Harlots Parlour

The Sex Industry Blog – For Media Enquiries please call us on 020 7175 0180 or email dearharlot@gmail.com


February 13th, 2011 Press Release
IUSW response to Tory MSP comment – was rape victim a prostitute?
The International Union of Sex Workers
Sunday 13th Feb 2011 Immediate Release

I write as an activist with the International Union of Sex Workers, an organisation of people who work in the sex industry. Like many others, we deplore Bill Aitken’s comments. However, the idea that a woman’s consent to sex counts for less if she has sex for money is a common one – it is shared by those who campaign for criminalisation of sex workers’ clients. The ideology that buying sex is violence by men against women is often presented as the feminist viewpoint on prostitution, and the criminalisation of purchase (the “Swedish” model) presented as the solution. One of the most ardently advocated feminist principles is that “no means no”. Ironically, according to some feminists, for sex workers, “yes” cannot mean “yes”. Until our consent is treated with the same respect as that of any other woman, attitudes like Bill Aitken’s will continue.

The violence sex workers experience is often used by those oppose prostitution itself as an argument for our eradication. But a project in Liverpool shows what can be done if the authorities listen to us when we talk about violence. Working with a specialist Independent Sexual Violence Advisor based at the Armistead project, police prioritise protection rather than prosecution. Using a “hate crime” model, they achieve a 90% conviction rate for crimes of violence against street sex workers, and a 68% conviction rate for rape.
Policies that solve problems are based in reality and on evidence, not ideology.
The International Union of Sex Workers:
For our human, civil and labour rights. For our inclusion and decriminalisation.
For freedom to choose and respect for those choices, including the absolute right to say no.
For the full protection of the law. For everyone in the sex industry.


About Douglas Fox

2 comments on “IUSW Press Release. RESPONSE to Tory MSP Comment-WAS RAPE VICTIM A PROSTITUTE.

  1. elrond
    16 February, 2011

    Bill Aitken may have been misrepresented in the article, and he definitely was not clear of his intentions when talkinf to the press. How many of us can get this right every time?

    He subsequently said that he was asking if she was a prostitute, so that he he could make the appropriate quote. If she was confirmed as a prostitute, then he would have been asking the police to liaise with those in trade and outreach workers.

    Of course this could be a cover your arse statement.

    I am mindful that he is one MSP who will be voting against Trish Godmans bill. Trish Godmans bill would most definitely put sex workers at far greater risk of rape and abuse.

  2. Douglas Fox
    16 February, 2011

    I agree that it is very easy to say something and for it to be misquoted.

    I think the IUSW statement however raises a very important point however which is why I placed it on Harlots.

    I am finding out myself the extend of whorephobia when I am trying to find suitable venues for discussions on sex work involving real sex workers.

    It is good that this MSP has apologised. The Labour party has not apologised or appeared remotely remorseful at the damage it caused while in office not least to sex workers in the Policing and Crime bill 2010.

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This entry was posted on 16 February, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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