Press release: Dennis Parsons is wrong: prostitution is not work; it is abuse

PRESS: For Immediate  Release

Campaign group Nordic Model Now! (NMN) takes the view that Councillor Dennis Parsons is misguided in suggesting at the LibDem conference yesterday that schools should present prostitution as a valid career choice for girls. Viewing “sex work” as work like any other obscures the fact that prostitution is a violent and dangerous occupation for women, involving as it does unwanted sex, which in other circumstances would be recognised as rape. The murder rate is much higher than for any other occupation; it is the only occupation that involves mingling body fluids with random strangers; and high levels of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common. It is based on a huge power differential between the buyer and the person whose sexual compliance they are buying, and is therefore inherently open to exploitation.

The view that ‘sex work is work’(and can therefore be compared to accountancy) serves to sanitise the abusive nature of the ‘work’ and  helps to normalise the idea that tolerating unwanted sex is a legitimate career choice for girls. This has obvious implications for women’s benefits if they choose not to do it. NMN notes with alarm that the LibDem conference also heard that decriminalising prostitution would raise a billion pounds annually for the Treasury in taxes, which gives the government a huge incentive to encourage increasing numbers of girls and women to enter this dangerous, unhealthy and abusive trade.

Nordic Model Now! is a grassroots group campaigning for the Nordic Model approach, which has worked well in Sweden since 1999. It decriminalises those who are prostituted, provides services to help them exit, and makes buying people for sexual use, pimping and brothel keeping criminal offences.

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