Working Conditions Problems Because prostitution is illegal, women and men who work in third party run prostitution businesses have no legal status as workers. Therefore, they are unlikely to have their income and social security taxes withheld, or to be provided with health, disability, and workers' compensation insurance, sick leave, vacation pay, etc. Also due to the illegality of prostitution, and particularly the laws making pimping and pandering felonies, prostitution businesses, such as massage parlors and escort services, have to pretend that they are not involved in prostitution.
Therefore, help wanted ads do not indicate the actual nature of the work, allowing for the possibility that some women may apply for and be hired to work for parlors and escort services without being fully aware of what the jobs entail. Moreover, many prostitution businesses require their employees to sign statements that they will not engage in prostitution, in order to protect management from pimping and pandering charges, even though prostitution is exactly what they are expected and required to do.
Solutions The [criminal] laws regarding pimping and pandering, related statutes regarding "disorderly houses" and "red light abatement" acts should be repealed and replaced with already existing [civil] labor laws relating to working conditions, collective bargaining agreements dealing with commissions, salaries, benefits, etc.
Pimping and pandering laws should never be used against sex workers who work collectively, pooling their resources for safety and costs of doing business. Such relationships should not be construed as "companies" or regulated as an employer unless a clear employee- employer situation exists. The laws regarding the withholding of state and federal income taxes and social security taxes should be enforced in all third-party managed prostitution businesses, as well as the laws regarding contract as opposed to salaried workers.
In addition, prostitution businesses should be able to provide workers' compensation and disability insurance for all employees, with disability and workers' compensation being granted to individuals who contract sexually transmitted diseases as a result of their employment, as well as those injured on the job. Help wanted ads for jobs in sex-related businesses, including both prostitution and pornography, should be required to state that sexual activity is required or expected.
Disputes between management and employees should be referred to dispute resolution boards or prostitution commissions, as described above. Violence Against Prostitutes Problems In this country, the most serious and pressing problem [street] prostitutes have is violence, including: We do not wish to imply that all customers, police, and pimps commit violence against prostitutes.
However, the incidence appears to be directly related to the legal status of prostitution. The enactment of the prohibition in this country was followed by an immediate increase in the incidence of violence against prostitutes, as well as an increase in prostitutes' dependence on male pimps. A similar pattern was evident in Japan, which prohibited prostitution for the first time in On the other hand, countries that have decriminalized at least some aspects of prostitution have seen an immediate decrease in the amount of violence against prostitutes.
We believe that the prohibition of prostitution enshrines into law the view that prostitutes are bad women, and thus legitimate targets for abuse. In addition, when the primary role of police vis a vis prostitutes is to entrap them into soliciting an act of prostitution and then arrest them, their role as enforcers of the laws against rape and other violence is undermined. As a result, police tend to deal with violence against prostitutes less rigorously than other violence, and prostitutes are reluctant to go to police for help when they are assaulted.
One study of street prostitutes in San Francisco found that 70 percent had been raped by clients, with an average of 31 rapes per prostitutes. In addition, at least one police officer in San Francisco, who has been on the vice squad for more than 10 years, has a street reputation for demanding fellatio before he arrests women for prostitution. Prostitutes in every city know at least one similar officer. Although there are usually avenues provided to file complaints against police who violate the law, prostitutes are loathe to file such complaints because to do so would mean they could never work in that city again.
One prostitute who did file a corruption report against a police officer in San Diego was murdered shortly after the report. In the last ten years, more than women have been murdered on the West Coast by no more than three men.
Most of the victims have been Black. Task forces set up to apprehend serial killers find it difficult to get cooperation from prostitutes and pimps. One reason for the non-cooperation is that police departments generally intensify crackdowns on street prostitutes, set up sting operations to recruit and arrest women willing to work for massage parlors.
