I have written a translation of the paper “Farlige Forbindelser” by Pro Sentret.
“59% of the participants in the investigation from 2012 said they had been the exposed to
violence in prostitution after the sex purchase law was introduced.”
If you are under the impression that the Swedish model protects sex workers this report will hopefully disabuse you of that notion.
An important point made in the report is that due to the fact that some clients have been scared off by the new law sex work in Norway is a buyers market.
This result should have been obvious to everyone before the law was passed of course.
The prohibitionists claim that no one would voluntarily choose sex work, that sex workers have no other options.
But if that is true(and for some it probably is) then scaring off the clients will not lead to fewer sex workers, it will lead to sex workers that are more desperate.
Sex workers that will take more risk. That will accept clients they aren’t comfortable with and perform sexual services that they would previously have refused(like sex without a condom).
In a buyers market the terms are set by the clients, not the sex workers.
The clients have more power, not less.
Additionally the clients that are most likely to be scared off by criminalization are the ones that generally follow the law.
In other words not the kind of person that assaults sex workers.
People who think that abusing and exploiting sex workers is an acceptable thing to do generally aren’t too worried about breaking the law.
The result is that the client base in Norway has a higher proportion of violent clients after the sex purchase ban was introduced.
Again this should be obvious to anyone who took some time to think about the issues logically and rationally.
It seems clear that this law is not intended to protect sex workers.
The introduction of this law was fueled by moral outrage(and racism), not about violence against sex workers, but outrage at the fact that sex workers exist.
Operation “Husløs” shows that quite clearly.
In Norway it is illegal to rent out property that is used for sex work.
This means that sex workers who work from home will rarely contact the police because they might get thrown out of their apartments.
This obviously makes sex workers more vulnerable.
It also means that landlords will not rent to people they think might be a sex worker, which makes it difficult for sex workers to find a place to live.
Sometimes this means sex workers have to find a third party to rent on their behalf, this makes sex workers more vulnerable to exploitation because they depend on a third party.
The sex purchase ban has also reinforced the hatred that many people have for sex workers, they are seen as criminals despite the fact that they are not.
In Norway sex workers are seen as a dangerous and disruptive element in society.
The point of this law is not to make sex workers safer, it is to push them as far from public view as possible.
The majority of sex workers were either opposed to the ban or they were indifferent.
74% of the sex workers who participated in the 2007/2008 survey said that they believed their vulnerability to violence would change.
Of these 90% said that they believed they would become more vulnerable if the sex purchase ban was passed.
They were, of course, ignored.
The people at the center of this debate have no say in what policies are passed to “protect” them.
They are not only ignored, but silenced.
The prohibitionists are quick to accuse any sex workers who oppose criminalization as “not representative” or even as “pimps”.
One wonders what makes people who overwhelmingly have no experience whatsoever with sex work qualified to determine which sex workers are representative .
I really wish Norwegian sex workers were more organized and outspoken, although I understand why most aren’t.
Coming out as a sex worker is not only scary but potentially dangerous.
But I believe that organizing and presenting a unified front against the lies spread by prohibitionists like Ruhama and “Turn of the Red Light” is the only way things will get better for sex workers.
I hope their example will inspire more sex workers to do the same.