Carnival

Shadow minister claims 50% of UK prostitutes have been raped opr sexually assaulted and "50% of off-street prostituted women are migrants, usually trafficked"

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In a parliamentary debate yesterday on domestic violence against women and the support that is available in refuges, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, Thangam Debbonaire made the following assertion:

Some 80,000 people in this country, mostly women and girls, are involved in prostitution. Fifty per cent of them have been raped or sexually assaulted, and 95% of women in street prostitution have severe drug problems. Fifty per cent of off-street prostituted women are migrants, usually trafficked. Women in prostitution are 18 times more likely to be murdered than other women. They are also at risk from their partners—who are often, although not always, pimps—their pimps, their traffickers and their clients. They are frequently in and out of a criminal justice system that penalises them, rather than the men who abuse them. They are suffering from mental health difficulties, for which they are unable to get help, and their drug problems often go untreated.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2016-05-11a.288.0

Does anyone know if there is any evidence for or against her assertions?

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3 hours ago, Carnival said:

In a parliamentary debate yesterday on domestic violence against women and the support that is available in refuges, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, Thangam Debbonaire made the following assertion:

Some 80,000 people in this country, mostly women and girls, are involved in prostitution. Fifty per cent of them have been raped or sexually assaulted, and 95% of women in street prostitution have severe drug problems. Fifty per cent of off-street prostituted women are migrants, usually trafficked. Women in prostitution are 18 times more likely to be murdered than other women. They are also at risk from their partners—who are often, although not always, pimps—their pimps, their traffickers and their clients. They are frequently in and out of a criminal justice system that penalises them, rather than the men who abuse them. They are suffering from mental health difficulties, for which they are unable to get help, and their drug problems often go untreated.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2016-05-11a.288.0

Does anyone know if there is any evidence for or against her assertions?

Since when has a politician needed evidence? Particularly evidence to support their more outlandish claims.

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I have a suspicion that she is conflating several pieces of 'research'. Some of those figures look as though they came from the discredited work on a small sample of street women in LA some years ago. Others look as though they are from other countries.

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Pabulum is right; these are old figures, debated and discredited, and they've been kicking around for years. Accurate figures are the one thing the current Home Affairs Inquiry is short of. Earlier this year I did a survey using the Adultwork website and the figures formed a part of my submission to the Inquiry; here are some relevant ones: 

On Jan 24th there were 19,525 people offering themselves as escorts on that day. Of these 13,327 (68.3%) were female, 5,297 (27.1%) were male and 901 (4.6%) were transgender. These figures are for escorts, sex workers willing to meet their clients for appointments off-street; street workers are not included. The total figures are, of course, only for those sex workers who use this site, and do not provide totals for all sex workers in the UK.

A similar search of the Adultwork website showed that 8567 women gave their nationality and of these 47.3% say they are British, only 650 men gave their nationality and of these 87.7% say they are British, and 289 transgender escorts gave their nationality and of these 65.7% say they are British. 

I did not include any couples because the ones I know all have profiles as singles too. These figures, of course, are only as accurate as the information put into AW.  

So Thangam Debonnaire is right when she says 'mostly women and girls'. Did anyone expect otherwise? What is significant, I think, is how large a number and proportion of male and transgender folk there are. And she is right when she says that 50% of off-street (female) sex workers are migrants, but that doesn't make them 'prostituted women' or 'trafficked'. If she took the trouble to talk to some of those who work in her Bristol constituency she would learn otherwise.

Is there a way of posting a spreadsheet on this forum?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Beaugiles said:

Pabulum is right; these are old figures, debated and discredited, and they've been kicking around for years. Accurate figures are the one thing the current Home Affairs Inquiry is short of. Earlier this year I did a survey using the Adultwork website and the figures formed a part of my submission to the Inquiry; here are some relevant ones: 

On Jan 24th there were 19,525 people offering themselves as escorts on that day. Of these 13,327 (68.3%) were female, 5,297 (27.1%) were male and 901 (4.6%) were transgender. These figures are for escorts, sex workers willing to meet their clients for appointments off-street; street workers are not included. The total figures are, of course, only for those sex workers who use this site, and do not provide totals for all sex workers in the UK.

