Confusing love and sex: how the care system creates a context for grooming and child prostitution

In this searing article based on her own experiences, ‘Alice’ brilliantly articulates the disturbing reality of girls growing up in the failing British ‘care’ system and why they make such easy prey for pimps. Essential reading. Read More

Prostitution policy: The Nordic Model or full decriminalization?

This page provides access to the recording and transcript of our ‘Prostitution policy: The Nordic Model or full decriminalization? What do sex trade survivors say?’ webinar that was held on 24 January 2021.

The theme of the webinar was the debate about the Sexual Exploitation Bill that Dame Diana Johnson recently tabled in the UK Parliament. If passed, this would establish a Nordic Model approach to prostitution legislation and policy in England and Wales. Read More

‘Any girl, and most boys, growing up in care become targets for the sexual predation of adult men’

‘Alice’ sent this harrowing testimony about growing up in a UK children’s home through our Share Your Story page.

“A lot of the time surviving in the care system prepares girls for prostitution later. We all allowed degrees of sexual access to adult men for basics like food or clothing. Even beyond that most girls acquiesce to men’s sexual demands in return for things that make you feel like a ‘normal’ young teenager, but aren’t necessities…” Read More

The Law of Diminishing Returns

In this insightful article, Esther, who was herself in prostitution, reflects on the finding of the Médecins du Monde study that the income of people involved in prostitution in France has reduced since the Nordic Model law was introduced there in April 2016. She explains how such a reduction in income has been observed in several European countries and suggests it is related to the increase in the number of women entering the sex industry through “choice,” coercion, trafficking, and the fallout from the banking crisis from 2008 and the subsequent implementation of “austerity” policies – and the normalisation of BDSM practices through the mainstreaming of porn. Read More

Swedish sex trade survivors back international campaign for the Nordic Model

This article, by a group of people who have experienced prostitution in Sweden, explains why they formed the organisation #intedinhora (#notyourwhore) and why they back the Nordic Model approach to prostitution policy.

“We see prostitution as neither work nor sex, but as an oppression built upon oppression based on gender, race, class and/or age. We believe this, not despite our own experiences of being in the sex industry, but because of them.” Read More

Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation? The discussion

This is an edited transcript of the discussion part of the ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on Sunday 22 November 2020.

Siobhan: I just want to introduce our panel members. First we have Rebecca Mott. Rebecca used to do indoor prostitution of various types, all of which allow punters to be violent. She is now an Abolitionist, and has been blogging about her experiences for more than 12 years, explaining the conditions of prostitution and the impact of having trauma as an exited woman… Read More

Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation? Recordings and transcripts

This page provides access to recordings and transcripts of the talks from our ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on 22 November 2020.

We hear over and over again that “sex work is normal work.” But is this really true or is the reality in fact much darker? In this webinar, women who have lived experience of prostitution examined this claim. Read More

The Nordic Model: The best approach to tackling prostitution

This is a transcript of Megan King’s presentation at our ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on Sunday 22 November 2020.

“I’m going to talk about the Nordic Model as the best approach to tackling prostitution. I’m Megan King. I speak as a survivor of the sex trade myself, initially being coerced into the trade and then I continued to sell sex off street independently, glamourizing my situation as a high-class escort, for a period of eight months across the south of England… Read More

‘My father started sexually abusing me before I was two years old…’

“I’m a survivor of familial sex trafficking. My father started sexually abusing me before I was even two years old and by age six, he was selling me to strangers for sex. This went on until I was about 16 years old.

He threatened my younger brother and me, saying he would kill our mother if we ever told anyone what he was doing… Read More

‘Sex buyers, pimps and traffickers are delusional, narcissistic murderers of innocence’

A woman who wants to remain anonymous sent this powerful piece about her experiences in, and understanding of, prostitution through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.

“Sex buyers, pimps and traffickers are delusional, narcissistic murderers of innocence that malevolently groom, then prey upon, people who are often victims of child molestation and sexual assault. These vulnerable people also tend to struggle with substance abuse, mental illness and most of all, financial insecurity… Read More

‘Gagged and bound, I’m led down the steps into the basement…’

‘Sarah’ sent this harrowing and powerful piece about her experiences in prostitution through our Share Your Story page.

“Gagged and bound, I’m led down the steps into the basement. A group of men stand there and my legs begin to buckle beneath me. Surely, I’m not to be offered up to all of them? I’m horrified and afraid. But the question has already been answered in my mind and I know that my life will be changed forever… Read More

Three Dangerous Myths About Webcamming, Debunked

There are many popular myths about cam girls. The men who pay them often believe cam girls are lazy, superficial, money-hungry [insert gendered slur of your choice here]. A lot of women think the work will be sexually empowering, or at the very least, innocuous.

However, I once worked as a cam girl and got to find out first-hand what being one was actually like.  I learned that all the myths about webcamming are not only false and misleading but dangerous. Here is the truth behind three of the biggest myths… Read More

Hidden in plain sight

This is a transcript of Rebecca Mott’s talk at the ‘Experience of Prostitution’ webinar on 27 September 2020.

“I was prostituted from the age of 14 until my early 20s. I will speak to what it is to be prostituted; to the conditions for the prostituted and the breaking down of their humanity.

To understand prostitution, we need to see deeper than the generalised language of it being a bad thing. Instead, I will speak about the mental and physical trauma of the prostituted…
Read More

Ireland must invest in services to help people exit prostitution

This piece was sent in anonymously through our Share Your Story page, which provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.

“I am a 43 year-old Irish woman who was actively involved in prostitution for five years from 2008 to 2013. My involvement in the sex trade came about as a result of my chronic addiction to heroin. I was not a victim of trafficking, nor was I being controlled by a pimp… Read More

Wahine Toa Rising launches brilliant new website

This week, Wahine Toa Rising, a New Zealand grassroots organisation led by sex trade survivors, launched its website. Here members of the organisation explain what it is about.

“Wahine Toa Rising is a voice for vulnerable, exploited women and children in Aotearoa/ New Zealand, who are overrepresented in the sex trade. Like us, they deserve to know they are WORTHY, VALUED, HEARD, SEEN, and LOVED.” Read More

What price for ruining the lives of 100s of young women?

Sex trade survivor, Dana Levy, writes from Israel about a sex trafficker, dubbed the ‘greatest pimp in Israel’s history,’ who trafficked hundreds of vulnerable young women and has recently been granted early release from jail. She asks, why does society place so little value on the lives of poor young women? Read More

PODCAST: The Colonisation of Intimate Life – The Mainstreaming of Sexual Violence and Hazard

In this podcast, Esther, who has a longstanding interest in research on legal and public policy approaches to sexualised violence and domestic abuse, uses her own experience of porn and prostitution to reflect on consent, the global reach of depictions of sexualised violence and what this means for women and girls. Read More