Negative Consequences of Swedish Prostitution Legislation

Some have lauded the Swedish legislation which criminalizes paying for sexual services as excellent legislation, but SANS, a sex workers’ rights organization in Sweden, says otherwise.  I think that we need to listen to the voices of the actual workers rather than just the government and the sex work prohibitionists.  Those who laud this legislation do so without any regard for what the sex workers say about it or how it endangers workers in prostitution.   Here is a link to the SANS website, which addresses the negative consequences of this legislation:

http://www.sans.nu/engelska/consequences.htm

Also, it has been reported that this legislation drastically decreased prositution in Sweden, but there are sex workers who have disputed this claim, saying that prostitution hasn’t decreased, but rather has gone further underground and become more clandestine.

Gretchen asked me to post this on her behalf.

Gretchen Writes:

Hey Jill,

Can you please post this on boundnotgagged? I know how to comment on posts but know not how to post it. I worked on it especially so i hope it is able to get posted.
Thanks! Gretchen

I’m not here as a supporter of many of the positions of websites like boundnotgagged or because I think all aspects of the sex industry should be legalized. I’m against legalizing measures that allow pimps and johns to consume and trade women. I’m writing on the blog because I agree that Judge Deni’s ruling is a violation of the rights of prostituted women and because we are all concerned with the welfare of women in the sex industry. But I’m mainly here in hopes that the people of PA will vote out Judge Deni. Her ruling that a raped prostituted woman should not be considered a rape victim but instead a victim of “theft of services” because her “services” were stolen when she was not paid after answering an add in the ever dangerous Craigslist and held at gunpoint while she was gang raped by the “client’s” friends makes Deni an unsuitable judge. Please vote her out of service! This is a horrid decision that she made and literally left me up at night in shock and in sadness for the brave victim who had the courage to press charges, despite the social stigma against her. She has been raped twice – once by her attackers and again in the legal system (as Chancellor Jane Leslie Dalton rightly stated).

One statement that was especially of concern was when Judge Deni said to a newspaper that the case “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped”. She claims the woman consented! What does that say about the legal systems attitudes towards prostituted women? This case makes violence against prostituted women more likely because it will make these women less likely to speak up when they are assaulted. It also sends a message that men can get away with raping women in the horrid sex industry, making them more likely to commit such crimes. It also sends a message that somehow the rape of prostituted women is different than other women who are raped. This is disturbing because women in the sex industry are more likely to be raped than any other group of women.

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Critiques of Swedish Prostitution Model

Some anti-prostitution advocates here have suggested that the Swedish system of criminalizing purchasers of sexual services is a beneficial solution and that there has been some sort of ‘proof’ as to the success of this system. Indeed, this ‘proof’ has been seriously contested from a number of quarters.

Did you hear General Betray-Us this week? He had lots of ‘proof’ that the Iraq occupation (they call it a war) is very successful now. This is widely critiqued as US propaganda. On this website you can see that Swedes also challenge their county’s ‘proof’ and propaganda. Of course Farley’s has been widely challenged.

Please visit the site below for the other side of the Swedish Prostitution debate.

http://www.bayswan.org/swed/swed_index.html