What are our goals in terms of prostitution and trafficking and how are our laws consciously achieving them? Do our attitudes and the institutions we create reflect a commitment to prevent violence and protect victims or ambiguity toward sex and punitive shortsightedness?
Sex between a child and an adult is considered violence against the child, because the child is not at the age of consent, and is not deemed able in mind to offer consent. Is the same true of the women or gay men (most often, next to children, involved in prostitution), does the Swedish model treat them like children?
If there is no rape, beating or threats made against either party, when is one party deemed incapable of giving consent? Or if the two adults are deemed capable of giving consent, why is the consent a crime?
If providing sexual services is not inherently violent but potentially dangerous, do we outlaw all dangerous jobs for which there is a demand? Do we deny the police officer, social worker, fireperson, or prison guard the skills and information needed to avoid injury, do we deny them protection or prosecution against offenders, or health services and reparation in the case that they are injured on the job?
Is it a crime to act on sexual desires without an emotionally intimate relationship, like indulging in recreational drugs for which there is no prescription? Are you violent for satisfying sexual desires with a prostitute rather than a woman you meet at a bar and then never want to see again? If these men with physical needs are really suffering from mental problems, where do they find alternatives to the sex industry, which are as effective and perhaps inexpensive? If we do not address this we will not root out the problem or the demand for a solution.
Does criminalization eradicate violent urges or the desire to objectify women, or does it contradict popular culture and force it to occur behind closed doors?
As seen in the US, criminalization creates silence and invisibility through fear and shame, which while increasing the severity and concealment of, and punishment for, violence, it does very little to eradicate the crime. Therefore, what health and education initiatives are being made, what regulations on sexist advertisements, what measures for ensuring equal opportunities in the jobs and education are being taken? Where are these initiatives showing up in the western world let alone globally? How is society prepared to target it’s own perpetual system of oppression, marginalization, poverty, and ignorance–the origins of victimization, human trafficking, and migrant prostitution?
Posted By Anya Gorovets (Italy)
Posted Jun 19th, 2006