Francine Sporenda interviews Inge Kleine, a German feminist activist, about recent developments in the sex industry in Germany. The background is that in 2001 Germany passed new legislation around prostitution, called the Prostitutionsgesetz. It was implemented in 2002 and opened up and liberalised the law around prostitution, which was already legal. The prostitution law has now been tightened up, ostensibly to alleviate some of the negative consequences of the 2001/2002 law. But of course this is not the whole story, as Inge explains. Read More
Exit! is the harrowing true story of Grizelda Grootboom’s journey into and through prostitution. Many people justify prostitution on the basis of the prostituted person’s choice. Grizelda’s story reveals the shallow irrelevance of this idea in a life blighted by childhood neglect and abandonment, rape, racism, poverty and lack of opportunity, coercion, betrayal and abduction. While Grizelda’s story is unique, there are many elements that are common to many of those who are prostituted worldwide. 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
Dana Levy is a survivor of the sex industry, who supports and promotes the Nordic Model in Israel, where a Nordic Model-style law is making its way through the legislative process. The Knesset (the legislative branch of the Israeli government) approved the law on its first reading on 22 October 2018. The second and third readings are still ahead. In this article, she talks about the preconditions for consent and whether they can ever be present in prostitution. Read More
Dana Levy is an Israeli sex industry survivor who promotes the Nordic model in Israel. She publishes articles in local newspapers in order to influence public opinion. She very kindly sent us this translation of one of her articles with a message of thanks for what she describes as our ‘amazing work.’ We send thanks for her amazing work in return. 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
Francine Sporenda interviews Yasmin Vafa, co-founder and executive director of Rights4Girls, which works to end male violence against young women and girls in the United States. She is a lawyer and her work focuses on the intersections between race, gender, violence, and the law. She educates the public and policymakers on these issues and how they affect the lives of marginalized women and children. She has successfully advocated for several anti-trafficking laws at the federal level, has testified before Congress and international human rights bodies, and co-authored a seminal report mapping girls’ unique pathways into the justice system: The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story. Read More
Arinze Orakwue, Director of Public Enlightenment at the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Nigeria, sent this message of support for our campaign for the Nordic Model in the UK. He explains that it is only when men in Europe stop buying women and girls in prostitution that the tide of human trafficking from Sub-Saharan Africa, and all the suffering that entails, will end. Read More
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, is undertaking an official visit to the UK from 6 to 16 November 2018. He is investigating the interlinkages between poverty and the realization of human rights. Before his visit he made a call for written submissions to help him prepare for the visit. We made the following submission about how extreme poverty and widening inequality between the sexes is driving many women into prostitution, in violation of their human rights. Read More
Another collection of #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story feature. This provides a space for women to tell their own accounts in their own words. We do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed.
“Prostitution is insidious, it is cruel on both sides. Some argue it is the men who exploit the women, but some of the men are just as fragile. They become entangled in their own emotional pain and trauma. The whole industry is based on lies and deception (as well as the invasion of our precious sacred selves).” Read More
This is an open letter to Brighton University in response to the presence of a Freshers’ Week stall run by the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project (SWOP), explaining our dismay, why it was a terrible idea, and requesting that they never allow something similar to happen again. It was sent this morning, 24 October 2018. Read More
In this post, Chelsea, who has had many years’ experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand (NZ), makes a searing critique of an article by Lynzi Armstrong that laments the ‘stigma’ that results in banks denying services to ‘sex workers,’ even though profiting from women’s prostitution is entirely legal in NZ. Chelsea argues that the ‘sex workers’ in question were in fact pimps, and the stigma against women involved in prostitution is intrinsic to the system of prostitution itself. 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
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
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
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
We are proud to announce that we 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.” As a campaigning group, some aspects of the charter are not applicable to our work – we don’t do case work, for example. However, as a whole it is directly relevant, because trauma, abuse and crime are rife in the sex trade. Read More
This is the text of our submission to the Women & Equalities Committee’s inquiry into Sexual harassment of women and girls in public places, sent in early March 2018. 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