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Law on the punishment of clients of prostitution: for and against. Comments

Next week’s Ministerial Committee on legislation will discuss a bill proposed by Knesset members of Saavy galon (MERETZ) and Shuli Mualem («Bayt Yehudi») on the punishment of consumers of the services of prostitutes. This is a new version repeatedly put forward for discussion in the Knesset of a bill, in addition to the fining of clients, rehabilitation and assistance in employment to persons engaged in prostitution.

Editorial NEWSru.co.il talked about the bill with the leadership of the organization «the Headquarters for combating human trafficking and prostitution», took part in the drafting of the bill, and also with the Ministry of health staff, psychologists and workers in the sphere of intimate services.

Note that the prostitutes, the article said in the feminine, as in Israel, according to official data, the number of men engaged in prostitution, accounting for only 5% of the total number of workers in the sphere of sexual services.

«License for violence»

«The headquarters for combating human trafficking and prostitution» was founded in 2003 by a group of lawyers who were engaged in prostitution in Israel. After the early 2000s «import» women from abroad, mostly from countries of the former USSR, began to decline, the vacuum, according to the press-Secretary of the organization Avital Rosenberg, was filled with Israelites.

«We realized that while there is demand, we will not be able to deal with the very phenomenon. So first we were engaged in lobbying for the law criminalizing clients of the so-called «Swedish model» and in recent years realized that one punishment is not enough customers – to help women learn and be able to earn the money some other way,» explains Avital.

According to Rosenberg, which relies on data from «National survey of prostitution in Israel» held in 2016 for the Ministry of social security and the Department of homeland security, the legalization of prostitution, which insist many opponents of the bill penalizing clients will only give «a license for violence» consumers of sexual services.

«The main goal of the clients of prostitutes is not sex, but control and enjoyment of your darkest fantasies. No wonder prostitution is so high early mortality and suicide rate, and no wonder about 80% of women in prostitution want to change the profession,» says Rosenberg.

Avital also claims that most of the arguments made by the opponents of prostitution are the result of lack of awareness.

Rosenberg emphasizes that in countries where there is a model of criminal punishment for clients of prostitutes, contrary to popular belief, not increased organized crime, cases of rape and clandestine businesses. Conversely, in countries such as the Netherlands or Germany where prostitution is legalized, the marked increase in trafficking, as these countries attract pimps who bring over women from Africa and Eastern Europe.

Referring to one of the largest global research in the field of prostitution, «Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder», Rosenberg explains that the vast majority of women who engage in prostitution suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, and regularly subjected to violence.

Note that, although this and other studies of the American psychologist Melissa Farley has been used to determine the policy in relation to prostitution and trafficking by authorities in many countries (USA, Canada, France, New Zealand, Sweden, UK and others), there are sociologists claim that the study of Farley characterized by a lack of transparency and there is a clear feminist ideology.

Avital Rosenberg insists that freedom of choice, the alleged women who enter prostitution is a myth. «What freedom of choice can be a speech if the vast majority of women enter prostitution due to the difficult financial circumstances? Moreover, over 90 per cent of prostitutes, according to Israeli psychologists, have experienced sexual abuse, mostly in childhood from relatives. This means that these women have an injury that should be treated, not made worse. And I suggest that all opponents of prostitution to ask themselves whether they want to be involved their wives and daughters,» says Rosenberg.

The same opinion is shared by the Foot Shiloah – Director of Haifa «mobile clinic» from the Ministry of health for women involved in prostitution. According to Shiloah, most women who come to the clinic, tell what led them to prostitution difficult economic situation, debts, and often, in the case of new repatriants, which, according to Shiloah, make up the majority of Haifa prostitutes, not knowing the language and local realities. Foot explains that many women who have recently arrived in the country, becoming victims of scams and are easy prey for pimps.

«The pimp had me to teach you anything. He taught me all about dad»

Our correspondent spoke with Dr. Anat Gur, a clinical psychologist, former head of the Department of rehabilitation of women prisoners in Israeli prisons and author of several studies on prostitution in Israel, including the book «Behind: women in prostitution».

According to Gora, the vast majority of women in prostitution have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Most of all – incest.

