Prostitution - Sex Work Or Paid Rape?
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Prostitution - Sex Work Or Paid Rape?

Should prostitution be considered a job? Or should a woman's body be considered more than just a workplace?

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Prostitution - Sex Work Or Paid Rape?

Did you know that New Zealand has added "sex work" to its list of skills for migrants, adding to the normalization of the use of vulnerable women's bodies? Some see prostitution as a "job like any other." But is it really?

Prostituted women became "employees" which meant they became part of the "labor market." Pimps became "managers" and punters or buyers became clients. You may see working at McDonald's as better but as someone who has a friend in sex-trade, they said, "At least when you work at McDonald's, you are not the meat."

When did the practice of using human bodies as a marketplace become normalized? What if the sex workers are conned? Then, would people see it as rape? Most likely not, and here's why.

Prostitutes will not come forward if they were raped. Sex workers face multiple barriers to justice. Many fear coming forward to the police and are often not treated as sexual assault victims if they do. Sex work may be the exchange of payment for companionship, intimate and sexual services, but the payment does not give consent.

Sex workers don't need rescue or sympathy, they need solidarity in their fight for human rights.

Sex workers clearly fall into the category of vulnerable workers in general and may be particularly vulnerable to abuse. How many of the prostitutes do you see that are kids, teenagers even? Imagine the fear they had to endure to go through that extent to make money. That is human trafficking. That is illegal. That is rape. How many times do you think those individuals had to be raped in order to understand their new job? Think about it. It makes you sick even thinking about it, right? That is how those individuals felt on a daily basis.

Did you know that youth who run away from home, walk away from home, or are thrown out of the home are at increased risk of being sex trafficked? Or that sex trafficking can begin in the home with parents and guardians selling their children for money, drugs, or to pay off a debt, such as rent?

Here are 17 facts you may not have known about sex workers.

1. Sex workers experience high levels of sexual violence.

2. Sexual assault against individuals engaged in sex work, especially criminalized forms of sex work, in the United States is also high.

3. One in five police reports of sexual assault from an urban, U.S. emergency room were filed by sex workers. Sex workers were younger, poorer and suffered a greater number of injuries than other victims.

4. Lots of variation exists in sex worker vulnerability to violence.

5. Stigma increases violence.

6. Sex workers frequently aren't protected by rape shield laws.

7. Sex workers are often ineligible for rape victim compensation funds or receive reduced amounts.

8. Judges, police, and juries often hold a bias against sex workers.

9. Sometimes sex workers are arrested when they report violence, including trafficking to the police.

10. Sex worker rape victims rarely report victimization to the police.

11. Sex Workers are especially vulnerable to police violence, as police officers can threaten victims with arrest or stage an arrest and sexually assault victims.

12. Migrant sex workers, women, especially trans women, of color, drug users, and individuals with criminal records are especially vulnerable due to intersecting bias.

13. Criminalizing just clients increases violence against sex workers.

14. Rates of sexual and physical violence against sex workers are lower in contexts where sex work is not criminalized.

15. Sex work is not a form of sexual violence, but sex workers are especially vulnerable to sexual and intimate partner violence.

16. Sex workers sometimes also face structural violence from healthcare and social service professionals, but there are things agencies can to to help fight violence against sex workers.

17. Sex workers - even the most vulnerable sex workers -are resilient, and in the face of individual and systematic violence, they support each other in staying safe and fighting back against violence.

So, where do you stand? Do you still believe prostitutes get paid for sex or for rape?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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