This is not a move that encourages prostitutes to freely come forth with information that could help bring these killers to justice. Violence by pimps, while not as common as popularly assumed, does exist, and must be looked at in the context of domestic violence, a serious problem in the United States. Unfortunately, when prostitutes try to get help from the police because of battery and other violence done by pimps, who they often love, the police often press charges instead on pimping and pandering charges.
Because the women are often unwilling to testify on those charges, police often arrest the women on prostitution charges in order to pressure them to testify against their pimps. If it was proposed that wives who are abused by their spouses should be arrested to force them to testify against their husbands, the ludicrousness of such an argument would be exposed for what it is.
Solutions The laws against rape, sexual assault, battery, and murder should be enforced against the perpetrators of those offenses against prostitutes on the same basis as if the victims were nuns, housewives, secretaries, movie stars, etc.
The crime is the violence, not the lifestyle of the victim. Police departments should be very clear in their policies opposing the use of force in the course of arrest. When certain police officers develop a reputation for brutality, regardless of whether the women press charges, the officer should be required to get some sort of counseling.
When certain officers receive a large number of complaints through the Internal Affairs Bureau or other departmental investigation agency, even if the complaints are determined to be "unfounded," the officers should be required to get counseling. A certain number of complaints, regardless of the outcome, should be an indication of a problem, and if the problem does not stop, grounds for removal from the vice squad or the department, depending on the nature of the complaints.
The laws regarding pimping and pandering should be replaced with laws that deal only with the use of fraud, deceit, force, or the threat of force to coerce someone into working as a prostitute or pornography performer, and such abuse should be considered to be a form of sexual assault. Other violence by pimps, lovers, and husbands of prostitutes should be prosecuted as violence, not as "living off the earnings of a prostitute" or "encouraging someone to work as a prostitute.
However, there is widespread concern about street prostitution in residential communities. Prostitution most naturally occurs where clients are likely to be found. Thus, if left alone, street prostitution develops in hotel and entertainment districts and near major transportation depots. Periodically, police threaten hotels that allow prostitutes to rent rooms for work with closure under "red light abatement" acts. Such action is virtually always followed by a shift of prostitution into other districts, often residential communities.
Without access to hotels, prostitutes and clients are then more likely to transact their business in cars, in alleys, and in shop doorways. Community residents become upset by customers who fail to distinguish between prostitutes and non-prostitute residents, including children, and by other evidence of prostitution, such as used condoms thrown on yards and in alleys.
Laws which prohibit tresspassing, littering and harassment of residents are appropriate and should be enforced, regardless of the designation of those who violate such laws- such as gang members, church goers or others.
Solutions Allow [street] prostitutes to transact their business in commercial districts of the city where there are adequate numbers of hotel rooms. Warehouse districts are not appropriate, unless empty warehouses are converted into prostitution hotels. Setting up specific prostitution districts can be a problem because the work is still heavily stigmatized.
Some sort of mixed zone is better. Any creation of zones, however, should be flexible and if a large number of prostitutes work outside of the districts, should be re-evaluated. Police presence in the area should focus on preventing crimes against the prostitutes. In countries where street prostitution is permitted in certain areas, the police work with the prostitutes to maintain safety of the sex workers, their clients and tourists who come to the area out of curiousity.
It is so much easier to control crime in an area where the 'victims' are not also considered criminals. Some studies of specific groups of prostitutes i. Our work with prostitutes, which includes thousands of hours of crisis intervention, problem solving, interviews, and meetings per year with a wide range of women in the sex industry, suggests that the overall rate of sexually transmitted diseases is very low. The reason for the relatively low incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among prostitutes, in spite of the high number of sexual contacts, has to do with the use of prophylactic measures.
Most prostitutes use condoms for at least some of their transactions. Condom use was greatest among street prostitutes, who use them to provide privacy as well as to prevent disease, but is common as well in massage parlors and brothels. It used to be less common with prostitutes who see a small number of regular clients, although that changed as a result of publicity about the AIDS epidemic.
