‘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

How to respond to the Scottish Prostitution Consultation

The Scottish Government is running a consultation on its prostitution policy. We would like to encourage all our supporters to respond to this consultation. In order to make it as easy as possible, this post provides a crib sheet to help you. You do not need to live in Scotland to respond.

The deadline for responding is: Thursday 10 December 2020. Read More

NMN Response to the Scottish Consultation on Prostitution Policy

The Scottish Government is running a consultation on its prostitution policy. The consultation is open until Thursday 10 December 2020. We would like to encourage all our supporters to respond to this consultation. You do not need to live in Scotland to respond.

This post provides the full text of the Nordic Model Now! response to the consultation, which you are welcome to use this as inspiration and/or to copy and paste from it. Because the consultation is fairly complex and, in some places, confusing, we are also providing shorter template responses in an attempt to make it as easy as possible to respond. 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

How living near the Holbeck red-light zone turned us into activists against the sex trade

This is an edited transcript of Paula and Claire’s talk at the Experience of Prostitution webinar on Sunday 27 September 2020.

Paula and Claire are campaigners against the decriminalised red-light zone in the Holbeck area of Leeds. They are part of the Save Our Eyes community group. 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

The experience(s) of prostitution

This is an edited transcript of Linda Thompson’s talk at the Experience of Prostitution webinar on Sunday 27 September 2020.

“Hello everyone. My name is Linda Thompson and I am absolutely delighted to join the webinar today on the experience – no, the experiences – of prostitution.

I work for the Women’s Support Project. I am national coordinator on commercial sexual exploitation. I get funded by the Scottish Government to develop and deliver programmes of work to raise awareness of the harms and realities of commercial sexual exploitation as a form of violence against women… Read More

‘Sex work’ advocates and the Nazi propaganda playbook

Last month Nordic Model Now! was asked to participate in a University of Exeter student debate on the proposition that “This house believes that sex work is real work.” As a group, we are ambivalent about taking part in such debates. On the one hand, they are seldom a conducive forum for understanding nuanced and complex issues – but on the other hand, if we don’t participate there is a risk that the audience won’t hear the feminist analysis of prostitution. No one else in the group was able to take part that night, so reluctantly I agreed. Read More

Human trafficking and online sexual exploitation

This is the text of our submission to a Sheffield University study on human trafficking and online sexual exploitation.

AdultWork and similar sites make it extraordinarily easy for sex traffickers to exploit the prostitution of vulnerable women and girls. In fact it is hard not to come to the conclusion that these sites have been specifically designed for this purpose. If the UK is serious about cracking down on human trafficking, it must hold websites that facilitate sex trafficking and who profiteer from women and girls’ prostitution to account, as it is obliged to under international law. 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

The Experience of Prostitution: Recordings of the webinar

This page provides access to recordings of the talks from our ‘Experience of Prostitution’ webinar on 27 September 2020. As transcripts of the talks become available, you will also be able to access them from this page.

This webinar aimed to provide an antidote to the notion that prostitution is empowering for women and that “sex work” is just a job, not much different from any other work. We heard from women who have lived prostitution, have extensive experience of working with women involved in it, and who see the impact of the infamous red-light zone in Holbeck, Leeds, on their local community. 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

Porn, Violence and Consent

By Michelle Kelly

As a trafficking survivor who later went on to enter the UK porn industry, I have been following the recent media focus on trafficking in porn with a lot of interest, even though, as I have previously expressed, I am highly cautious of the influence of what is often termed the ‘religious right.’ Nevertheless I believe that calling for — as a bare minimum — greater regulation of sites such as PornHub to be a matter of urgency.