«My book is based on the stories of hundreds of women, almost all of whom speak about their experiences of childhood violence. A – about violence in close, about incest. Of course, not all women survivors of violence become prostitutes. But that’s why the title of my book is the expression of «overboard» prostitutes are those who have no back who had no one to protect, who at age 12 ran away from home and became the prey of a pimp,» says Gur.

Psychologist claims that prostitution can only deal with women capable of dissociation (a psychological defense mechanism in which a person perceives what is happening to him as if it is happening not with him but with someone outsiders). Thus, prostitutes (we are talking women and men alike) help yourself not to feel pain and humiliation. Note that this statement is shared by others, including the West, the authors of studies on prostitution.

According to Gur and other psychologists, this mechanism enabled people with rape.

«The pimps interviewed me and other researchers, often say that the first client is seen can a girl or woman to engage in prostitution or not. If she is unable to «shut off» – that is, to use a mechanism of dissociation, it would be difficult in the role of a prostitute. And this automatic «shut off» also indicates that this occurs with a person for the first time. I often hear in a particular variant of the recognition that «pimp didn’t have anything to teach me, he taught me all about dad»,» says Gur.

About the mechanism of dissociation is said to themselves women working in the field of sexual services, but some of them think it’s just a necessary tool, not related to traumatic experiences.

The Correspondent NEWSru.co.il had a conversation with Galit (not his real name), who works in the field of sexual services for 15 years. She started with a sensual massage, and now in one of the cities of Israel contains multiple massage parlors and «discrete» apartments.

«This money, which is no blessing»

Our interlocutor says that he came to prostitution after was in a difficult economic situation. When she, a single mother, hung other people’s debts and she was literally nothing to feed the children. Having worked for some time in a «massage», she started a business, hired several girls, and then began to expand their business.

According to Galit, the vast majority of women come to prostitution because of dire financial situation, but there are those who do it out of a desire to maintain higher than in other professions, the standard of living.

Our interviewee said that community activists and legislators take too much upon yourself, believing that prostitutes should be saved, or that their choice is not free. According to Galit, prostitution should be legalized, and only then can we fight the prostitution of minors, only if the women who engage in prostitution, will have a chance later to find another job, because today the criminal cases that have the police on prostitutes, do not give them the opportunity to earn in any other way.

«Activists say that prostitutes actually suffer and they need to save. But in fact, we suffer only from the fact that experience a constant, daily fear of the police, not in front of customers. All my girls knew what they were, but they would be much calmer if they did not feel every second of fear of what their house can break into the police», – says the woman.

According to halite, most of her clients are Arabs and native Israelis. «Russian» among customers – a rarity, but not because of principle but because «the Russians invented love in order not to pay for sex.» And the Israelis know that they can receive such services, who will never get home.

«Most of the male half of humanity – people with perversions. What a man cannot ask his wife or girlfriend, is what we call «additional services». Among such services is the «full» oral sex, anal sex, bdsm – light and heavy, urinating on the customer, and so on. But the girls are only doing this voluntarily, I am not forcing anything,» says Galit.

The woman explains that the «base» costs 250 shekels, of which half takes the «Madame» because she needs to pay for rent, security, fuel (if it is a house call), bed linen, accessories and everything else. In this case, if a girl, say, agree on «additional services», the money for them, it leaves itself.

Galit says that girls are «on the flats» take from 5 to 20 clients a day, «machaneh» (brothels) are usually higher.

Girls at Galit earn from 7 to 20 thousand shekels per month. «And those who really need the money and who works hard can earn and 30 thousand».

Become rich, according to the entrepreneur, therefore, is impossible. «This money is a blessing. They can live, even to pay off debts, but it is impossible to save anything and will leave you with what came. And the money came and went. If I had the opportunity to work legally, I am getting much less would have progressed in life much more,» says Galit.

Our interlocutor argues that the problem is not the phenomenon of prostitution, and how it perceives our society: «the Israeli society is very problematic in this regard. Drink coffee and drags to bed. At least Russian vodka poured, and they want to coffee to get rid of».

According to Galit, if the use of the services of prostitutes will be punishable, this is primarily going to lose the people that «life is already sufficiently punished».

