Faq & Myths



Prostitution Inevitable?

The ‘oldest oppression’ is often described as inevitable and unstoppable, so the best we can do is ‘manage’ it. But the reason for its very existence – men’s demand – can actually easily be eradicated, essentially over night:


The Cost of the Sex Trade

‘The sex trade is costing us a fortune’ Claire, formerly in prostitution. It costs us a fortune in terms of both the human cost and financial cost to the state. This compares starkly to the cost of shutting it down:

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Abuse prior to entry
50% were homeless

70% spent time in care

70% abused as children

45% sexually abused as children


Abuse in the sex trade

20-40% globally of those selling sex started as adolescents

up to 50% of women in prostitution started when under 18

95% of women in street prostitution are Class A drug users

70% have PTSD on a par with a torture victim

Women in prostitution with children likely to be separated from them 

Mortality rate up to 12 times higher than average

Women in prostitution up to 18 times more likely to be murdered

‘Women in prostitution 10 times more likely to be murdered than a soldier’

90% of women want to escape prostitution across the globe

The Financial Cost of the Sex Trade

Cost to Women in the Industry: Long term negative impact on earnings over a lifetime (p20)

France – Prostitution costs the state €1.3 billion/year 

UK – Prostitution costs the State £2 billion/year (p20)

Leeds – Prostitution ‘zone’ costs £200,000/year (p24)

Leeds – Campaigners estimate the zones costs more than £400,000/year


The Cost of Ending Prostitution

Ending the sex trade – getting women out and eliminating demand, is hugely cost effective. It is infinitely cheaper than enabling prostitution. The above infographic still probably doesn’t cover the full cost of prostitution (the organised crime, county lines, drugs, corruption of democracy etc).

Ipswich -Eradicating Street Prostitution: £7,000 per woman per year

France €2.35 million seized within 4 years from pimps, reallocated to victims

UK – APPG Prostitution 2:1 Return on Investment in exit support & ending demand


The Wider Impact

Prostitution isn’t just about those in prostitution – it affects us all:

Sex buyers more likely to rape women (prostituted or otherwise)

Sex buyers have increased criminal/violence tendencies against women

Acceptance of prostitution correlates to assessment of sexual harassment

How to Deal with Prostitution

The sex trade lobby claim the best way to manage the industry and reduce any harm is to legitimise pimps as business men. Those who have escaped the industry and their advocates state pimps and punters must be criminalised whilst all those selling sex are supported out. Here we look at the two different approaches:


Legitimising Pimps

The sex trade lobby states prostitution ‘is just work’, ‘stigma kills’ and any harm can be made minimal through regulation. It calls not just for those who sell sex to be decriminalised but for pimps and punters too. This either takes the form of ‘full decriminalisation’ or ‘legalisation’. See if you can spot the difference in this report! Either way, the following are the (entirely predictable) consequences:

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Evidence across the globe shows that legitimising the sex trade makes it more harmful, not less, with increases in abuse, trafficking, child rape prostitution & much more:

Legalising prostitution increases trafficking
Study across 150 countries

Legitimising prostitution increases trafficking
EU report

Why legalising increases abuse
Economic theory and the sex trade

Sex Trafficking harder to prevent when prostitution legitimised

Myths of Prostitution (interviews with survivors)



Some states have ‘legalised’, some ‘decriminalised’ prostitution

Overview: How legitimising the sex trade has failed

Book: ‘Making Sex Work’ in Australia

Simone Watson (survivor/campaigner) explains the harms of the Australian system



Prostitution Legalised (pimps/punters decriminalised, state makes money from it).
Previously Decriminalised (pimps/punters decriminalised, state made no money from it) :

Deaths with 1/2 million in state brothels

Yearly murders/Attempted murders

Review of Murders of Women in Prostitution

The truth about Germany’s Mega Brothel

Germany – a key destination for traffickers

Germany – Exploitation and Trafficking

German sex trade – an overview

90% of the prostituted are migrant women


Prostitution legalised

Brothels ‘A failed social experiment’: Mayor of Amsterdam

Holland to criminalise men who buy trafficked women

Trafficking in Holland

Holland moves to end sex trade entirely


Ipswich pre 2006
Penalise the prostituted/legitimise the industry
Both approaches tried. 5 women murdered by serial killer


