I am totally behind the Nordic Approach to dismantling the sex trade, but it is a three-pronged approach which most governments think is just about two of those prongs.
Governments are comfortable with the law enforcement aspects of the Nordic Approach, especially if the fines can be unofficial taxes.
The criminalising of punters and sex trade profiteers is made into laws – though the arrests and punishments are still uncommon.
Even the relatively small fines are rarely fully carried out.
I do not understand why the fine is not a flat 10% of the punter’s earnings.
I do not understand why persistent punters, punters who make the choice to do sadist acts to the prostituted, punters who ignore under-aged or trafficked prostituted folks are not imprisoned.
I do not understand the mostly pathetic prison sentences for all sex trade profiteers as their is just blood money.
But at least with the Nordic Approach we are stating that it is a criminal act to buy and sell the prostituted.
That is a start – the start of the beginning not an end.
The Nordic Approach has laid a line in the sand – saying that the prostituted must be decriminalised and treated as the oppressed who have brainwash and forced into the sex trade.
This alongside re-education to show how and why the prostituted have limited or no access to consent and full choices.
To decriminalise the prostitution is a wonderful start, but this is where the third prong to the Nordic Approach is vital, and is mostly missing.
This is the long-term providing of specialist and holistic exiting programmes for any prostituted person.
This is not fully carried in any country, for governments don’t mind getting fines, but spending money even when it is clear in the long term it will save more than is spent.
Governments will spend on weapons to murder the innocent, will spend on nuclear weapons which may never be used, spend on ways on ripping off the poor to make the rich richer – but on the prostituted, now that is a waste of the taxpayer’s money.
What is needed amongst access to jobs, safe housing, access to education, full childcare for all exited prostituted folks – is a serious specialist counselling that is available long-term.
We leave prostitution with extreme complex trauma, and we deserved to have counselling that is not generalised but where the counsellors are trained into what it is to be prostituted, and how that makes trauma became embedded in us.
Maybe the training can learn from experts in counselling torture survivors, or counselling survivors of wars or other ways into complex trauma.
I want to have this counselling reading and listening to the ways that exited prostituted folks have found some language to paint images for outsiders into the sex trade.
I am sick of so many exited folks having ignorance when they try to access counselling, or doing so much education of their counsellor that in many the roles are reversed.
No wonder that so many of us rely on other exited folks for our healing and spaces for our anger and grief – for in counselling it all just surface and never into the depths of what made our trauma.
This is not good enough – we cannot do this alone without specialist support.
Without a serious help with this trauma, how exited folks ever be truly free from the hate and violence that being prostituted put into us.
We deserve this at the minimum.