«I remember one Russian boy, a disabled IDF who was left without legs and often caused girls for two hours, because I wanted not only to sex but also to talk. Trust me, the love of it, nobody would go. And to us many come to talk. As to the psychologist. But the psychologist you no hug, no Pat, don’t drink with you. And we can talk about sore, and relax. You know how much I personally men returned to the family? I had one client that went bankrupt and wanted to kill herself, so I explained to him that this is the easiest way, but a real man is responsible for his actions and does not leave orphaned children,» says Galit.

The woman continues to describe his clientele, the wife on the ninth month, the second dies from a serious illness, a third crippled, and the fourth is mentally retarded. «Of course, we are not all like that, but there are many, and the girls their very regret. What will happen to them if they accept the law?»

Galit says that neither she nor most of her girls were victims of sexual violence: «of Course I know of, but not all of them became prostitutes».

The hostess «discrete apartments» also asks a question about why members of the LGBT community in Israel feel free, while the «representatives of the most ancient profession» needs to hide: «We live in the Holy land, Holy to three religions. Look what bloomed in our country. Why their society accepts, and we don’t?»

«On the mechanism of dissociation is the truth. In the process you want to disconnect, otherwise we will remember all of their customers, and so impossible. What do the nurses job easier? Blood, stitches, stump, diapers… don’t they have this disconnect? And they, unlike us, get a pittance, and work much harder,» says Galit.

The data of the «National research on prostitution in Israel» 2016

In Israel prostitution is about 12 thousand people, of whom 95% were women. 11% of them minors.

43% of prostitutes were born in Israel. 52% are former resident of the USSR or post-Soviet bloc.

86% of Jewish women. 97% – the citizen of Israel.

62% of prostitutes are children. 81% of them – children under 18 years of age.

25% of prostitutes are taking more than 7 clients per day.

66% of women claim that came to prostitution because of dire financial situation. 7% – drugs.

Over 80% of prostitutes say that they experience bullying (physical or verbal) from customers.

76% of people in prostitution say they would like to do another job.

Foreign models

The first country to adopt a law on criminal responsibility for the use of sexual services was Sweden (it should be noted that the level of prostitution in Sweden before the adoption of the law was lower than in neighbouring countries). After similar laws were passed in Finland, Norway, Iceland, and France.

Critics of this model argue that although due to the adoption of the law has sharply reduced the number of street prostitutes, the number of «underground» brothels and sexual workers as a whole practically has not changed. According to opponents of the «Swedish model» of criminalization of clients of prostitutes has led to the fact that the so-called «street prostitutes» and foreign nationals from underdeveloped States were deprived of the opportunity to earn a living.

In this first in Sweden and then in other countries that have adopted such laws have decreased the practice of using prostitution are citizens of other countries. Conducted in Sweden and Norway the study also confirmed the assertion that the criminalization of prostitution can lead to an increase in the number of rapes.

As for the countries where prostitution was legalized, in particular the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, after the decriminalization of prostitution, the number of employees sexual services increased, and the crime rate has not decreased. In particular, the legalization, according to most studies, has led to the increase of trafficking and the influx into these countries of women from Africa and Eastern Europe.

Proponents of legalization point out that in the Netherlands, where prostitution was legalized in 2000, prostitutes got all the rights enjoyed by workers in other fields, including the ability to organize, to enjoy the protection of law and to social benefits. There is also a view that the security forces in the case of the legalization of prostitution is easier to ensure that pimps are not involved in the prostitution of minors.

However, in recent years Amsterdam authorities have repeatedly made attempts to reduce the number of brothels in the city, particularly buying property in the famous red light district. The former mayor of Amsterdam job Cohen argued that the legalization did not decline as expected, and to the flourishing of organized crime. In 2010 the country introduced new rules, obliging sexual workers to register, and customers – check the registration.

In 2012, the global Commission on HIV and the law the UN called on all countries to decriminalize voluntary sex consenting adults. The Commission came to the conclusion that «the Swedish model» has not improved the situation of workers in the sex business, and has led to opposite results.

In 2014 the European Parliament on the basis of extensive research on prostitution and trade in human beings published recommendations according to which, «the Swedish model» is most effective in combating human trafficking. According to the recommendations of the Commission, EU member countries should criminalize the purchase of sexual services, along with strengthening the sphere of rehabilitation for the men and women involved in prostitution.

The material is prepared by Alla Gavrilova

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Law on the punishment of clients of prostitution: for and against. Comments 14.07.2017

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