Victim or Perpetrator?

Go to google right now. Search for “prostitution arrest” and select “images.” Or even better yet, don’t do that. Take my word for it. That google search will give you page after page of mug shots of women and men who have been arrested on solicitation charges.

If sex workers are victims, as the anti-trafficking movement would tell you, then wouldn’t putting their picture on the Internet be much like posting the pictures of sexual assault survivors? Or naming rape survivors in newspapers?

You can’t have it both ways. And the anti-trafficking movement conflates sex work with slavery.

Either people who trade sex for something they need are perpetrators or they are victims. Which is it? Make up your mind.

And while you’re at it, make sure that the way you treat them is aligned with whether you consider them perpetrators or victims.

If they are victims, then don’t:

  • Put their picture in the newspaper
  • Make them walk a “Perp” walk
  • Make their work less safe
  • Arrest them

If they are perpetrators, then don’t:

  • Call them victims
  • Accuse them of something they’re not doing
  • Ignore rehabilitation efforts

And then, one other thing. Let’s stop using “titillating” images of sex workers and arrests. Every news alert regarding sex work does not need to be a sexy photo.

 

 

 

Too Legit To Quit
December 17: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
It's Not about Trafficking
Ending Demand: Hurt or Help?
About Lia Scholl

CLOSE | X

HIDE | X