'Bad Date and Aggressor' Sheet. Why we need feminism. VERY TRIGGERING.

(52 Posts)
MrsTerryPratchett Sun 20-Dec-15 02:53:55

I dropped off some toiletries and so on to a local women's shelter today. I had to hang around because they were doing a shift handover. Eyes wandering, bored of waiting I saw the 'Bad Date and Aggressor' Sheet. Designed to keep the sex workers safe from rapists and men who rip them off. I used to have to type these up when I worked in shelters. Until I stopped because I just couldn't. The log books in the shelters have hundreds of these stories.

It is printed about every four days. This one was from the 6th December. There are 8 stories. 2 administered rape drugs (they have no memory but one woke up to a sexual assault), 2 rip-offs, 1 anal rape, 2 attempted sexual assaults, one assault.

This shit is so common. The chances are that none of these men will be reported to the Police (some chance considering the average sex workers experience with them). They will go back to their lives and possibly loving families.

All the NAMALT, whataboutery bullshit. It makes me so angry. When people talk about how prostitution is an empowered choice and men who use women in this way are just lonely and need 'love'. Just so angry.

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Sun 20-Dec-15 02:57:45

I hear you. Wish I was exclusively into women as it has been a long time since I met a man who was actually worth giving the time of day to.

FreshwaterSelkie Sun 20-Dec-15 06:33:21

That's awful. Those poor women. It's impossible not to be angry sometimes isn't it?

I do wonder how people who support the empowerfulising choosy-choiceness of "sex work" square that with their consciences when they read things like this about the awful reality of it.

TheCarpenter Sun 20-Dec-15 08:55:55

Every so often some troll comes on and accuses some women of fearing/hating all men. You see stuff like this and the Schroedinger thing just jumps right out. I don't hate all men, but I probably hate a lot more than I realise. Odds are we all know a few men who behave like this.

Those poor women.

BeyondJinglebells Sun 20-Dec-15 09:44:22

WA had to provide counselling for my sister when she started working there, as she was seeing so few 'resolutions' that it started to affect her state of mind.

My biggest fear is that i wont do enough to prevent the influx of the shitty culture of the rest of the world from turning my boys into men like this.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 20-Dec-15 16:05:30

I do wonder how people who support the empowerfulising choosy-choiceness of "sex work" square that with their consciences when they read things like this about the awful reality of it. I wonder if people really do know this stuff. How frequent, how violent it is. How it's a constant risk for these women. How many men there are doing this to victims who don't report.

Because that's one of the horrifying things. These women have no voice. And these revolting men know that. And the 'spokespeple' are pimps and the privileged, not the underage or addicted women who are the reality.

sad

NowSissyThatWalk Sun 20-Dec-15 20:34:39

This is awful.
I always find it so humourlessly funny that it's the sex workers who get all the discrimination, abuse and judgement and never the men who use them.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 20-Dec-15 22:15:08

It is interesting, isn't it? And the abusive men know that and use that to escape the consequences of their actions.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 21-Dec-15 09:56:54

Why are the words "Bad date" used? These punters aren't dates.

I'm sure it wasn't the intention but it strikes me as fitting with the mindset of those who attempt to normalise prostitution - they aren't punters but "dates" freely chosen.

AvaCrowder Mon 21-Dec-15 10:02:37

That's a good point Sissy the women are called quite loaded or insulting words. The men are called Johns or punters.

BreakingDad77 Mon 21-Dec-15 12:02:28

They should tweet the figures or a graph monthly, just that one sample is approx one event a day, a month, just for that refuge.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 21-Dec-15 12:04:58

I do wonder how people who support the empowerfulising choosy-choiceness of "sex work" square that with their consciences when they read things like this about the awful reality of it.

They don't, square it I mean - because they don't read about things like this. We have had such a number done on us by the marketing of the sex industry as 'normal', from Anne Summers through strip clubs through porn culture that the underside (which isn't even a bloodyfucking underside, it's right there in front of us) is ignored as we all trip over ourselves to support choosy-choice. It makes me so angry.

In terms of feminism, I'm beginning to think even achieving equality on these terms won't be enough. It's capitalism that's one of the major problems here - 'sex sells' and all that. It's all about the money and it has to stop. But I don't think simply removing the patriarchy would be enough any more.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 21-Dec-15 15:57:14

Why are the words "Bad date" used? These punters aren't dates.

The whole exercise is for the women. I hate the language but it is what a lot of the women call these abusive scumbags. I imagine probably it's to do with denial and they have to carry on working so they have to minimise what has happened to them. The leaflet also talks about 'taking a break' from working after one, 'if you can'. So clearly some women are being assaulted and going straight back to work again. sad.

They should tweet the figures or a graph monthly.

Tweeting or otherwise publishing these cases would make it hard on the women I think. They report because they trust the workers, and the information is shared pretty exclusively with women (and male sex workers). If they thought the information was in the public domain, I think they would be less likely to report.

I found the Police to be massively, dreadfully unhelpful and disrespectful when I worked in shelters but they are actually the ones who would benefit from this information. If they cared to stop rapists. Which they appear not to.

