Minimizing the harms of prostitution

This is the text of a short talk Anna Fisher gave at a Public Policy Exchange event, called “The Future of Sex Work in the UK: Working in Partnership to Support Sex Workers and Minimise Harm,” on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

When the state sanctions prostitution as work, it institutionalises male domination and female suffering, and motivation to address women’s poverty and fix the broken benefits system is lost – because prostitution is institutionalised as welfare for poor women. Read More

Survivors speak out about what prostitution is REALLY like

As a group campaigning for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution, people often berate us for not “listening to sex workers.” If we did, they say, we’d know they all want full decriminalisation of the sex trade and not the Nordic Model. But our group includes survivors of the sex trade and we know that the reality is a little more complicated. In this article we explain why we created our Share Your Story page and distill some of the themes that have emerged from the moving and heart-breaking stories we’ve received so far. Read More

No, decriminalisation of johns and pimps has not improved our safety or lives

Chelsea Geddes has had many years experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, whose fully decriminalised approach to the sex trade is often held up as the most enlightened solution to prostitution. In this article, she begs to disagree and explains that, on the contrary, it has made punters more demanding and entitled, and has done nothing to make conditions safer for the women like herself. Read More

Hate crime as expression of dominance and inequality

This is the text of our submission to the APPG on Hate Crime’s inquiry into hate crime in the UK. We argue that hate crime is typically the behaviour of members of a dominant group towards members of a less powerful group – usually with the motivation of maintaining their collective and individual dominance; that the hate crime framework must never be used to silence respectful debate and dissent; that porn should be considered a form of hate propaganda; and that the hate crimes that are centrally monitored and for which perpetrators can get an increased sentence should be extended to include misogynistic hate crime. Read More

Working as a receptionist in a legal brothel proved to me that prostitution is anything but a normal job

The media glamorises prostitution and presents the illusion that it’s sexually liberating for women, and sex industry lobbyists claim that it’s just regular work. For a long time Jacqueline Gwynne accepted this without question even while working as a receptionist in a legal brothel in Melbourne. It was only two years later that she began to see the dark, seedy and dangerous truth. Here she explains what it was like so you can decide for yourself whether prostitution can ever be considered a normal job. Read More

#MeToo stories of the sex trade: Collection #2

This is another selection of the #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page. Profound thanks to everyone who has shared their story. Every single one is powerful, moving and courageous, and shines a much-needed light on what the sex trade is really like. Read More

Submission to the UK Government’s Consultation on its Domestic Abuse Bill

The text of the Nordic Model Now! submission to the UK Government’s recent consultation on its proposed Domestic Abuse Bill, without the questions we did not answer and those for which we simply endorsed the responses given by End Violence Against Women (EVAW). Read More

“Caught in the Crossfire and Not by Accident”: In Canada, the Legislation was Just the Beginning

As the five year anniversary approaches of Canada passing its Nordic Model-style Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA), Zoë Goodall interviews several activists from the women’s movement to find out what PCEPA has achieved. What she finds is both disappointing and enraging and provides salutary lessons to all who want to see the Nordic Model implemented: passing the legislation is just the first step in the battle. Read More

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

Women and girls, what is your experience of sexual harassment in public places?

The Women and Equalities Committee in the UK parliament has launched an inquiry into male sexual harassment of women and girls in public places and are calling for written submissions. Anyone can send a submission and we would encourage you to do so. Alternatively, feel free to share your experiences with us and we will use them to inform our submission. You can do this in the comment section below the post or by emailing us in confidence. 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

TUC Congress 2017 Motion 39: Decriminalisation of sex work

The agenda for the 2017 TUC Congress has been published. It includes a motion from ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, calling for the full decriminalisation of “sex work.” This approach implicitly decriminalises pimping, profiteering and related activities that are currently considered to be exploitation. The motion is worded in such a way that on a superficial level it appears to be in the interests of the women and children who are involved in prostitution. However, that simply does not stand up to scrutiny. Read More

Campaign to wipe women’s prostitution-related criminal records

On Tuesday 11 July, I was fortunate to attend the launch of Nia’s “I’m No Criminal” report, which examines the impact of prostitution-specific criminal records on women seeking to exit prostitution, and their campaign for such criminal records to be erased. The room was electric with passion at the injustice that women who are (or have been) involved in prostitution face and the warped system that makes disadvantaged women pay for the damage that men cause. Read More

Response to Scottish Research on the Impacts of Criminalising the Purchase of Sex

This is a response from Nordic Model Now! to the report of the research commissioned by the Scottish Government on the Impacts of the Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex. Read More