Prostitution allowed in a ‘managed zone’, in Holbeck

Holbeck: A case study of hell

Rapes, murders, assaults

The reality of the zone

Women selling sex criminalised, not punters 

Leeds shuts the ‘Managed Zone’ after 6 years of failure  [2021]


Prostitution Legalised

A hub for sex trafficking & murder


New Zealand
Prostitution ‘fully decriminalised’ (ie pimps & punters decriminalised, not just those who sell sex, with little state control)


A destination for trafficking & child rape prostitution

A hub for human trafficking

Indigenous women and children the target for traffickers

How Law has increased harm for the prostituted

Analysis of Child sex trafficking in New Zealand

Survivor speaks out against decriminalising pimps

Prime Minister ‘Law hasn’t worked’ [2012]


Prostitution legalised 80 years ago, this includes ‘drive thru’ brothels

The Brutal Reality of 80 years of legalisation

A hub for sex trafficking


Although pimping, brothel keeping and kerb crawling are illegal, this is essentially ignored with brothels, ‘saunas’, ‘massage parlous’ and escort agencies openly operating UK-wide. Lap dancing (an entry point to prostitution) is fully legitimised as is ‘sugaring’, webcamming and other branches of the industry:

UK – a ‘trafficking hub’ for Romanian women

Most women in lap dancing then sell sex (Home Office, 2019 p27)

Exit & Prevent

Alan Caton speaking on the Nordic approach to street prostitution used in Ipswich

[Video: Alan Caton, OBE, explains the success of the Nordic Model in Ipswich]

Many human rights advocates understand prostitution as inherently and overwhelmingly harmful. So they advocate for ending the demand for prostitution (surprisingly easily achieved), criminalising pimps and supporting all who sell sex out (at least 90% of women selling sex would leave immediately if they could). This is the ‘Nordic Model’. When properly implemented, this has been hugely successful:

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The ‘Nordic’ Model
Criminalise pimps/punters support prostituted out

Comparison of different systems

Decriminalising pimps vs criminalising pimps
70 prostituted women murdered in Germany; zero in Sweden

European Commission
Report on tackling trafficking


Research indicates that, when properly implemented, the Nordic Model is a resounding success:


Introduces Nordic Model in 2014 after serial killer targeted native women in the sex trade
Ineffective as Law not properly implemented


Introduces Nordic Model in 2006 following serial murders of women in sex trade
Street Prostitution eradicated


Introduces Nordic Model in 2016
Nearly 400 exit programmes out of prostitution 
Review shows Law effective when implemented properly


Introduces Nordic Model in 2020. Prior to that reported pimps keep most of the earnings


Introduces Nordic Model in 2017
Early evidence shows shift to criminalise buyers not sellers (p 12-13)


Introduces Nordic Model in 1999
Large decrease in trafficking, child rape prostitution, violence

The ‘Johns’

Image via Elly Arrow

Apparently it’s not pimps or punters that kill, drive women to suicide or lead to dissociation & PTSD. No, it’s stigma. Apparently decriminalising pimps and punters ends stigma. But sex buyers in countries that have done this have appalling attitudes towards the women they buy. Legitimising the sex trade does just that – legitimises the sex trade, ie the pimps, the punters, the traffickers & their attitudes, not the women who are bought and sold

Germany’s Punters

Victoria, Australia

Sex Buyers during Covid


Sex Trade Advocates

Shockingly, ‘sex worker unions’, human rights groups, academics, funders and even ‘sex work’ outreach groups, anti-trafficking NGOs and ‘Marxists’ are falling over themselves to support the sex trade:

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‘Sex Worker Unions’ – full of Pimps

Intenational ‘Sex Worker’ Union (NSWP): Led by Pimp and convicted Sex Trafficker

NSWP Mexico: Chairwoman jailed for sex trafficking

‘Sex Worker’ Unions: Full of pimps, not the prostituted

Australia: ‘Erotic Services Provider Union’: Led by a convicted pimp

France: ‘Sex Workers’ group (STRASS): ‘a handful of members’

Germany: Sex Worker Union (BesD): Represents 0.01% of those who sell sex

Holland: ‘Sex Worker’ Group (Red Thread):  Led by academics who minimise harm

Spain: ‘Sex Worker’ Group (Ambit Dona): None of it members had been in prostitution

UK International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW): Run by a pimp


‘Sex Workers’ in other Unions?

