“The sex industry includes two major demographics of people who are widely segregated. Sex workers are viewed by society as helpless souls who can’t possibly make healthy choices because they are victims and in desperate need of rescue. Trafficking survivors are viewed as pity cases who are incapable of doing much of anything besides art or sewing, and a pretty bedroom will solve the issues of complex trauma,” she continued. “Both views are wrong but it’s hard to hear the voices of sex workers and trafficking survivors through the billowing echoes of the ‘voice of the voiceless’,” she added.
You can argue all day over whether the sex industry is harmful to women as a whole and workers in particular, but you can’t argue with the studies that show the Swedish model allows violence against sex workers to continue. You also can’t argue the fact that, were it to succeed, sex workers would simply find themselves unemployed. So clients may be ‘punished’, but the workers will be punished as well. If you want to help those in the sex trades who don’t want to be there, provide more options. Provide alternatives. Don’t just take this one option away.
Jackie Summerford is the mother of Bonnie Barratt who was murdered at 24 years old in the sex trade. If the Merseyside hate crime model was in operation in London, Bonnie's killer might have been reported to the police before and she would be alive today... Please add your signature to the Change.org petition calling for Rt Hon Mrs Theresa May MP to make the Merseyside hate crime model law UK wide: http://www.change.org/merseysidemodel.
Originally posted on What Can I Do About It?:
When I was trafficked, it was a sex worker who helped me escape and she provided me with great support and encouragement in those early years of my healing. I knew law enforcement would not protect me because I had committed the crime of prostitution and only had false identification that was given to me by my pimp...
Originally posted on Feminist Ire:
I’ve commented several
I’ve commented several
I wanted to write something for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers but I didn't think I could as I've been in too much of a dark place these last few weeks with my own suffering from the repercussions of sexual violence. I wanted to go to London to stand in solidarity with sex workers and allies to mark this day, but for the same reasons, tonight, I couldn't do that either. Then I felt selfish wrapped up with my own pain when tonight there will be women in the sex trade who will be raped, who will be beaten and some will be murdered. So I have to say this...
Those feelings and the memories of feeling so alone are at the heart of everything I do in the field today. The empathy towards those who are living with the same feelings and fighting against the same demons and stigma that I felt during those years drives me to stay connected to those who are living with addiction and all its surrounding issues.
As I make her a cup of hot chocolate and count out free condoms, Dana takes a seat, tells me about last night. She waited on the streets for hours, frequently changing location in order to avoid police attention. The boyracers were out as usual, yelling abuse and throwing eggs as they sped by.... Gradually, the few remaining clients wore her down, and she agreed to do business with them for less than the usual price. She was out so long that she missed her hostel’s curfew and had to stay out...