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

Prostitution and pornography: A historical view

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

“It’s very easy to think that the world we know is normal and is how human beings have always lived. But what if that’s not true? What if the social structures we now live in are an anomaly in the long history of the human race? That’s what we’re going to explore in this presentation. We’re going to investigate the origins of patriarchy and capitalism, with a focus on the role of prostitution and pornography.”
Read More

“Murder Porn”

In this ground-breaking and harrowing article, Esther, who was herself involved in prostitution and the making of porn, shows how the eroticisation of cruelty in both the political and personal arenas is fed by the global sex industry’s violence and cruelty, and she reveals the hypocrisy of those who insist that ‘sex work’ is a private matter of no consequence to anyone else and who wilfully ignore its devastating consequences for both individuals and society. Read More

Josephine Butler: Pioneering feminist activist

Josephine Butler was a pioneering Victorian feminist who was famous for her activism against the sex trade and the punitive, sexist laws known as the Contagious Diseases Acts. This article provides a brief outline of her political awakening, her involvement in the campaign for women’s suffrage, education and employment, and her leadership of the ultimately successful campaign to overturn the Contagious Diseases Acts. Read More

What’s the problem with sex dolls? A conversation with Kathleen Richardson

This is an edited transcript of the podcast with Professor Kathleen Richardson on our culture’s increasing obsession with sex dolls, and what this means for women, and human relationships.

“What’s interesting about sex dolls and sex robots, is that it reveals really clearly what patriarchy thinks of women and what men want from women.” Read More

‘I had no support or way out’

Stacy sent this account of her life in the sex trade, and after, through our Share Your Story page, where women can enter their experiences of the sex trade anonymously and in their own words.

“I prostituted for more than seven years and endured lots of physical, sexual, mental and spiritual abuse from both my pimp and the johns. I became an alcoholic and drug addict to ease the pain. Selling sex was never OK for me but I was in fear and had no support or way out.” Read More

‘Made to feel like nothing, made to feel worse than nothing, like she was just disposable’

A woman, who wants to remain anonymous, sent us this #MeToo account of her life in prostitution through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“Imagine going to the cops because you have been severely raped/beaten/robbed and they laugh at you because you are a whore and you got what you deserved…” Read More

Ask your MP to take action on the Law Commission’s surrogacy proposals

Calling all UK citizens! Please write to your MP to ask them to take action in response to the Law Commission’s proposals for surrogacy law reform, which we believe will lead to the UK becoming the commercial surrogacy destination of Western Europe. We provide a template letter that you can simply copy and paste (or download) and send. This only takes a couple of minutes. Read More

NMN Submission to GRETA’s third evaluation of the United Kingdom

This is the text of our submission to the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) on its call for evidence in advance of its third round of evaluation of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (the Convention) in the UK. Read More

Full decriminalisation of prostitution colludes with the notion that a woman’s consent is negotiable

When HARRIET EVANS fell into difficulties with her housing, and universal credit was too little to live on, she turned to prostitution as a way of keeping a roof over her head. Here she explains how the Nordic Model could have helped her and others in the sex industry.

“‘Sex work’ as a valid form of income redefines ‘consent.’ Full decriminalisation colludes with the notion that a woman’s consent is negotiable; it can be bought; it can be ignored.” Read More

‘I believe legalised prostitution strengthens and emboldens misogynistic attitudes in men’

‘Siobhan’ sent us this #MeToo account of her experiences in the legal sex trade in New Zealand and Australia through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

“These deliberate attempts by punters to mess with my head have affected me much, much more than the multitude of times I was physically and sexually assaulted in prostitution. I still ruminate about the veiled insults they made about my worth, my looks and my character… I thought I had low self-esteem at 17, but prostitution has absolutely destroyed it.” Read More

Facts about the global sex trade exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and how to solve them

Dana Levy is an Israeli prostitution survivor and abolitionist activist. In this article she shows how the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed three fundamental facts about the sex trade that many feminists have always known: 1. That men CAN survive without access to prostitution; 2. That most women involved in prostitution are extremely poor; and 3. That legalisation / decriminalisation of the sex trade provides little protection to the women involved. She goes on to discuss solutions. She says: “The solution for women in the sex trade exists. You won’t believe how simple it is.” Read More

Wahine Toa Rising letter to New Zealand ministers

The new, prostitution survivor-led New Zealand organisation, Wahine Toa Rising, has sent this letter to ministers to draw attention to the plight of women in prostitution during the current COVID-19 crisis, to ask advice about what support is available to women currently involved in prostitution and how the emergency subsidies apply to the sex trade, and to offer advice based on their own intimate knowledge of the realities of the sex trade.

In New Zealand the sex trade is fully decriminalised and prostitution is considered a job like any other. The letter brilliantly exposes this idea as a travesty. Read More

Who is misbehaving? Reflections on the film, Misbehaviour

At the beginning of the film, Misbehaviour, Sally Alexander (played by Keira Knightley) is applying to study history at University College, London (UCL). We see her walk into the large wood-panelled interview room where six middle-aged white men are waiting for her, seated in a row behind a long table. The camera pans back so we can see them giving her a mark out of ten as she settles on the lone chair in front of them… Read More

‘I am a child impacted by the sex trade! I am a child impacted by paid rape!’

Imagine being a trapped in a world where sex is money and your body is an item for someone else’s pleasure. Now imagine being trapped in that world as a young mother with a tiny baby you would give anything for to see have a better life – only to have that baby removed from your care while you’re left unsupported to just “deal with it.”

That woman you’re imagining was my mum.

That tiny innocent baby was me… Read More

Prostitution is not a job and never will be. Here’s why.

By Dana Levy

Can prostitution be a normal job? Sex trade apologists claim that ‘sex work is work.’ Some of them say: “We just need a proper regulatory structure to make it safe,” while others insist: “All regulatory restrictions are harmful. Prostitution is not the problem; society is the problem. You are the problem! If we get rid of the regulations and stereotypes, it will become just like any other job.”

We, the survivors of prostitution who struggle against the sex trade, know the truth: prostitution is not a job. Read More