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...
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...
We know them. We all know a woman who struggles with drugs and alcohol. Perhaps she’s a woman in your family, a friend or even a co-worker, but we know them. If you have not been a drug addict then you cannot know what they go through. You can’t imagine the pain they feel from moment to moment and the things that they are driven to do because of that addiction.... Ruth Jacobs has been there – in the very recesses of hell – and she came back to us...
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...
The Merseyside hate crime model of policing prostitution leads the country. In these two documentaries for Inside Out, airing on BBC1 in the London and North West regions, writer Ruth Jacobs investigates why crimes against sex trade workers are going unpunished, clearly showing the urgency for the Merseyside model to be made UK wide to prevent more rapes and save lives, taking more rapists and murderers off the streets.
The short film 'Honest Lies' is based on a story written Anita James, a woman who was previously in prostitution... Following the screening will be a discussion of the challenges and barriers faced by women seeking to leave the sex trade, ways in which they can be empowered and supported, and a clear message of support for a change in UK law, calling for people who are in prostitution to be decriminalised.
Women in 26 Romilly Street are facing eviction on Wednesday 9 October as a result of a police crackdown... The English Collective of Prostitutes is initiating legal action... Leyla, from Romilly Street says, "I have four children back in Thailand who would not survive without the money I send them. Their lives were turned upside down by the recent floods...” It is believed that the evictions are to make way for a major hotel and luxury flats development.
"Since 1975, the International Prostitutes Collective has been campaigning for the abolition of the prostitution laws which criminalize sex workers and our families, and for economic alternatives and higher benefits and wages. No woman, child or man should be forced by poverty or violence into sex with anyone. We provide information, help and support to individual prostitute women and others who are concerned with sex workers’ human, civil, legal and economic rights."