An EMDR therapist on what she’s learned working with people who’ve experienced prostitution

Dana Levy is an Israeli prostitution survivor and campaigner for the Nordic Model in Israel, where a Nordic Model-style law has recently been passed. In this article, she talks to Dr Tal Croitoru, the CEO and founder of the Israeli network, EMDR Experts, about her EMDR work with people who’ve experienced prostitution. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Read More

Is ‘sex work’ real work? ‘If work is being slapped/beaten/told you’re a worthless whore… Then yes it’s work’

Is ‘sex work’ real work? “If ‘real work’ is having a 70 year-old drunk man bargaining with your ‘price’ because you won’t continue without a condom… that man getting aggressive and asking for his money back… if work is being forced to give up 50-100% of your income to a pimp… if work is being forced to have sex with men on the run from the police for domestic abuse… if work is being filmed without your consent… if work is being slapped/beaten/told you are a worthless whore… Then yes it’s work.” Read More

Open letter to the RCN

50 groups and organisations, and more than 400 individuals, have added their name to an open letter calling on the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to reject the motion calling for the ‘decriminalisation of prostitution’ at its upcoming 2019 Congress. We are concerned that many people will incorrectly assume the motion means the decriminalisation only of those directly engaged in prostitution and not of the entire sex trade, including pimps, brothel keepers and sex buyers (punters). Read More

The ‘independent’ review of the Modern Slavery Act ignores women’s human rights

The ‘Independent’ Review of the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) has published initial reports on their recommendations. In this article we respond to the report on the MSA’s legal application. We show that the ‘independent’ review abjectly failed to consider the full implications of the MSA’s incorrect definition of human trafficking on women and girls, and instead justified it by clutching at straws that would be laughable were the consequences for the most vulnerable women and girls not so grave. Read More

A Sexist Prism: National Police Guidance on Policing Prostitution

In January 2019, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) released new national Guidance for ‘Policing Sex Work and Prostitution’ in England and Wales. While we welcome its emphasis on treating those involved in prostitution with respect and not as criminals, we have some major concerns about this Guidance, which we set out in this article. Read More

‘Women Wanted’ on Melbourne Streets

Advertising for the sex trade is prominent in Melbourne, Australia, where the sex trade has been legal since 1994. In this article, Jacqueline Gwynne explains how WOMEN WANTED flyers offering quick and easy cash lure women into the sex trade. This is what we could expect to see in the UK if the sex trade is fully decriminalised and prostitution is recognised as regular work. Read More

‘The sex industry preys upon poor, abused and mentally ill women’

“The issue is so much bigger than just the sex industry. I was treated like a sexual object and commodity from an incredibly young age and still am. I can’t walk down the street without being catcalled or harassed. It really hurts to know these men are so willing to use my body but have absolutely no concern for me as a person or my wellbeing. Things have to change.” Read More

Unison Conference 2019: Vote AGAINST Motion 108 “Decriminalisation for Safety”

Motion 108 “Decriminalisation for safety” at the Unison Delegate Conference 2019 seeks to overturn Unison’s longstanding support for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution and replace it with support for full decriminalisation of the sex trade, including profiteers (pimps, brothel keepers, and procurers) and punters (sex buyers), on the basis that this is safer for “sex workers.” This article goes through the motion, showing that it relies on partial facts, poor-quality research, and distortion of the bigger picture. Read More

Women of colour against the sex trade

We report on the recent ‘Women of Colour Against the Sex Trade’ conference in London, UK, that was hosted by Space International and heard first-hand from black and ethnic minority survivors of the sex industry.

“In Dr Vednita Carter’s Black Minnesota neighbourhood, white middle class men cruise the streets in luxury cars, looking for Black girls and young women to pay to use and abuse sexually. This echoes back to the white man’s white god-given right to unlimited sexual access to Black women and girls during the long centuries of slavery.” Read More

Flyers explaining what the RCN motion for “decriminalisation of prostitution” REALLY means

Before voting at the RCN Congress in May 2019, nurses need to understand what “decriminalisation of prostitution” really means. We believe that most would expect it to mean the decriminalisation of those engaged in prostitution and not of pimps and brothel keepers as well, which would open the way for multi-storey brothels that can serve hundreds of men simultaneously like they have in Germany. This page provides information about the flyers we’ve produced to help nurses understand the practical implications of the motion and how you can order some to give out to nurses you know or in your local hospital. Read More

Submission to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act

This is the text of our submission to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act. It focuses on our grave concerns about how the Modern Slavery Act frames human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and how its failure to deal effectively with the forms of human trafficking that particularly affect women and children can be viewed as sex discrimination and a failure to protect children. The implications of these failings in the Act have profound implications for how society understands prostitution and how the criminal justice system deals (or fails to deal) with it.  Read More

What nurses need to know about the RCN motion to decriminalise prostitution

There is a motion calling for the “decriminalisation of prostitution” on the agenda at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress in Liverpool on 19–23 May 2019. This article explains all you need to know before making a decision about how to vote on this motion or how you ask your branch representative to vote on your behalf. Read More

‘I feel like I am being gaslit by society’

Two more #MeToo stories we’ve received through our Share Your Story page, where women can enter their experiences of the sex trade anonymously. We do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed, but each story is important, moving and powerful, and reveals yet again the awful truth about prostitution – that it is neither easy money, nor a route out of poverty for disadvantaged women. Read More

Submission to the Home Affairs Committee’s inquiry into modern slavery

This is the text of our submission (sent in October 2018) to the inquiry into modern slavery conducted by the Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament. Our submission is focused on our grave concerns about how the Modern Slavery Act 2015 frames human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and how its failure to deal effectively with the forms of human trafficking that particularly affect women and children can be viewed as sex discrimination and a failure to protect children. Read More

The problem with sex doll brothels

Many people who promote and support the sex industry insist that sex doll brothels are a good thing and they will not affect women involved in prostitution. In this short article, Chelsea, who has had many years’ experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, responds to a piece promoting this viewpoint. She explains why it is mistaken and that in fact sex doll brothels spell disaster for prostituted women. Read More

A critical review of ‘Revolting Prostitutes: The fight for sex workers’ rights’ by Juno Mac and Molly Smith

‘Revolting Prostitutes: The fight for sex workers’ rights’ is a clever attempt to sell the full decriminalisation of the sex trade as the only enlightened solution to prostitution. But the authors are not as clever as they seem to think they are. In this review, we tease out key themes in the book and show why many are at best over-simplification and at worst misrepresentation of the facts. Read More

Prostitution law in Germany: Regulation for taxation

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

A review of Exit! by Grizelda Grootboom

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

‘In every possible way, it felt like rape’

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

PODCAST: Anna talks about being groomed into prostitution and her subsequent 11 years in the sex trade

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

Can the preconditions for true consent ever exist in prostitution?

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

Prostitution and free choice

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

How the Modern Slavery Act fails women and girls

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

From sexual abuse to prison via prostitution: guilty of being victims

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

A plea for the Nordic Model from Nigeria

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