A similar search of the Adultwork website showed that 8567 women gave their nationality and of these 47.3% say they are British, only 650 men gave their nationality and of these 87.7% say they are British, and 289 transgender escorts gave their nationality and of these 65.7% say they are British. 

I did not include any couples because the ones I know all have profiles as singles too. These figures, of course, are only as accurate as the information put into AW.  

So Thangam Debonnaire is right when she says 'mostly women and girls'. Did anyone expect otherwise? What is significant, I think, is how large a number and proportion of male and transgender folk there are. And she is right when she says that 50% of off-street (female) sex workers are migrants, but that doesn't make them 'prostituted women' or 'trafficked'. If she took the trouble to talk to some of those who work in her Bristol constituency she would learn otherwise.

Is there a way of posting a spreadsheet on this forum?

 

In his posting at http://www.punternet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/38900-trend-in-northern-ireland/ Dave451 put a spreadsheet up on Googledocs and then included a link to it. Perhaps you could do the same.

Edited by Carnival

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Labour have to sort themselves out over this. You can't have the leader saying one thing and the shadow minister being diametrically opposed.

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2 hours ago, met012 said:

Labour have to sort themselves out over this. You can't have the leader saying one thing and the shadow minister being diametrically opposed.

That seems to be par for the course for Labour under Comrade Corbyn.

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50 minutes ago, Bob the Builder said:

That seems to be par for the course for Labour under Comrade Corbyn.

And the Tories under David Cameron - on Europe, sex work, gay marriage, compulsory academy schools, Sunday trading, the BBC etc.

It seems that for an increasing number of things that matter in today's world, the traditional party lines seem more and more irrelevant.

 

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16 minutes ago, Carnival said:

And the Tories under David Cameron - on Europe, sex work, gay marriage, compulsory academy schools, Sunday trading, the BBC etc.

It seems that for an increasing number of things that matter in today's world, the traditional party lines seem more and more irrelevant.

 

However they are allowed their follies since they are in power unlike Comrade Corbyn.

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I'd want to know if the attack or rape was whilst on the job, before or after sex work. Many women sex worker or not experience uncomfortable sexual situations at various points in their lives. 

It is also obvious to me that women in sex work can be more vulnerable, and that women and men with addiction issues could end up doing it simply because it's easy entry, no qualifications, work when you can, self-employed and fairly instant cash. Other occupations wouldn't support someone who was often intoxicated or requiring a lot of time off sick. 

For these reasons I'd suggest participants require a safe environment, so they have opportunity to stay as safe as possible. Saying drug and alcohol addictions go "untreated" is totally ignorant. Addictions aren't something you can prescribe a medicine for, it's a lot more complex than that, and often the addict will relapse sometimes several times - and 1/3 of those accepting treatment do not succeed, it kills them. Anyone who thinks it's as easy as applying a 'treatment' is going to be sorely disappointed. 

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I did a search of the government's Statistics Authroity

https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/  who are supposed to safeguard official government statistics. 

It appears they have never looked into the statistics the government (and presumably opposition) are using in this debate so it's hardly surprising that there is so much mis-information being used.

The debate about prostitution and the law is very important, not least for the safety of sex workers, and it is difficult to see how there can be a satisfactory outcome if the enquires are based on flawed 'facts'.

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Beaugiles has done sterling work on AW, others have done this as well (see Nicola Smith and Sarah 1 Kingston (2015) Policy-Relevant Report: Statistics on Sex Work in the UK, 7 October 2015, University of Birmingham and Lancaster University  http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/government-society/polsis/research/statistics-on-sex-work-in-the-uk.pdf) and also see Fogg A 2014  How much does prostitution contribute to the UK economy  http://blog.import.io/post/how-much-does-prostitution-contribute-to-the-uk-economy also https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oZ-u6vww2rA

Fog A 2014 b import.io  Gender differences amongst sex workers online http://blog.import.io/post/gender-differences-amongst-sex-workers-online

The big error of course is assuming that males who advertise on AW are bona fide service providers and not just chancers looking for a free or cheap shag. It is pretty well known that there is a close to zero market for men selling services to women, male prostitutes overwhelmingly sell services to other men.