Not only are those selling sex not represented by ‘sex worker unions’, they do not join mainstream unions either. That is because joining a union makes it even harder to do the one think they really want – get out

Germany: Trade Union: Membership opened to prostituted – a handful joined

Germany: 1 million in prostitution, 1% registered with Trade Unions

Spain: Existing Trade Union: Membership opened to prostituted – not one joined

Survivor, Hushke Mau: ‘Join a Union & it is impossible to get out of this ‘job”


‘Sex Worker Unions’ – Advocate for Pimps

International [NSWP]: Claims their sex trafficker leader is ‘human rights defender’

Sex Worker’ Unions: Murders ignored in places where pimps decriminalised

Sex Worker’ Unions: Uses domestic violence murder to claim ‘stigma kills’

‘Sex Worker’ groups: No support for wiping criminal records for the prostituted

German: Sex Worker support group (SUBWAY): ‘Goal is not to get people out of prostitution’

India: ‘Sex Worker’ NGO (SANGRAM): Cut off from US funding for enabling pimps

New Zealand: (NZPC): Lies & misinformation given to those who sell sex

Survivor speaks out against ‘Sex Worker Unions’


Other Unions
The ‘Sex Worker Unions’ (run by and for pimps) have been busy advocating other unions to support them (ie pimps) and to themselves then lobby for pimps to be decriminalised. Clever, eh?

UK: Junior Doctors: Policy is to lobby BMA to support decriminalising pimps

UK: Nurses Union: Now advocates for decriminalising pimps

UK: GMB, ASLEF, TUC Union: Tactics used by the pimp lobby to ‘woo’ Trade Unions


‘Human Rights’ Advocates

The 2021 list of NGOs and individuals taken in by the pimp lobby

UN Aids/UN Women: Adopts policies of known pimp and (since jailed) sex trafficker

UN: Calls for decriminalising pimps & punters

WHO: ‘decriminalise pimps & punters to reduce spread of HIV’

#MeToo and #TimesUp: ‘Survivor’s Agenda’ views pimps as business men

Amnesty International: Policies dictated by UK’s largest pimp

Global Fund for Women: pro prostitution*

CARE International: appears to endorse prostitution*

Human Rights Watch: wants to decriminalise pimps*

Open Society Initiative: Staunchly pro-decriminalising pimps*

*from Julie Bindel’s ‘The Pimping of Prostitution’ Chap 7


Political Institutions

EU: European Commission – States can add prostitution ‘revenue’ to GDP

Holland: Government founded & funds ‘Red Thread’, a pro pimp NGO

UK: Governments and others: In Denial

UK: Government: Chair of enquiry into prostitution is a sex buyer

UK: Move to introduce Nordic Model defeated after intense lobby by pimp lobby

UK: Lib Dems Party Policy Pro-pimp/porn/sex trafficking &  Anti-age verification

UK: Scottish Lib Dems: Vote (in 2019) by 2:1 to continue pimp decriminalisation policy

UK: Green Party Policy: Pro porn/prostitution

UK: Caroline Lucas Green Party Leader: Until 2016, against decriminalising pimps

USA: Green Party: Pimps/punters criminalised & prostituted supported out

Germany: Green party: Wants prostitution available ‘on prescription’



Politics – from the Left to the Liberals

The founding philosophies of the Left (Marx) and Liberals (John Stuart Mill) are fundamentally opposed to prostitution, yet today’s Left (socialists, anti capitalists, anarchists, Marxists) and Liberals avidly support ‘the oldest oppression’:

Trafficking rises exponential after collapse in Socialism

Survivors’ open letter to the Left’s love of ‘sex work’

Anti-capitalist but not when it comes to pimps

Prostitution – where anarchists went wrong

Prostitution replacing Welfare?

