Quelle Surprise – Illegal Prostitution Endangers Prostitutes

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To file with all the other things that are so obvious only an ideologically driven activist (Hello Ms. Bindel!) could misunderstand them. Where sex work, prostitution, is legal, or perhaps decriminalised, or even just tolerated, then the sex workers, prostitutes, are safer than where the police actively go out to arrest and oppress them.

Because, you know, when you can call on the police to protect you in a legal activity then you’re safer than when you can’t?

Sex workers are more likely to suffer poor health, violence and abuse in countries where their trade is criminalised, a major review has found. The review, by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that sex workers suffering repressive policing – including arrest, imprisonment and extortion by officers – were three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence from a client and were twice as likely to have HIV or another sexually transmitted infection as those who lived in countries where sex work was tolerated. Sex workers who fear that they, or their clients, may be picked up by the police are more likely to engage in risky encounters, unable to take the time to talk to a client before getting into a car or negotiate terms in advance, the researchers found. Their health and safety were at risk not only in countries where sex work was criminalised, but also in Canada, which has introduced the “Nordic model” pioneered by Sweden, under which the client can be arrested for a criminal offence, but not the sex worker.

Yes, this includes even that Nordic model whereby selling sex is legal but buying it isn’t. This shouldn’t surprise in the slightest.

Many Moons ago I edited an anthology of bloggers about sex – it never saw the light of day nor did I get paid for it unfortunately – and one piece that sticks in the mind was from an escort. A client was cutting up rough about payment and she called the police on him. As a foreigner, from a place where prostitution was not legal, he was rather surprised when Plod’s finest turned up and reminded him that yes, he’d agreed to pay, he’d had what he agreed to pay for, he therefore needed to pay. There was also that bit with the Secret Service guys in a Latin American country. One of those paid dates took place, the agent declining to pay in the morning. Local police rather reminded him that he had agreed so, where was that money for the lady?

Such protection of consenting adults going about their lawful activities rather being what the police are for, one of the reasons we institute the State in the first place. Only the terminally dim – or ideologically driven activists but then I repeat myself – could fail to grasp this simple point. Something being legal provides protection to those who do it. How could it be otherwise?