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RE: Sweden's fix: Jail the johns

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  • jennifer drew
    Benjamin Perrin writes that contrary to claims made by the sex industry and its apologists, Sweden s criminalisation of males who attempt and/or do purchase
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2010
      Benjamin Perrin writes that contrary to claims made by the sex industry
      and its apologists, Sweden's criminalisation of males who attempt and/or
      do purchase women or girls for the purpose of inflicting sexual violence
      upon them, is proving to be a very successful deterrant.

      Earlier this year an independent inquiry was completed wherein its brief
      was to evaluate the success or otherwise of the changes initiated within
      the Swedish legal system. Namely criminalising the Johns but
      decriminalising prostituted women and girls. This independent inquiry
      found no evidence whatsoever that prostitution had 'moved indoors'
      contrary to claims made by prostitution apologists. Neither has this
      law negatively affected the women and girls being sold to men. What has
      happened since the criminalising of Johns living in Sweden is organised
      crime has been disrupted; street prostitution has been substantially
      reduced and perhaps most importantly, changed public attitudes
      concerning pseudo male sex right to women and girls.

      But what about the tiny minority of women which the sex industry and its
      apologists use to promote the myth that prostitution is a 'choice' for
      women and girls. Benjamin Perrin's article reveals that the primary
      female applicant in the Ontario, Canadian case, is a woman in her 50's
      who was subjected to multiple physical, psychological and sexual
      violence as a child. When she was 16 an adult male met her for the sole
      purpose of turning her into 'a profitable sexualised commodity' - aka
      selling her to innumerable Johns. The Ontario case is the one which has
      caused widespread outrage and anger by feminists and activists
      determined to end prostitution and pseudo male sex right to women and
      girls. Unfortunately this case resulted in Madam Justice Susan Himel
      of the Ontario Superior Court curbing existing federal prostitution laws
      because she believes the blame for increasing risks experienced by women
      and girls involved in prostitution are the existing laws criminalising
      prostitution.

      One might as well claim men murder women because laws covering women's
      rights discriminate against men's rights and hence they cannot be held
      accountable for their lethal violence against women!

      At one stroke Madam Judge Himel conveniently 'sweeps away' ever
      increasing factual evidence that the sole reason why prostitution exists
      is because men demand and expect women and girls to be made sexually
      available to them 24/7. When half the human population are
      systematically reduced to men's sexual service stations and wherein
      women's humanity and personhood is utterly eradicated because men's
      pseudo sex right to women is supposedly innate and hence cannot be
      changed or challenged. What happens? Why such spurious claims enforce
      Johns' justifications and delusions that they are not 'harming anyone'
      because no human being was involved in their purchases. Furthermore
      reducing women and girls to 'dehumanised disposable objects' makes it
      much easier for the Johns to commit any sadistic act of sexual violence
      with impunity - since these Johns know our male supremacist society will
      uphold their claim 'no humans were involved/or subjected to degradation
      or male violence.'

      Let's hope the Ontario Superior Court's ruling will galvanize the
      Canadian Parliament to consider adopting the Swedish model - namely
      criminalising males who attempt to/and or do purchase women and girls
      for the purpose of subjecting them to multiple male sexual violence.
      The Swedish model was recommended by Canada's Standing Committee in 2007
      but of course male interests, male rights (sic), male pseudo sex needs
      must always supercede women's and girls' right to full human status and
      personhood. This is the real polticial issue not the one claimed by
      male-dominant sex industry wherein prostituted women and girls
      supposedly enact 'free and informed choice!' Such claims demonstrate
      deliberate continuing contempt and refusal to accept that women and
      girls are human - not men's disposable sexual service stations.

      Prostitution has never been and never will be 'just sex work!'

      Jennifer
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/swedens-fix-jail-the-johns/article1735817/
      The Globe and Mail ~ Toronto ~ Thursday, Sep. 30, 2010
      Sweden's fix: Jail the johns
      Rather than punish those who are sold for sex, hold the purchasers of
      sex acts liable
      Benjamin Perrin
      Photo: A prostitute looks for customers in Vancouver's Downtown
      Eastside on Feb. 9, 2009.

      The controversial decision of Madam Justice Susan Himel of the Ontario
      Superior Court to gut federal prostitution laws with the stroke of a
      pen this week is a striking example of judicial activism run amok.
      While the ruling will undoubtedly be appealed, it has ignited a
      national debate on how our laws should deal with prostitution.

      The greatest flaw in Judge Himel�s reasoning is that she places the
      blame for the risks involved in prostitution on criminal offences
      against solicitation, bawdy houses and living off the avails of
      prostitution, rather than on the violent johns and traffickers who are
      the real cause of physical violence, rape and murder in Canada�s sex trade.

