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Should We Have Legal Prostitution?
Should prostitution be legalised?
Member Name: Karonher
Should prostitution be legalised?
Advantages: Safety for all
Disadvantages: Conditions at present are not acceptable
Having spent quite a few holidays in Amsterdam and Hamburg - OK beer festivals then - I have completely changed my view on prostitution. It is not the case that I would recommend it, as often women who get involved lose control and soon find they are working for a pimp and being led into the circle of working for drugs and taking drugs so as they can work, but if this was legal in Britain there could be ways to prevent this and stop it being the occupation that women get looked down upon for following.
The reality is that it will not go away. There will always be men who are prepared to pay for sex and as a result women who will provide it for money. The two main worries will be for the safety of both parties and also the other people who live in the area where the activity takes place.
At the moment most of the women will work the streets and don't have a static base so will normally get into the car of the client and end up driving somewhere that they hope they won't be seen. Both parties are taking a risk - the man could be driving into a trap and will be beaten and robbed, while the women could at best not be paid and at worst be attacked. There is enough Aids awareness nowadays so contraception should not be an issue yet there are still some women who say they are offered more money if they don't insist on a condom being used.
When this happens in a residential area the locals are brought into the equation. Often they tell how they have to remove used condoms from their gardens each morning and often hear or even see the act taking place. Once an area has a reputation for being a red light area any woman who is out alone risks being stopped and propositioned.
So - how can the women still continue to work and make sure that they are safe?
One area in Holland - Utrecht - has accepted that this is something that will not go away and so has provided a safe zone. Permits are issued and there is a way to make sure that the women are safe. The cars park up in an area by an industrial estate and it is opened from 7pm until the early hours. The cars park in bays and in such a way that the passenger - the women - can get out if there is a problem. A bus is there that provides refreshment, condoms and any help that the women might need. This is something that was considered in Liverpool but it was not possible to find a location that would be suitable so it failed before it really got started. There was support and opposition but there was not enough time to get a Citywide opinion.
Brothels will be another way to keep the women off the streets. This will be safer for them and the client but again there will be problems if residents find out that there is a brothel to open in their street.
By legalising prostitution there are other advantages such as financial issues. At the moment very few working women will be paying tax, or getting access to the correct benefits and pension rights. This could be addressed meaning that tax will be paid throughout the working years, and there is a financial package at the end.
It would also mean that there would be no need to fear what a pimp will do as they would become obsolete. Women and clients could meet in the house without any fear that they are being watched or that a pimp will take some of the money, or the police will be knocking the door down.
Women could pay into a local fund that would allow them to buy any items they needed at a discount rate as they could bulk buy and one of the most important aspects would be that this fund could also provide a doctor and counselling service for anyone who needed it.
Whatever happens this will not be the job for everyone but for some women it is something they would have no problem with doing if it was safer and seen as a service in the same way that many other services are viewed.
It would also save a fortune for the police and courts who would no longer be prosecuting women and clients.
This is not written to offend anyone who would be totally opposed to prostitution under any circumstances but I would be interested in knowing other people's views. It seems strange to be giving stars for this so I have just gone in the middle as there are good and bad points.
Summary: An opinion on the topic and a request for opinions.