This is why… Read More

Unmasking the sex industry in Scotland

This is an edited transcript of a powerful and informative podcast, in which Siobhan from Nordic Model Now! talks with Linda Thompson about her work with women who have lived experience of prostitution in Scotland and why Scotland must urgently address the desperate poverty and inequality that is the backdrop to women’s involvement in the sex trade and introduce the Nordic Model without delay. Read More

PODCAST: Unmasking the sex industry in Scotland: A conversation with Linda Thompson

In this powerful and informative podcast, Siobhan from Nordic Model Now! talks with Linda Thompson about her work with women who have lived experience of prostitution in Scotland and why Scotland must urgently address the desperate poverty and inequality that is the backdrop to women’s involvement in the sex trade and introduce the Nordic Model without delay. Read More

PODCAST: How the Modern Slavery Act 2015 fails women and girls

This podcast explains our grave concerns about how the Modern Slavery Act 2015 frames human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It asks how this legislation could have been passed when it so spectacularly fails to meet binding obligations under international law and shows that as a result, there is a failure to deal effectively with the forms of human trafficking that particularly affect women and children, and that this has profound implications for how society understands prostitution and how the criminal justice system deals (or fails to deal) with it. A video essay is also available. 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

PRESS RELEASE: Independent Review into controversial Holbeck red-light zone in Leeds failed to consider equality implications & made claims NOT backed up by data

After pressure from local residents, last year Leeds City Council commissioned a so-called ‘Independent Review’ into the operation of the decriminalised red-light zone in Holbeck, Leeds – officially known as the ‘Managed Approach’. This was undertaken by the University of Huddersfield and their final report was released on Friday, 10 July 2020.

The report claims that the Managed Approach is a significant success. However, the Nordic Model Now! campaign group has identified numerous flaws in the report. Read More

NMN response to the ‘Independent Review’ of the Holbeck red-light zone in Leeds

This is the Nordic Model Now! response to the ‘Independent Review’ commissioned by Leeds City Council into the operation of the red-light district in Holbeck (known as the ‘Managed Approach’), where street prostitution is permitted to operate more or less free from interference during certain hours.

We point out many very basic failings in the report and show that, far from proving that the scheme has been a huge success as it claims, the reviewers made claims that are not supported by the data, and they seem to have been unable to read between the lines or to consider the wider context and the very serious equality impacts on women and children. Read More

Interview with Rebecca Mott

We are honoured that sex trade survivor activist, Rebecca Mott, has been a member of Nordic Model Now! from the very beginning. Many times her insight and wisdom have helped us to keep our focus. Here she talks about blogging, sex trade activists, what being an abolitionist means to her, and advice to other women who want to speak out about their experiences in the sex trade. Read More

VIDEO ESSAY: Prostitution and pornography: Have they always existed?

Also available as a podcast, this video essay provides a historical overview of prostitution and pornography and the position of women based on the work of, amongst others: Gerda Lerner, Marilyn French, Sylvia Federici and Andrea Dworkin. It is a re-recording of the first presentation at the webinar we hosted on 14 June, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women. Read More

The Colonisation of Intimate Life

The Mainstreaming of Sexual Violence and Hazard.

By Esther

This article is based on the second presentation at our recent webinar, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women.

“Expressions of fear and distress on the faces of porn performers are deliberately induced. The cruelty is the point. It associates sex as something painful for women in the eyes of the viewer…” Read More

Israel becomes the 8th Nordic Model country as it implements its Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act

I’ve been waiting for thirty years for this moment. The Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act will be enforced in Israel on 10 July 2020. The law imposes fines for consuming prostitution and attempting to pay for it. The aim is to reduce prostitution by prohibiting the purchase of sex as part of an integrated process that includes public education, and the expansion of services for the population in prostitution – including trauma-informed care and practical help to rebuild their lives, while recognizing the harmful nature of prostitution and the damage it causes. Read More

Why I nearly turned my back on feminism

In this important post, Ally-Marie Diamond explains how she was introduced to a feminist analysis of prostitution as a form of violence against women, her first tentative steps into the feminist movement for the abolition of the sex trade, and her desire to share her own painful experiences as a way of helping others understand the reality. She then goes on to describe how she was silenced and ostracised within the movement and her determination to put aside division and work with other women to bring about real change for the most vulnerable women and children. Read More

PODCAST: Dr Jacci Stoyle talks about a Scottish fact-finding trip to Sweden

In this fascinating podcast Siobhan from Nordic Model Now! talks with Dr Jacci Stoyle about a Scottish parliamentary trip to Sweden to find out more about how the Swedish prostitution law works in practice. The trip took place on 22nd and 23rd August 2019.

The trip was part of the work of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Commercial Sexual Exploitation in the Scottish Parliament, of which Jacci is the secretariat. Read More