Prostitution debate called for in the assembly

from here

Tragic reality of prostitution’
A debate on prostitution has been called in the Welsh assembly by Cynon Valley AM Christine Chapman.She explains why she supports calls for a law change to make it illegal to pay for sex and help prevent the “oldest exploitation in the world”.Generic young prostitute
The sex trade is accused of fuelling international human trafficking

Debates around prostitution rely on the cliché of it being “the oldest profession in the world” or that “it has always been with us and always will be”.

However, statements like this seek only to stifle the debate and provide excuses.

My fundamental argument is one of principle. Do we think that it is right in an age when we have made some progress with equality for women that women continue to be degraded and exploited though prostitution?

I do think that public opinion towards prostitution is changing and we should therefore grasp the opportunity to have a debate.

Most women I have talked to find it abhorrent; it is discordant with how they view themselves in the world.

The view of the glamorous, self-serving high-class call girl is without doubt a smokescreen.

Most prostitutes’ lives are much more tragic in reality than those portrayed by, say, Belle de Jour or “Madame Sin” Cynthia Payne. In fact the realities for women as prostitutes are stark.

For example, over the last 10 years, about 60 prostitutes have been murdered in England and Wales, with just 16 arrests.

Prostitutes are also 60 times more likely to be murdered than other women and more than 90% of prostitutes who work the street are hooked on hard drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine.

I fully acknowledge that there is an argument that it would be better to legalise brothels in order to make it safer for women, but I’m not sure that that is the answer.

When Germany legalised brothels, for example, job centres were expected to treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse!

Women were told, “if you don’t take a job as a prostitute we can stop your benefits”, which I find totally unacceptable.

Prostitution is not a devolved matter: nevertheless, the Welsh Assembly Government has a responsibility to ensure that there are adequate support services.

If women are exploited in society then we are all affected.

I would ask that the Welsh Assembly Government works with their Westminster colleagues such as Harriet Harman and Vernon Coaker as they seek to change the law.

This is also about raising awareness particularly within an educational context. I am aware of a very helpful pack on prostitution and sexual exploitation produced by the Women’s Library in East London which I would commend to the Assembly Government for use in sixth forms and colleges.

It’s vital that young people are fully cognisant of the dangers of exploitation in any form.

We are dealing with the oldest exploitation in the world.

It’s time we did something about it”

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One Response to “Prostitution debate called for in the assembly”

  1. Berneice Hentz

    Prostitution debate called for in the assembly | Because I miss my sisters

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