End prostitution now!

woman standing by passing car c. iStock
Prostitution - deeply rooted in power and gender inequality

One thing which makes my blood boil is the assertion that prostitution is the oldest profession, and that we will never change the nature of men. What a pessimistic and unenlightened view of the world - that our sons, brothers, male partners and work colleagues cannot do without sex whenever and wherever they want.

Prostitution – the stark truth

We strive to reduce and eradicate poverty, homelessness and domestic abuse but we’re advised to leave the sex industry to operate unchallenged and normalised. We’re told that we're prudes and fantasists and that we don't understand men's desire and need for buying sex from women - despite the fact that these women are usually vulnerable and desperate for money, and more than half of UK women in prostitution have been raped or seriously assaulted at the hands of pimps and punters (Home Office, 2004).

Of course the reason for the attacks on those trying to tackle the growth and normalisation of the sex industry is the huge profit made by those who depend on the blind eye approach – this trade is allowed to flourish as long as there’s no obvious signs of sex trafficking.   This complacent approach to prostitution ignores the reality that trafficking flourishes in a society where there is demand for paid sex.

Confronting causes – ending the demand

Productions like Roadkill, a heart wrenching play that conveys the story of a trafficked child, helps to raise awareness of the reality of trafficking in Scotland.  However, it is clear that unless we tackle the demand for the sex industry we will never see a decline in this harmful activity. We will merely be obliged to respond to the damaged women, children and communities affected by this blight. The End Prostitution Now campaign aims to criminalise the buying of sex in Scotland, and in doing so, reduce the tolerance and complacency which allows prostitution to flourish. It promotes attitudinal change and challenges the demand which keeps this exploitative trade expanding. 

With the issue now firmly on the agenda of Scottish politicians, a consultation has just been launched to get public views on a proposed Private Member’s Bill containing measures to criminalise those that purchase or profit from the sex industry. Prostitution affects us all on some level - it is deeply rooted in power and gender inequality.

Get involved - speak out!

Get involved in the public debate, share your thoughts and respond to the current consultation. Rather than being the oldest profession, prostitution is the oldest oppression - don't stand by silently and let this continue to shame us!

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