      Countries that have legalized prostitution have not succeeded in using
      elaborate regulations to address these problems. In the Netherlands,
      officials shut down vast sections of Amsterdam�s red-light district
      due to infiltration by organized crime. A 2005 report commissioned by
      the European Parliament found that legalized prostitution generally
      results in higher levels of violence against prostituted women. In New
      Zealand, regulation of the sex trade has not improved conditions in
      brothels with a history of problems, and exploitative contracts
      continue to be used. But the status quo in Canada that criminalizes
      those being sold for sex is equally unpalatable to many.

      In 1999, Sweden took a pioneering approach: Rather than punish those
      who are sold for sex, the country holds the purchasers of sex acts
      liable. Without demand, there would be no sex trafficking and
      prostitution. The government also implemented a $32-million national
      action plan that helps those who are being sold for sex to obtain
      assistance to exit their exploitation.

      The Swedish model recognizes that there is an undeniable link between
      human trafficking for sexual exploitation and prostitution.
      Politicians declared it was impossible to have true equality in a
      society that condoned the sexual commodification of economically and
      racially marginalized women and children.

      The evidence is that the Swedish model is working. Between 1999 and
      2003, the number of women being sold for sex in the country dropped by
      40 per cent. Last July, an independent inquiry by an eminent judge
      resoundingly endorsed the Swedish model based on its 10-year track
      record, finding that it had disrupted organized crime, deterred
      sex-act purchasers, changed public attitudes and cut street-level
      prostitution in half.

      And the inquiry found no evidence that the problem simply moved
      indoors, as some skeptics had speculated. It also found nothing to
      suggest that Sweden�s abolitionist model had negatively affected those
      being sold. Sweden�s approach is growing in popularity and has
      recently spread to Norway and Iceland.

      The controversial decision of Madam Justice Susan Himel of the Ontario
      Superior Court to gut federal prostitution laws with the stroke of a
      pen this week is a striking example of judicial activism run amok.
      While the ruling will undoubtedly be appealed, it has ignited a
      national debate on how our laws should deal with prostitution.

      The greatest flaw in Judge Himel�s reasoning is that she places the
      blame for the risks involved in prostitution on criminal offences
      against solicitation, bawdy houses and living off the avails of
      prostitution, rather than on the violent johns and traffickers who are
      the real cause of physical violence, rape and murder in Canada�s sex trade.

      Countries that have legalized prostitution have not succeeded in using
      elaborate regulations to address these problems. In the Netherlands,
      officials shut down vast sections of Amsterdam�s red-light district
      due to infiltration by organized crime. A 2005 report commissioned by
      the European Parliament found that legalized prostitution generally
      results in higher levels of violence against prostituted women. In New
      Zealand, regulation of the sex trade has not improved conditions in
      brothels with a history of problems, and exploitative contracts
      continue to be used. But the status quo in Canada that criminalizes
      those being sold for sex is equally unpalatable to many.

      In 1999, Sweden took a pioneering approach: Rather than punish those
      who are sold for sex, the country holds the purchasers of sex acts
      liable. Without demand, there would be no sex trafficking and
      prostitution. The government also implemented a $32-million national
      action plan that helps those who are being sold for sex to obtain
      assistance to exit their exploitation.

      The Swedish model recognizes that there is an undeniable link between
      human trafficking for sexual exploitation and prostitution.
      Politicians declared it was impossible to have true equality in a
      society that condoned the sexual commodification of economically and
      racially marginalized women and children.

      The evidence is that the Swedish model is working. Between 1999 and
      2003, the number of women being sold for sex in the country dropped by
      40 per cent. Last July, an independent inquiry by an eminent judge
      resoundingly endorsed the Swedish model based on its 10-year track
      record, finding that it had disrupted organized crime, deterred
      sex-act purchasers, changed public attitudes and cut street-level
      prostitution in half.

      And the inquiry found no evidence that the problem simply moved
      indoors, as some skeptics had speculated. It also found nothing to
      suggest that Sweden�s abolitionist model had negatively affected those
      being sold. Sweden�s approach is growing in popularity and has
      recently spread to Norway and Iceland.

      What about women who �choose" to sell their bodies for sex? Consider
      the primary applicant in this week�s case in Ontario. While she is a
      confident woman in her 50s today, her affidavit tells a story of a
      childhood filled with physical, psychological and sexual abuse. At 16,
      while in provincial child protection, she met �an abusive 37-year-old
      drug dealer and drug addict" and began being sold for sex to fund both
      of their drug addictions.

      Research shows that abuse, poverty, substance abuse, homelessness and
      violence are major factors in someone�s ending up in prostitution. One
      study found that 85 per cent to 95 per cent of prostituted women want
      out but see no options to leave. Sweden�s approach is designed to help them.

      If there�s any positive side effect of the Ontario court�s decision,
      it might prompt Parliament to consider adopting the Swedish model, as
      the standing committee on the status of women recommended in 2007.
      Canada should commit to the abolition of sexual exploitation.

      Benjamin Perrin is a law professor at the University of British
      Columbia and author of Invisible Chains: Canada�s Underground World of
      Human Trafficking.
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