Pimp lobby – same tactics as Slave Trade



Bank Rollers

George Soros: ‘Bankrolling’ the pimp lobby *

Bill & Melinda Gates:eg $1 million to Indian ‘sex worker union’ *

New Zealand State: Funds pro pimp ‘Prostitute Collective’

56 NGOS have funded £8million to pro prostitution projects. Top funders*:

-Ford Foundation: giving, on average, grants of £100,000

-American Jewish World Service: providing £1/2million per year

-Mama Cash

-Open Society Initiative

*from Julie Bindel’s ‘The Pimping of Prostitution’ Chap 7

Child ‘Sex Workers’

The sex trade lobby has done such a good job that not only does it define children who are raped by men for money as ‘sex workers’, but so do those it has lobbied.

‘Sex Worker’ Unions: Advocate for child ‘sex work’

Unicef:  Uses term ‘child sex worker’

UN Advisor: Advocates for teen prostitution

Europe: ‘Sex Worker’ network (TAMPEP): Calls pimped teenagers ‘sex workers’

German: Sex Worker support group (SUBWAY):  Underage boys are ‘sex workers’ who ‘turn tricks’

New Zealand Prostitute Collective (NZPC): Prostituted children are ‘workers’ ‘selling a service’

New Zealand Govt: Children are ‘sex workers’, minimal penalties for their buyers

New Zealand Govt: Thinks glamourisation of prostitution does not encourage girls to enter it 

UK: Lib Dems: Policy until 2017 was to allow 16 years olds to make porn, still opposes any porn age restrictions


The Sex Trade & Covid

Clearly selling sex puts you at high risk of Covid (and multiple other risks). Where the sex trade has been legitimised, it is those still desperately selling sex who are criminalised for ‘rule breaking’.  Meanwhile, ‘Sex Worker Unions’ have led the call for the industry to re-open, even during the midst of the pandemic, instead of demanding women are helped out of a totally unviable industry:

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‘use bleach and disinfectant’

Canada: Covid outbreak at strip club

Germany: Mega brothel shuts

Germany: Those who sell sex criminalised during lock down

Leeds: Those who sell sex criminalised, not pimps or punters

Switzerland: Sex industry re-opened before contact sport

Ireland: Exploitation as usual

Comprehensive review: The sex trade during Covid

Sex Buyers during Covid


The sex trade lobby misrepresents the industry, stifle those who oppose it (especially survivors) whilst promoting the industry’s agenda. The mass media (and social media) then acts as little more than its mouth piece. Survivors invariably testify that media normalising and glamorisation of the sex trade plays a significant role in the ‘choice’ to enter it:

What Sex as Work means


Germany: Woman sued for not giving punter orgasm

Germany: Green party wants prostitution available ‘on prescription’

Australia/Denmark: Men can access prostitution on the public health system

Towns cannot say no to a brothel in countries that legitimise prostitution

The Myth of Unionisation

Porn/Sex Trade pornogander in schools

Lib Dem suggests ‘sex work’ at school career days

Leicester University ‘promotes’ prostitution to its students

Sex Ads Everywhere

Forms of Prostitution

There might be many different forms of ‘selling sex’ but the entire industry plays by the same rule book & the harm done to those who sell and to the rest of society is the same:

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Indoor Prostitution

No safer than street prostitution

Harm of indoor prostitution



The Reality – by a survivor

The Truth about ‘Only Fans’

Webcam death by asphyxiation

Myths & Harms of online Sex ‘Work’

Online Fans – an experiment in online grooming


‘High Class’ Escorts

It’s often stated that ‘high class’ escorts can make a fortune with little risk. Really? (don’t forget, the men who buy them will be particularly entitled ‘Harvey Weinsteins’)

By a survivor



Home Office Report: Sex is almost always part of the exchange P10 


‘Rooms for Sex’

UK – men take full advantage of the pandemic




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