Some people say violence increases against those in the sex trade under the Equality Model. Is this true?

11 July 2019

Firstly, there is no credible data to suggest that violence increases with the Nordic model legislation in place. It makes no logical sense. The Nordic Model has little to do with decisions made by perpetrators and buyers to commit acts of violence against women in prostitution. In fact, the balance of power between sex buyers and women shifts under the Nordic model. Women are decriminalised in the prostitution transaction and men are now criminalised, so they are at increased risk of detection by police, if they commit violent acts against women. 

Perpetrators of sexual violence should solely be held to account for their actions. We have to confront the violence in the sex trade, not use the laws around prostitution as a scapegoat to absorb the blame for what is male violence against women, in almost every instance.  

Secondly, violence is inherent to the sex trade. The women we support at Ruhama (reflected in international research also) have experienced enormous levels of violence, rape, sexual assault and harassment in the sex trade, regardless of the country they operated in or the legislation they operated under. This has much to do with the presence of organised crime in prostitution also. Where a sex trade exists, there will be violence against those in prostitution, carried out by violent individuals, organisers and sex buyers. 


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