Lonny I read an interesting article about the cost of sex over the years. Back when women's sexuality was more rigidly controlled, women earned a lot of money (relatively) for sex work. Now, the sexual revolution and drugs mean that sex work earns very little. Yay capitalism. So drug addicted women have to do much more work for less money, risking their health every time.

BreakingDad77 Tue 22-Dec-15 14:59:32

MrsTP

I was thinking as annonymised as best as it could be e.g like a county level, or maybe add in other centres data as well, not specific cases.

Just enough data for people to see this isn't once in a while type stuff, that its day in day out and try to bust the NAMALT minimizing.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 22-Dec-15 15:39:49

I got that. I just know how paranoid some marginalised people are about "data collection" and "statistics" and how loathe they are to give consent to information being shared. It's balancing the need for people to see the reality of the violence vs these women being a tiny bit safer.

We also had a case a few years back where a serial killer was murdering prostitutes. The people that worked with the sex workers were telling the police that women were disappearing, that there were stories from women who had escaped. No one gave a shit and it took years. He murdered 49 women. Even when information is shared, women still die.

UninventiveUsername Tue 22-Dec-15 16:15:22

49 women. shocksad

PlaysWellWithOthers Tue 22-Dec-15 16:29:54

The most prolific serial killers tend to target prostituted women, because society simply doesn't care about them, the police don't a large number of members of the public don't, they just want them away from their homes so they don't bring down the neighbourhood.

They are disposable women.

Decriminalisation won't change that view.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 22-Dec-15 17:34:29

Decriminalisation won't change any of that.

So far the accusations of nimbyism , why would anyone want to live next door to a brothel ? or as would be the case in Scotland, on the same common stair as a brothel?

Is it really so terrible not to want to come into contact with punters and pimps?

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 22-Dec-15 22:40:45

Is it really so terrible not to want to come into contact with punters and pimps?

I went to school on a road with a lot of prostitution. The men were an issue, treating all the women as you would expect men like that to treat women. So me, at 14, had a lovely time walking to school. Even my mum was propositioned. Wearing her Marks and Spencer's jacket, she used to say, horrified.

The women, on the other hand, were fine. Never really even looked at us. I was lucky enough to have a truly wonderful sex-ed teacher at the time who instilled in a bunch of unruly nightmares the basics. We knew the prostitutes weren't 'at fault'.

I don't think criminalising or decriminalising stops the basic issue, which is that a significant amount of men want to hurt and abuse women. Prostitutes are 'easy' to do this to. What we need is very serious, well enforced, properly sentenced criminal justice pursued. And juries and media that don't assume that women are liars.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 23-Dec-15 03:13:44

I vaguely recall that when the Scottish Government moved its headquarters to Leith advice was given to female staff leaving work after usual office hours on how to deal with approaches from punters.

PlaysWellWithOthers Wed 23-Dec-15 10:46:56

It's a different viewpoint.

I live opposite a converted house which has bedsits used by prostituted women, the next door house has a few dealers in. I've also lived in 2 of the more notorious RLDs in London before. So I speak from quite extensive experience.

The problems came exclusively from the men involved. Punters, pimps, dealers. The only 'problems' the women posed were the occasional overdose or women who had been attacked by the men around them. The absolute worst were the punters, who, because they see prostituted women as available to them for money, extrapolate that as all women being available to them for money and feel that they can hassle any woman with complete impunity.

I suppose it's the difference between thought processes.

One thought process wants the women to move on, because then the men who are the actual problem will go with them and the house prices won't suffer. So the women become more hidden and more easily seen as disposable. There have been suggestions of creating so called safe zones on industrial estates outside towns, which, to me, speaks volumes about how those women are viewed.

The other thought process wants those women to be safe from the men who cause the problems. To destigmatise those women by reframing the stigma where it should be, firmly with the men who believe that women's bodies are a commodity to be bought and sold.

It's not an accusation of nimbyism at all, it's just a difference in priorities.

itllallbefine Wed 23-Dec-15 11:05:39

I used to live near a RLD, some of the problems were also caused by the women leaving used syringes lying around. They used to have a protected zone for prostitutes in a residential area, which eventually had to be removed because of (understandable) complaints from the people who lived there. The thing I could never understand was that buying sex was against the law, and yet the police allowed prostitutes to work in a safe zone, a couple of hundred yards from the police station. When the police launched a crackdown it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 23-Dec-15 11:09:53

My priority isn't house prices. The safety and well being of prostitutes should not trump the safety and well being of women and children who are not prostitutes, or for that matter even other men. Going back to the proposals in Scotland why should anyone have to put up with punters traipsing up and down a tenement stair at all hours of the day or night? It's pretty irrelevant how nice or otherwise the women are- their customers won't be.

Placing the stigma on the punters isn't going to change the attitude of the punters. And anyway isn't there already a stigma on men who use prostitutes?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 23-Dec-15 11:14:33

Presumably also the RLD was already one before you moved in and you knew what you were letting yourself in for?

If Jean Urquhart's bill becomes law brothels could just appear in residential areas with no control. The nonsense about them being limited to 4 women assumes some sort of jolly collective household whereas the reality would be shifts of up to 4 women.

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