Nordic Model Now! is a UK grassroots group campaigning for the abolition of prostitution and related practices (such as lapdancing, pornography and surrogacy).
What we are calling for
- The introduction and effective implementation of the Nordic Model approach to prostitution.
- The legislation against procuring, pimping and sex trafficking to be strengthened and brought into line with our obligations under the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (known as the Palermo Protocol).
- The eradication of all the factors that push people into prostitution, including the entrenched inequality between the sexes, the impoverishment of mothers, the inadequate support for “looked after” children, student fees, low pay, zero-hour contracts, benefit cuts and sanctions, and so on.
- The UK government to ratify the 1949 UN Convention on the Suppression of the Trafficking in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.
What do we mean by abolition of prostitution?
By abolition we mean a new social consensus that recognises the harm and violence intrinsic to prostitution, both to the individuals caught up in it and to the wider society, and the adoption of concrete measures to bring about its eradication while helping those caught up in it to make a new life outside.
Abolition is not the same as prohibition, which implies that all of the actors (pimps, punters and prostituted persons) should be targeted.
Who we are
We are an unfunded grassroots organisation run entirely by unpaid volunteers. We are non-hierarchical and wherever possible work by consensus. We have a committee made up of women who perform key roles and whose knowledge, testimony and analysis informs the group’s thinking and activism.
Anna Fisher, Chair
Anna is a survivor of child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation (CSE) in her infancy. Her struggle to survive and recover has been a life-long endeavour. She sustained herself through the tough years of single motherhood by working her way through the shelf of feminist books in Tooting Public Library and it was this, reading the great feminist classics (such as those by Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Marilyn French, Dale Spender, Adrienne Rich, Germaine Greer, Kate Millett, Judith Lewis Herman, and Gerda Lerner, amongst others) that enabled her to make sense of her life.
She believes that prostitution and child sexual abuse are inextricably linked and sees prostitution (and its near-ubiquitous filmed version, porn) as the cornerstone that underpins the patriarchal system, defining women as less than human, and therefore unworthy of the basic human rights that men take for granted. She has actively campaigned against the sex industry for more than ten years.
Katherine Jones, Vice Chair
Katherine has personal experience of the devastating harms of prostitution having been caught up in it as a teenager. She is now passionate about the need to challenge men’s perceived right to prostitution in order to prevent young women and LGBT people being drawn into it. She has participated in the movement to abolish prostitution and introduce the Nordic Model approach for a number of years.
Rae Story, Editor & Public Relations
Rae used to be pro ‘pimp emancipation’ politics during her early years in the sex industry – accepting at face value their validity – largely because she did not consider the issue deeply, or engage with the arguments or research. But when she did, she realised she’d been sold a false remedy, due to her desire to believe that it would improve her life and make the industry safer. She then began rejecting the laissez faire project and seeking other methods.
Many people, whilst in prostitution, are unable to engage in sex industry criticism because they fear punter reprisals, and it is this fear that is being capitalised upon by the sex profiteer lobby, who believe that only the voices of those women willing to defend full industrialisation, are of note. Political activism is always conducted with next generations in mind, as by the time polices change and their ramifications arisen, those involved in the industry will have moved on. Therefore we need to privilege, equally, all those people who have experience to bring to the table, whilst also pooling those experiences into a wider picture, not simply individualizing them. That is why she is committed to a progressive approach to sex industry liberation, via disabling punter power and nurturing voluntary exit services. She is a fiction, essay and academic writer, moving from idealism to materialism, part time pedant and full time bon vivant.
Rebecca Mott, Survivor Representative
Rebecca is an exited woman who has become an abolitionist. She entered prostitution aged 14, after many years of sexual and mental abuse at home. She was involved in indoors prostitution, in flats and hotels and brothels/clubs, offering the so-called ‘girlfriend experience’. She exited when she was 27, after almost being killed by a punter. She now campaigns against the sex industry and writes an abolitionist blog, focusing on the effects of complex trauma stemming from her experiences of prostitution. Her literary style is witness writing in poetical prose. She has been an in demand public speaker over the years, including in main stream media such as Channel Four News and Radio Four.
Helen McDonald, Financial Officer
Helen works for an Essex-based charity that supports survivors of sexual violence, including women exploited in the sex-industry. She is an active campaigner in the Essex Feminist Collective which opposes the sex-industry in all its forms. She joined Nordic Model Now! to contribute to the fight for a system she believes will play a major role in protecting women from sexual exploitation.