Evidence of condom use is clear in newspaper accounts of community complaints about street prostitution where a major complaint is the number of used condoms found in alleys or parks. Police often confiscate condoms during an arrest, using them as evidence that the woman is a prostitute, often puncturing them before giving them back so that they are useless.
Notwithstanding this evidence of condom usage, doctors and others commonly assume that if a straight man diagnosed with AIDS has had contact with one or more prostitutes during the past five years that a prostitute was the source of the AIDS virus. Solutions Third-party managed prostitution businesses should be required to provide condoms, spermicides, and other prophylactic materials to all employees engaged in sexual work, and to provide training in sexually transmitted disease prevention.
In addition, third-party managed prostitution businesses should provide employees with health insurance that covers examination and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Experienced sex workers who are ready to retire from active work as prostitutes could offer workshops on safe sex techniques- not only for new sex workers but for men and women who are interested in learning from the pros how to have great, safe sex.
Drugs Problems The use of intravenous drugs, such as heroin and amphetamines, is most common among street prostitutes, many of whom were addicted to drugs before they began working as prostitutes. Jennifer James, in Seattle, found that approximately 40 percent of the street prostitutes in her sample used heroin, about 60 percent of them were addicted before entry into prostitution.
Other studies have found higher and lower incidences. The biggest problems related to drug use have to do with 1 the higher incidence of hepatitis and now the AIDS virus among IV users, and 2 the incidence of robbery to obtain money for the drugs which, because of their illegality are very expensive. One aspect of the robberies associated with prostitution is that it is assumed that prostitutes are doing the robberies.
In fact, in many cases, the women who "roll" their clients do not actually engage in prostitution, they only pretend to be prostitutes.
A person who poses as a prostitute is not, in fact, a prostitute. There are many, many sex workers who do not use drugs of any type. Most of these sex workers do not work the streets, but rather work through services or independently.
Drug use for them is no greater than it is for athletes, lawyers, musicians, actors, producers and others who may have access to a higher than average income. It would be irrational to criminalize the professions of these others who may use drugs in order to prevent them from access to income to buy drugs, and yet it is often the justification used by police for arresting prostitutes, even if they aren't known to use drugs.
And even more irrationally, they are arrested for prostitution, not drug use! I have known many police officers who used illicit drugs and yet still managed to successfully complete their jobs on a daily basis - and not get caught. I knew many police officers who were alcoholics, and who came to work drunk- and then went out and arrested others who decided to escape their pain through the use of marijuana or heroin I have never used drugs, never smoked a cigarette and do not drink alcohol or coffee.
My "drug" of choice is Pepsi One- its stimulant being caffeine, of course. My other addiction is Macintosh computers and electronic gadgets. I openly subscribe to "Mac Addict" magazine, because at this time, there is no crime involved for such an addiction Norma Jean] Solutions The health problem could be dealt with by providing free or affordably priced disposable needles to addict on a regular basis, exchanging them on a one for one basis, to prevent the sharing of dirty needles.
The problem of robberies will only be solved when the cost of drugs is reduced, which will only happen if the drug laws are changed and drugs are sold through some kind of legal market, such as clinics.
Women who engage in prostitution to earn money for drugs are the most likely to hate the work, and therefore would be unlikely to either engage in prostitution or pretend to be prostitutes in order to rob customers if drugs were legalized. In the meantime, robbers who masquerade as prostitutes should be prosecuted for theft, on the basis of civilian complaints, not for prostitution on the basis of an undercover officer's entrapping them.
Juvenile Prostitution Problems Every major urban center has at least some juvenile prostitutes. Most juveniles who become involved in prostitution and pornography have a history of child sexual abuse, primarily by family members, and have run away from home to escape the abuse.
A small number may have been kidnapped, but this is probably only a tiny minority. Entry into street prostitution is often- but not always- out of desperation due to the inability to find or pay for food and lodging.
Some juveniles are actively recruited by pimps who hang out at bus stations, for example, looking for isolated young people arriving in a strange city. But some researchers have found that the juveniles have actively sought out pimps to help them get into prostitution.