The Domestic Abuse Bill: Nice try but it doesn’t come close

The UK government is consulting on a new Domestic Abuse Bill. While we welcome some of its measures, male violence against women and girls is at emergency proportions, and the Bill is too much like a sticking plaster. We need something bigger and bolder – for the government to also urgently address the worsening inequality between the sexes, the low pay and precarious nature of so much work, the lack of affordable housing, and to implement a mandatory gender mainstreaming approach in all government departments. Read More

Hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance in Haiti and Westminster

This article, which originally appeared in the Morning Star on International Women’s Day, asks why the government can respond so quickly to the news of European men renting young women and girls for sexual use in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake but find it so hard to respond appropriately to the coercion and inequality of prostitution here in Britain. Read More

Invisible men in London and Telford

The London Mayor’s VAWG strategy no longer commits to targeting men’s demand for prostitution and does not even mention sex buyers once in its 100 pages. Meanwhile the men who bought children to rape and sexually abuse in Telford are mostly excised from the media reports. How can we address the heinous crimes of CSE, sex trafficking, and the pimping of women in prostitution if we refuse to look at the men who drive it and the culture that creates this behaviour and gives it impunity? Read More

#MeToo, sexual harassment and prostitution: joining the dots and demanding change

The viral spread of the #MeToo hashtag over the last few weeks and the accompanying avalanche of women’s testimony of sexual harassment has spread to the British political establishment. In this article we draw parallels and connections between sexual harassment and assault, and prostitution, and we call for a new code of conduct for MPs and parliamentary staff that includes a prohibition against prostitution-buying as well as sexual harassment and assault, just as the UN does for its staff. Read More

Smoke and mirrors at TUC Congress fringe meeting on decriminalising “sex work”

We report from the ASLEF fringe meeting on Motion 39 to decriminalise “sex work” at the TUC Congress 2017. Fortunately the motion was defeated later in the week. In this article we deconstruct some of the arguments put forward at the fringe meeting, showing that, like the motion itself, they do not stand up to scrutiny and are in fact misleading and sometimes downright dishonest. Read More

Controversy over Prostitution at the Amnesty UK AGM

In January, we posted about a motion being brought to the Amnesty UK AGM in April 2017. The motion called for Amnesty’s current policy of lobbying for the full decriminalisation of the sex trade (including pimps and brothel owners) to be reviewed. This article explains what happened at the AGM and afterwards. Read More

Why I campaign against the sex trade

Not even that hot night when I was 19 and slept with the door to my stuffy windowless room open to catch the breeze caused the blinkers to fall from my eyes. The blinkers that blamed my recklessness in leaving the door open and not the man who walked by and saw my smooth body lying there in all its youthful sweetness. He knew he was the only one in the building still awake and so there was a high chance he could get away with it. As indeed he did. Read More