DFL strongly opposes the viewpoint expressed by SWEAT, that abolishing prostitution will discriminate against prostitutes. SWEAT fails to understand that denouncing systems of injustice is different from reviling the people within that system. When countries in Western world abolished slavery, that action did not indirectly insult former slaves. When governments pass anti-poverty initiatives, we do not conclude that they are condemning and judging the poor. When apartheid was abolished it did not discriminate against people of colour.
The vast majority of young girls from rural areas are sucked into this vortex of deception that they think they can earn a good living through prostitution, because of poverty. For any government to create an impression of care by decriminalizing prostitution in order the facilitate the State’s providing condoms is hypocritical. Girls of 12-14 years and older end up being sexually exploited by buyers and addicted to drugs of abuse and controlled my ruthless pimps. They are forced to buy their drugs from the same pimp to whom they must give part of the income they obtain through selling their bodies to be degraded and raped umpteen times a day. The older they get, the less money they make and the more addicted they become. Every day they spend addicted they have less of a chance to get further education to compete with their peers for jobs. In the end they are thrown away by society like dirty, useless rags.
DFL recognizes that after such involuntary entry into the sex trade many women adapt to life in the sex trade. However, we identify this process as trauma bonding (e.g. Stockholm syndrome) and strategies aimed at enhancing survival. These adaptations do not negate the individual’s involuntary entry into the sex trade.
When organizations in favour of the decriminalisation of prostitution in the USA tried to motivate for the right to use government funds to help finance their cause (a case which they lost), abolitionists concurred that they “are free to have whatever policies and espouse whatever views they wish—that people are purple, that pigs fly, that prostitution is just a job - just not at taxpayer’s expense”. (1)
The groups opposing the anti-prostitution assurances claimed that “organizations with the most effective anti-AIDS and anti-trafficking strategies build their efforts on a sophisticated understanding of the social and personal dynamics underlying these issues.”
They were told that if a “sophisticated understanding” means winking at human slave markets and consigning trafficking victims to continued torture, degradation, and death from disease and abuse, then we should prefer a “simple understanding” that sees slavery as evil and rescues victims before they are further abused, exploited or killed. (2)
1) Harden White and Lisa Thompson to Mohammad Akhter, September 23, 2005, (unpublished data).
2) Global perspectives on prostitution and sex trafficking Europe, Latin America, North America, and global – edited by Rochelle L. Dalla, Lynda M. Baker, John DeFrain and Celia Williamson
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