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On 5/13/2016 at 10:13 AM, Beaugiles said:

Pabulum is right; these are old figures, debated and discredited, and they've been kicking around for years. Accurate figures are the one thing the current Home Affairs Inquiry is short of. Earlier this year I did a survey using the Adultwork website and the figures formed a part of my submission to the Inquiry; here are some relevant ones: 

On Jan 24th there were 19,525 people offering themselves as escorts on that day. Of these 13,327 (68.3%) were female, 5,297 (27.1%) were male and 901 (4.6%) were transgender. These figures are for escorts, sex workers willing to meet their clients for appointments off-street; street workers are not included. The total figures are, of course, only for those sex workers who use this site, and do not provide totals for all sex workers in the UK.

A similar search of the Adultwork website showed that 8567 women gave their nationality and of these 47.3% say they are British, only 650 men gave their nationality and of these 87.7% say they are British, and 289 transgender escorts gave their nationality and of these 65.7% say they are British. 

I did not include any couples because the ones I know all have profiles as singles too. These figures, of course, are only as accurate as the information put into AW.  

So Thangam Debonnaire is right when she says 'mostly women and girls'. Did anyone expect otherwise? What is significant, I think, is how large a number and proportion of male and transgender folk there are. And she is right when she says that 50% of off-street (female) sex workers are migrants, but that doesn't make them 'prostituted women' or 'trafficked'. If she took the trouble to talk to some of those who work in her Bristol constituency she would learn otherwise.

Is there a way of posting a spreadsheet on this forum?

 

 

 

 

cant you just post comma separated data . Then we can copy and paste it into notebok, save as .csv then load into excl.

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On 5/13/2016 at 6:00 PM, Carnival said:

And the Tories under David Cameron - on Europe, sex work, gay marriage, compulsory academy schools, Sunday trading, the BBC etc.

It seems that for an increasing number of things that matter in today's world, the traditional party lines seem more and more irrelevant.

 

maybe cameron and his mob are not. tories

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Posted (edited)

as soon as someone uses the phrase "prostituted women" you know they're fully paid up members of the feminist anti-prostitution brigade. You also know that they'll therefore say anything that can be vaguely supported by some study somewhere, in order to attack prostitution.

Also I see she's peddling the "shift the burden" disingenuous rubbish too. Prostitutes are only arrestable in street prostitution...which is fully illegal for the men too. Women may find themselves arrested for "assisting in the management of a brothel" or similar, when they're working in a collective etc. however that's nothing to do with "penalising women/prostitutes" - and if they want to amend the definition of those offences to exclude collectives then that's entirely separate to penalising men. The women are NOT being prosecuted for being prostitutes, they're being penalised for running a brothel....and the actions that constitute an offence would apply to men, and to entirely third parties who are not working themselves. The fact they're prostitutes is incidental to the offence.

Edited by punter992005

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On 15/05/2016 at 2:58 PM, bobbles said:

Beaugiles has done sterling work on AW, others have done this as well (see Nicola Smith and Sarah 1 Kingston (2015) Policy-Relevant Report: Statistics on Sex Work in the UK, 7 October 2015, University of Birmingham and Lancaster University  http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/government-society/polsis/research/statistics-on-sex-work-in-the-uk.pdf) and also see Fogg A 2014  How much does prostitution contribute to the UK economy  http://blog.import.io/post/how-much-does-prostitution-contribute-to-the-uk-economy also https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oZ-u6vww2rA

Fog A 2014 b import.io  Gender differences amongst sex workers online http://blog.import.io/post/gender-differences-amongst-sex-workers-online

The big error of course is assuming that males who advertise on AW are bona fide service providers and not just chancers looking for a free or cheap shag. It is pretty well known that there is a close to zero market for men selling services to women, male prostitutes overwhelmingly sell services to other men.

Those are very interesting links and I have still to read them carefully. If I had known that other people had quarried the AW database, I might not have bothered, but since I did, and since I have now learned how to post them on GoogleDocs, here they are for anyone who is interested.

