Victoria-Australia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden. Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University.
Ekberg, Gunilla (2008) Summary of Speech given at a conference organised by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Asia-Pacific (CATW AP), April 25 2008, Manila, the Philippines.
Farley , M. (2003). Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of Trauma Practice, Vol. 2, No. 3/4, 2003, pp.33-74.
Frey, Lynne and Rick Frey (2008) Not in My Daughter’s Name. Accessed at http://www.orato.com/node/12087&page=14Philadelphia: The Haworth Press Inc.
Home Office (2006) A coordinated prostitution strategy and a summary of responses to ‘Paying the price’. London: UK Government.
Home Office (2004) Solutions and strategies: Drug problems and street sex markets. London: UK Government.
Inston, Tighe and Margerison, Ruth (2007) Shadow Report for the CEDAW Committee on New Zealand, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women New Zealand (CATW NZ)
Melrose, M. (2002), Ties that bind – Young People and the Prostitution Labour Market in Britain, presented at Fourth Feminist Research Conference, Bologna: September 2000 (www.women.it/cyberarchive/files/melrose.htm)
Ramsay, R. et al (1993). Psychiatric Morbidity in Survivors of Organized State Violence Including Torture. 162:55-59, British Journal of Psychiatry