I got quite cross listening to Radio 4 Woman's hour yesterday on the subject of prostitution. We heard of a number of women who were "traficed", kidnapped, held as prisoners beaten, raped and forced into prostitution. Fortunately those women escaped and lived to tell.
What happened to them is wrong and many criminal offenses were committed under our exiting laws.
I would certainly like to see more done about this and I can't understand how or why some men would choose to pay to have sex (rape) these unwilling victims.
R4 Women's Hour was presenting the case put by the
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade
in their new report:Shifting the Burden
you can find it here:
In a nut shell it say that the vast majority of women providing sexual services for sale are:
- women who were abused as children,
- drug users
- subject to violent pimps,
- regularly meet violent clients,
- are trapped in a world they would like to escape from,
- are subject to crime because they are fearful of the police.
This might describe some women but I seriously doubt if applies to most and it certainly does NOT describe me!
I think of my good friend who has worked as a self employed "escort" for over 20 years. When she was unfortunately threatened with violence and robbed by a client she did not hesitate to call the police. The man was wanted for various violent crimes, was arrested and went to prison for several years. There was no problem for my friend, as a prostitute (and tax payer) she is not a criminal, she was not scared of the police and she was happy to testify in court against him.
You may think that proves sex-workers meet violent clients. Not really, that was only one in thousands of clients she has seen, whereas I hear teachers, nurses and doctors are regularly threatened and bank staff hide behind big counters and bullet proof glass!
Why is this issue important.
Well if you turn to the recommendations of the report, the All Parliamentary Group say:
- Criminalise the MEN who pay for sexual services.
I don't have sex with my clients but even if I did currently it is not against the law. Neither I nor my clients are committing any criminal offence.
It would seem that the All Parliamentary Group will turn my clients in to criminals and will turn the clients of my friend in to criminals.
Our legitimate and respectable business will suffer and may close, whereas it will be business as usual for those people who already keep women as prisoners to rape them.
I could say so much more... but I will let you think on it.