Escorts by region: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14SLmM6E1JxpHiflGzzZlGLxlqHndfTyXE-k6h3kqjtU/edit?usp=sharing

Escorts by cost: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BhcyikFztNLlShV3JSXb3wiKrD-Flxzq-16jIfHLiIA/edit?usp=sharing

Escorts by age: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e93EcrfQd9wWkb19mx9IXh0uA4Vl1OllWMLtw3krCTk/edit?usp=sharing

Escorts by nationality: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-illrFCT9Vo3xHYtJI1n6NnvAZKsrGafXTt-Nnj7lfM/edit?usp=sharing

Escorts by gender preference: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-illrFCT9Vo3xHYtJI1n6NnvAZKsrGafXTt-Nnj7lfM/edit?usp=sharing

 

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On ‎12‎/‎05‎/‎2016 at 5:46 PM, Carnival said:

In a parliamentary debate yesterday on domestic violence against women and the support that is available in refuges, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, Thangam Debbonaire made the following assertion:

Some 80,000 people in this country, mostly women and girls, are involved in prostitution. Fifty per cent of them have been raped or sexually assaulted, and 95% of women in street prostitution have severe drug problems. Fifty per cent of off-street prostituted women are migrants, usually trafficked. Women in prostitution are 18 times more likely to be murdered than other women. They are also at risk from their partners—who are often, although not always, pimps—their pimps, their traffickers and their clients. They are frequently in and out of a criminal justice system that penalises them, rather than the men who abuse them. They are suffering from mental health difficulties, for which they are unable to get help, and their drug problems often go untreated.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2016-05-11a.288.0

Does anyone know if there is any evidence for or against her assertions?

Once again we have an MP citing ”evidence” they get from abolitionist websites without taking the trouble to go the  original sources of the information to check them out. The general tactic of abolitionists is to use small scale studies of street prostitutes and then to take the worst case and extrapolate to all prostitutes and present that as fact.

Lets take the 50% figure for rape or sexual assault. The data probably comes from a paper by Stepahnie Church (Church,S., Henderson M, Barnerd M & Hart G 2001 Violence by clients towards female prostitutes in different work settings: questionnaire survey   BMJ 322:524-5) The data showed that while 25% of street prostitutes had been raped the figure for those working indoors(who account for 90% of prostitutes in the UK)  was 2%. So yet again figures from street workers have been generalised to all prostitutes.

To arrive at the 50% figure  abolitionists added the percentages of attempted rape-but you can’t do this as those who have been raped may also have also experienced attempted rape-so to add them can be double counting. Figures from other jurisdictions present lower figures-it will also depend on how long the worker has been in prostitution, data would be better presented as assaults per year in prostitution. This figure ignores the fact that the vast majority of prostitute client encounters pass off without incident. However any rape is inexcusable.

The 50% migrant figure comes from the Eaves study of prostitutes in London. However the assumption that they are “usually trafficked” was blown apart by Nick Mai’s study of migrant women in the sex industry(http://theconversation.com/only-a-minority-of-uk-sex-workers-have-been-trafficked-21550) , less than 6% were coerced or controlled.

Turning to the murdered point. Sometimes we see things like “Women in prostitution are 18 times more likely to be murdered than the general population the source given is  [New Philanthropy Capital (2007). Hard Knock Life. London: New Philanthropy Capital.]. When you follow this up the claimed source the citation says (p85) ”. The murder rate is 18 times higher than that of the general population.(source is given as Peate, I. (2006) Paying the price: health care and prostitution. British Journal of Nursing, 15: p. 246-7 ( In fact that statistic appears nowhere in the cited source) So quite where the “18 times” comes from is unclear.

 

Sometimes we see claims like the mortality rate for women in prostitution in London suffer is 12 times the national average (Home Office, 2004a),. The claim is sometimes “Women in street prostitution are 12 times more likely to be murdered than the rate for all women in same age group in the UK “ then going on to give the source [Salfati, C. G. (2009). Prostitute Homicide: An Overview of the Literature and Comparison to Sexual and Non-Sexual Female Victim Homicide, pp. 51-68. In D. Canter, M. Ioannou, & D. Youngs (Eds.) Safer Sex in the City: The Experience and Management of Street Prostitution. The Psychology, Crime and Law Series. Aldershot: Ashgate.]. Note how mortality has been changed to murdered.  The actual quotation from this book (p53 )reads  “In the UK , ward, Day and Weber(1999) estimated that the mortality rate among 402 women attending a GU service for sex workers in London (1985-1994) was twelve times the normal rate for women in this age group

 

The same claim appears on p12 of  the Womans resources centre briefing the source is given as" Home office study 2004" which turns out to be "Paying the Pricebut that statistic appears nowhere in this document. The same claim appears in the same terms in "The information briefing of AVA 2010 p2 this time citing Home Office Solutions and Strategies, 2004 where on p20 the claim is repeated in the same terms and the reference given as Ward et al (1999) ^Risky business: health and safety in the sex industry over a nine year period^. Sex. Transm. Inf., 75: 340–343 So as you see the authors of the  websites copy each other without actually reading the original source changing mortality to murdered.. The objective for prohibitionists  in making the claim is portray prostitution as extremely dangerous.

