A Report on Yesterday

I writing what I can of the launch of Demand Change. It was a very good meeting, especially being in a meeting full of people wanting real change about prostitution – not the constant tinkering at the edges.

I arrived early, and looked at the beauty of Westminster. I loved the river views in that part of London, and had many happy times with my Dad there.

The meeting was in a very hot room – or maybe that’s just me with my damned menopause. I was pretty tired after coming down from Manchester.

I write this preamble, because it important to know where I was during in the meeting.

I am still in grief. My years of prostitution are very raw for me. My empathy for women and girls who are still struck in conditions like mine or much worse is so strong.

I cannot be detached about prostitution.

So for the vast majority of the meeting, I was in a great deal of pain – of pain from hearing the truth of my life laid bear.

I had terrible pain inside my cunt during the meeting. It know the rapes, it know the degradation, it wanted to sob, it needed to scream.

I cannot be detached from prostitution.

The meeting was chaired by Fiona Mactaggart, MP. She has been very strong in trying to bring about the Nordic model as law in Britain.

Sasha Rakoff from Object spoke quite movingly of why they choose to go forward with this campaign. Then a speaker from Eaves Housing spoke of their experiences of working with prostituted women, mainly women who had trafficked from other countries.

Victor Malarek spoke of the way johns refuse to know the harms that are doing to prosecuted women and girls -mainly from their pure arrogance that they are always in the right.

I very triggered by his talk, coz though I have written often of the words of johns, it is still very hard for me to hear their excuses, justifications and callous attitudes.

One thing, that made my cunt go into agony, was when he spoke of how some johns choose to go with prosecuted women or girls who are clearly a complete wreck, whether physically or mentally or often both.

This sent me back. I was close to death most of the time I did prosecution. I was not sleeping, I was only eating rarely and only junk food, I was usually drunk, I sometimes had injuries from other johns, I was inside a nervous breakdown with the the space or time to have one.

I was not alive, just breathing. But johns fucked me anyhow.

I cannot be detached about prostitution.

There was a video clip from Rebecca Saffar, who was a survivor of high-class prostitution. She spoke of how the money, especially when it is large amounts makes men believe that own the prosecuted woman. That she should be his sexual slave – so in his eyes there is no rapes, no battery – it just business.

The next speaker was Roger Matthews, a criminologist. He was not very easy to listen to, and I think I was shell-shocked by some of the previous speakers. So I don’t much from his talk.

Gunilla Ekberg, spoke of how the Swedish model was formed. Lynda Waltho MP, spoke of the very slow progress of trying to bring about change in the Commons.

Akima Thomas, from Women and Girls Network, spoke of the terrible long-term physical and mental ill-effects that prostitution has. I found this almost impossible to listen, so I chose to go in and out of what she was saying.

I think it is vital for the reality of the harms, injuries, mental abuse and how life-threatening it is. But, it is inside my body I find it bloody hard to listen to.

I cannot be detached from prostitution.

Elizabeth Carolla spoke of how the sex workers unions were distorting the public debate on prostitution, by portraying the myth of the happy hooker. How most of these “unions” are hand in glove with the sex trade, and their membership is mostly made up of mangers/pimps and johns. Cath Elliot spoke of the struggle to the trade union movement to take seriously the issue of prostitution as a human rights campaign.

Mary Honeyball MEP, spoke of the difficulties of getting feminists in the EU to see prostitution as a human rights issues, especially when so many believe in legalises prostitution and dealing with the harms as they come in quite a haphazard fashion.

Finn Mackay ended with a spirited talk about how to make the drive towards change real.

Then there a few questions, I asked about internal trafficking. I was exhausted by that point.

I spoke with quite few people after, then had to have a smoke, drink and some food.

Eventually I back in Manchester.

I will end with the words of Victor Malarek –

“This is a human rights catastrophe, alarm bells are ringing, and we had better do something to put the brakes on the industry.”

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