Huschke Mau, who was herself in prostitution for around 10 years, writes about the psychological and structural barriers that make it difficult, or even impossible, for women to exit prostitution and build a life for themselves outside. While some of the details are specific to Germany and its legalised prostitution system, the themes are more or less universal. Read More
A review of ‘Body for Rent’ by Anna Hendricks and Olivia Smit.
This is the true story of two girls being groomed, and then pimped into the windows of the famous De Wallen red light district in Amsterdam on the day they reach 18, the magical age that prostitution becomes legal in the Netherlands, and their subsequent years of struggle to get free. Underlying this story is another one: the power of the love and friendship between the two women, even under the most brutal circumstances and the best efforts of their pimp to drive a wedge between them. Read More
In this brilliant and important interview, Yağmur Arica talks to Francine Sporenda about how technological developments have hugely increased the scale of sexual exploitation that is taking place and the vast profits that are being made from it. Yağmur goes on to argue, persuasively, that the popularity of sex dolls or robots, which she calls ‘masturbatory dolls,’ can be interpreted as yet another backlash against the gains of the feminist movement, as we rapidly approach the terrifying end-point where, “One woman is as good as any other and a doll is as good as a woman.” Read More
Holbeck in Leeds has been dubbed the UK’s first and only ‘legal’ red light district and there have been claims that it proves that legalising or decriminalising the sex trade is the way to go. Many other local councils are watching carefully as they are tempted to introduce copy cat zones. But what is it really like? Does it really make things safe for the women? Has it ended the practice of giving women cautions, fines, ASBOs and prison sentences for prostitution-related activities? What do the local residents have to say? We visit the zone to find out for ourselves. Read More
Just as the Internet has changed how we buy books, holidays and electronic items, so it has changed how prostitution is organised. Now the Internet is one of the main ways that punters connect with the women (and others) they pay to use sexually, and it has opened up whole new opportunities for pimps to make vast fortunes while creating a living hell for many of those advertised. Read More
This is a new selection of #MeToo stories we’ve received through our Share Your Story page, where women can enter their experiences of the sex trade anonymously. Each story is important, moving and powerful, and reveals yet again the awful truth about prostitution – that it has no place in a society that aspires to equality between women and men, and fundamental human rights for all. Read More
In this podcast, Trixie talks with Anna, who was groomed into prostitution as a teenager and continued in that life on the streets of Leeds for 11 years. Her story shows the insidious nature of the grooming process and the increasing violence and coercive control of her pimp, who was also her partner and the father to her kids. She talks about the punters, the women she was prostituted with, the connections with the local lap dancing club, and the long-term effects of ‘the life’ on herself and her children. Read More
This is the text of Anna Fisher’s talk at the CEASE UK summit (#CEASE18) on Wednesday 14 November, 2018. She explains that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 fails to follow international law in how it defines the offences that mainly affect women and children, why she thinks this happened and why it matters, and what kind of legislation and policy we need to effectively address the issues. Read More
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
This is another collection of #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page.
“That was the end of my life and the start of the trafficking for the next two years. […] Getting beaten all the time by pimp and johns. Johns were more dangerous than the pimp sometimes. Did the math and almost slept with an entire football stadium full of people. Disgusting. Made him millions and never touched a penny.” Read More
Simon Häggström talks with Francine Sporenda about his work as a Swedish Detective Inspector in the Prostitution Unit enforcing the Sex Purchase Law in Stockholm. He now heads the Swedish Police Trafficking Unit, which tracks trafficking and pimping networks. He is the author of “Shadow’s Law: The True Story of a Swedish Detective Inspector Fighting Prostitution.” Read More
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
This is the text of our submission to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade’s inquiry into ‘pop-up’ brothels. We argue that pop-up brothels are not a new phenomenon, permanent brothels are operating with impunity all over the country, prostitution is damaging to both individual and community, the UK is not meeting its international obligations in this area, the police too often pursue vulnerable women involved in prostitution rather than the ruthless profiteers, and we provide 13 recommendations for a complete overhaul of the law and policy. Read More
Francine Sporenda interviews Manuela Schon about the legalised sex industry in Germany and the impact of new regulations. Manuela is a sociologist and political activist in Germany. She co-founded “Abolition 2014 – Für eine Welt ohne Prostitution” and “LINKE für eine Welt ohne Prostitution.” She is a blogger at the radical feminist blog “Die Störenfriedas.” Read More
This article explains how a Nordic Model approach to tackling prostitution was implemented in Ipswich, UK, after a series of brutal murders of prostituted women in the town. It includes an interview with Helen Hepburn, who was a project manager with a social work background, who managed the exiting services that were put in place. Read More
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
The law in England and Wales prohibits brothel keeping; a brothel being defined as premises that two or more persons use for the purposes of prostitution. Many people call for this law to be changed so that small groups of prostituted women can operate together; the argument being that this would provide “safety in numbers.” They often cite the fact that female estate agents and police officers work in pairs, and call for the New Zealand approach that allows up to four women to operate from the same premises. At first sight, these arguments might appear persuasive. However, when you look more deeply, it becomes clear that things are not as straightforward as they might at first seem. Read More
A report on efforts to bring some balance into the British Medical Association (BMA) debate on decriminalising the sex trade. Read More
This article takes a hard look at prostitution, and how it affects people, taking in its intrinsic links with porn, sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation, its inherent racism, and why we should hold those who drive it accountable. Read More
At the 2017 Unison Women’s Conference, we ran a stall for Nordic Model Now! We got a great reception and many women stopped to find out more, or to tell us how happy they were to see us there. Several women told us that they encounter women in prostitution through their work in rape crisis, domestic violence, addiction or children’s services, and how the devastating effects are self-evident: bruises, chronic abdominal pain, anxiety disorders, addictions developed as a way of enduring the unendurable, the fear of the pimps, who sometimes could be seen waiting outside. Read More
On Thursday 26 May 2016, Amnesty International formally adopted a policy that calls for the full decriminalisation of the sex trade. While we welcome Amnesty’s call for the full decriminalisation of all prostituted women, children, men and transgendered people, we very strongly disagree with Amnesty’s call to decriminalise pimps, procurers and brothel owners and those who buy human beings for sex. Read More