 

What is the truth:

The Ward study is a longitudinal study following 402 prostitutes who in the period  1985-91 who presented themselves at an inner London  GUM clinic and followed in the Praed St Project. While it was not possible to establish whether the study was strictly representative of the local sex industry the methods of recruitment were as inclusive as possible so that participants were drawn from all types of workplace in the area (the majority worked indoors 19% on the street). During the period condom usage rose (remember this was the time when AIDS and its mode of transmission were becoming clearer). The paper is essentially about the prevalence of sexually transmitted disease in this cohort of prostitutes-of the four with HIV (the precursor to AIDS) at the commencement of the study three acquired infection though  drug use and one from a non-commercial partner, the one person who acquired HIV during the study reported condom breakage with one commercial partner and had sex  three non commercial partners with unprotected sex-one from a country with a high prevalence of AIDS.So as far as AIDS goes it does not seem that prostitution was a major route of acquisition-which is supported by data showing a low prevalence of HIV amongst prostitutes compared to the general population

 

The authors say (p342) "Four women are known to have died during the course of the study, a mortality of 5.93 per 1000 person years. Compared with estimated mortality for women aged 15 to 44 in Greater London in 1992, this is a relative risk of 12.15....Two were women with HIV infection who developed AIDS. The other two were murdered; one was killed by her boyfriend (who then killed himself), no one has been convicted of the other murder. These women were at no obvious risk of violent death; both worked through referral and avoided public soliciting; neither injected drugs."^

 

So while it is true in crude terms that the mortality is 12 times what one would expect from a similarly aged cohort-this is not the appropriate control population. It seems likely (although we don’t know for sure as the data was not broken down in this way) that those prostitutes who developed AIDS were iv drug users as that route seems the major route for AIDS acquisition in this population. A more  appropriate control population would be non-prostituting iv drug users- the excess mortality rate of prostitutes (if indeed there was one)  would then be much lower.

 

As for the two murders, one was by a boyfriend (doubtless labelled a pimp by prohibitionists) -the other we dont know. The appropriate controls would be to know what the excess mortality was for prostitutes for partner or stranger murder. This is not to deny that there may well be an excess mortality connected with prostitution but it seems that the twelve fold figure is number that requires appropriate qualification.
 

 

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Bobbles in great form this week.

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4 hours ago, bongo said:

Bobbles in great form this week.

+1

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20 hours ago, bobbles said:

Women in prostitution are 18 times more likely to be murdered than other women

At the risk of information overload I located the source of the above quote-it comes from  Potterat J et al Mortality in a Long-term Open Cohort of Prostitute Women  Am. J. Epidemiol. (2004) 159 (8): 778-785. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwh110 which is a study from Colorado Springs, USA where “The overwhelming majority of the women worked as street prostitutes; only 126 worked in massage parlors, and most of these women also worked on the streets” They say “…active prostitutes were almost 18 times more likely to be murdered than women of similar age and race during the study interval.” This however is the USA-what is not pointed out is that the mortality of young blacks is even higher (http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2012/05/25/prostitutes-are-not-42-times-more-likely-to-be-murdered-than-the-typical-american-noh/)

Incidentally the UK study was extended and reanalyzed (Ward H Day S 2006  What happens to women who sell sex? Report of a unique occupational cohort Sex Transm Infect  82:413–417. doi: 10.1136/sti.2006.020982) they say “Sex work is associated with excess mortality and morbidity. The mortality documented in this paper (4.8 per 1000 person years)  is lower than previously found, (5.93 per 1000 person years) but is still higher than expected for women in this age group”. The reduced mortality rate is due to longer follow-up period.

 

Note the distinction between murdered and mortality in the two articles. There is no doubt that prostitution, especially street prostitution can be dangerous-but abolitionists as always generalize from the worst cases and apply the figures to all prostitutes

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