Founded in March 2016, Nordic Model Now! is a secular, feminist, grassroots women’s group based in the UK that is campaigning for the abolition of prostitution and related practices (such as lap-dancing, pornography and surrogacy). While abortion is not the focus of our campaign, as feminists we recognise women’s human right to safe, legal abortion services.
What we are calling for
- The introduction and effective implementation of the Nordic Model approach to prostitution.
- The clearing of criminal records for soliciting to sell sex.
- The legislation against procuring, pimping and sex trafficking to be strengthened and brought into line with our obligations under CEDAW and 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.
Work with us to raise awareness of the Nordic Model
Many people in the UK have never heard of the Nordic Model and how effective it can be in changing social norms, reducing the number of vulnerable people who are drawn into the sex industry, and helping women find genuine routes out. Find out how you can help us raise awareness here.
Who we are and how we are organised
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 many years.
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 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.
Megan King, Strategy coordinator
Megan is a survivor of the off-street sex trade. Although initially coerced and exploited into the trade, Megan’s involvement in prostitution was later glamourised as that of a ‘high class escort’. Upon exiting the trade, Megan’s primary motivation for speaking out as a survivor is to prove that it doesn’t matter how or where you sell sex, or how much money you are compensated with, the nature of prostitution is inherently abusive and exploitative and the only solution to avoid this trauma to women is for the UK to apply the sex buyer law.
Susannah Oldham, Internal coordinator
Susannah works in alternative health and became aware of the devastating impact of prostitution, trafficking and pornography following a breakdown of a kind in Vienna, Austria. She had lived there for a number of years, training and working as a musician and realised after the glamour of imperial Vienna wore off that a gloomy and corrupt backdrop lurked behind the city, with legalised brothels in all areas and districts, and a normalized social attitude to pornography, prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation. It was a harsh awakening and an urgent call to action.
Prostitution affects all of us – when one woman is suffering rape and violence, we all feel it. This call to action ultimately challenged Susannah to change her lifestyle, residence and story, to campaign against prostitution; and to commit to healing. Susannah believes that abolishing prostitution is for the most part the core healing we need, and she is proud to work within and alongside Nordic Model Now! and advocate for the Nordic model approach.
We operate on a shoestring budget and our only source of funding is currently donations, mostly small, from individuals who support us – and more recently, ticket sales for our events. See our Financial statements page for more on this.
If you would like to contribute financially to our work, please see our Donate page.
- What’s wrong with prostitution?
- Prostitution Policy and Law: What are the Options?
- Background to the 1949 UN Convention
- Join our mailing list: Sign up now
- Follow us on Twitter: @nordicmodelnow
- Like our Facebook page: nordicmodelnow
- Follow us on Instagram: nordicmodelnow
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Nordic Model Now
- Get in touch: Contact us
We are proud to have signed the VictimFocus charter pledge. Set up by Jessica Eaton, the charter is “the first set of standards for professionals, organisations and individuals to combat victim blaming in abuse and trauma.”