Sex Work and Human Rights

Sexual violence and prostitution: The problem is your image of us

“Sexual harassment happens in prostitution as it does in any other job. Solutions are needed that do not criminalise all clients.

We are neither ‘fallen’ nor incapable of expressing or withholding consent, nor are all our clients perpetrators. … Our boundaries deserve the same respect as everyone else’s.

First and foremost, it is social prejudices about prostitution that render it difficult for us to protect ourselves. That is because they lower the threshold to use violence against us – among clients, among the police, among everyone.”

Insightful article by Marleen Laverte that first appeared at German daily die tageszeitung.

Research Project Germany

It's not my occupation that's the problem but your bourgeois morality. Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.

“It’s not my occupation that’s the problem but your bourgeois morality.“
©Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.

By Marleen Laverte1

Sexual harassment happens in prostitution as it does in any other job. Solutions are needed that do not criminalise all clients.

“If somebody grabs at you, take his hand away immediately and make it clear that he mustn’t touch you without paying!” That was one of the first tips I got from a fellow sex worker. Back then, in 2011, when I began doing business at Café Pssst!, a bar with back rooms. I sounded out potential clients while flirting with them – the kind who put their hand on a woman’s ass or breast but eventually would not go to one of the back rooms with them. They had to go to the bank first to withdraw cash, they would say, and then simply did not…

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