Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

What is the Nordic Model?

The Nordic Model (sometimes known as the Sex Buyer Law, or the Swedish, Abolitionist, or Equality Model) is an approach to prostitution that has also been adopted in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Ireland and Israel. It has several elements:

1. Decriminalisation of those who are prostituted

Prostitution is inherently violent. Women should not be criminalised for the exploitation and abuse they endure.

2. Buying sex becomes a criminal offence

Buying human beings for sex is harmful, exploitative and can never be safe. We need to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking.

3. Support and exit services

High quality, non-judgemental services to support those in prostitution and help them build a new life outside it, including: access to safe affordable housing; training and further education; child care; legal, debt and benefit advice; emotional and psychological support.

A holistic approach

A public information campaign; training for police and CPS; tackling the inequality and poverty that drive people into prostitution; effective laws against pimping and sex trafficking, with penalties that reflect the enormous damage they cause.

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This is a diary entry from way back when Huschke wasn’t yet called Huschke, and was sitting around in the brothel as Svenja or Charlotte or whoever.

“Enough of this. I could not do another client today, it would hurt too much. To own up to this, to open myself to this, feels lethal. It does free me somehow, but the fear of Monday is back, where I mustn’t be this vulnerable any more, where I must push aside my knowledge that this is abuse, if I don’t want another murder to be perpetrated against my soul.”

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The short Nordic Model Now! slideshow is a fully scripted presentation that provides a brief summary of the impacts of prostitution, showing that is part of a wider systemic problem, and that the Nordic Model approach provides a systemic solution – unlike full decriminalisation which would exacerbate the very problems that we need to solve. We provide downloads of the slideshow (in PowerPoint and PDF formats) and a full script (which can also be used as a handout).

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Ally-Marie Diamond is a sex trade survivor and activist, who grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Australia. This is the final part (slightly edited) of a speech she gave last year to the South Australian and Northern Territory parliaments when they were debating bills for Full Decriminalisation of the sex trade.

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Before we consider options for prostitution law and policy, we need a full understanding of how prostitution affects both the women and men involved, and the wider society. This article provides a brief summary of the impacts of prostitution and shows that prostitution is part of a wider systemic problem and that it therefore requires a systemic solution. The article goes on to show that the Nordic Model approach provides such a systemic solution – unlike full decriminalisation which would exacerbate the very problems that we need to solve.

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In this important article, Esther, who was herself in prostitution, draws parallels between methods of mass control and subjection introduced during the industrial revolution and the control of women and their widespread subjection to practices of sexual torture during the current technological revolution. She exposes the hypocrisy of the human rights organisations and capitalists who argue for the blanket decriminalisation of the sex trade, which would open up legal mega-brothels such as are found in Germany, and draws on her own experience to argue that the sex industry is rife with racism, sexism and classism, preys on the most powerless women and girls and is inherently traumatising. Legalising brothels benefits only the punters and the profiteers, not the women.

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A review of ‘Body for Rent’ by Anna Hendricks and Olivia Smit.

This is the true story of two girls being groomed, and then pimped into the windows of the famous De Wallen red light district in Amsterdam on the day they reach 18, the magical age that prostitution becomes legal in the Netherlands, and their subsequent years of struggle to get free. Underlying this story is another one: the power of the love and friendship between the two women, even under the most brutal circumstances and the best efforts of their pimp to drive a wedge between them.

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Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Anonymous

If you imagine a situation to be inescapable you do whatever you can to make that situation agreeable. Coming to accommodate misery, in this way, is an insidious process. With specific regards to prostitution, if those who enter it have for years previous been emotionally or socially neglected, treated with ambivalence or indifference, and/or outright abuse (particularly) the psychological groundwork of ‘low personal expectations’ has been well and thoroughly set. []

Cathy

As told to Roseanne Downton. Identifying details have been changed to preserve privacy.

“I was born in the 1950s into an ordinary working class family in a city in Yorkshire. I left school with a couple of O levels, landed a pleasant job in a nice little chocolate factory. I didn’t get on with my parents, left home, and rented a little flat. Life was fabulous and carefree. I went out most nights with my girl workmates or on dates. []

Roslyn Hamilton

Whether on a street corner approaching men in cars, or being on call attending men’s homes/hotel rooms, there is no scenario in which a punter is safe to be with.

Just because he doesn’t beat you to a pulp doesn’t mean he is less of a threat.

There is an immediate power imbalance as is with all situations where money is concerned. He is in control at all times. []

Beth

“My name is Beth, I was a prostitute for five years. I never thought it would happen to me, but debt and almost becoming homeless can drive people to do things they usually wouldn’t do.

I had a good understanding with my clients but eventually I got a violent one. I was badly beaten up, raped and had my ribs cracked.

A friend got me away and put me up till I was OK. I gave up and moved back to my parents home and used debt consolidation to end my debt. […]

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