Author Archives: Ingeborg Kraus

Belle de Jour and Catherine Deneuve – The Role of her Life

Article by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus – Karlsruhe, 14th February 2018

Edited by Ulrike Maier – Translation: Firdes Ceylan

The film „Belle de Jour“ is a masterpiece. It is not a sexist film. It is not a film about a woman who wants to live her sexual phantasies, or a film about a woman who wants to break out of a prudish society. No other film was misunderstood as much as “Belle de Jour”. Catherine Deneuve herself who represented this role perfectly, has never understood it. It is the role of her life: a woman who does not recognize sexual abuse.

Why is it that a beautiful woman from a good family lets herself being mistreated, humiliated and sexually abused? There are only two short movie scenes that solve the riddle. For a few seconds during minute 14 of the film you can see a girl, little Séverine, who is being kissed by an adult – his hand grabs under her dress. The second scene: Shortly before Séverine knocks at the door of the brothel for the first time she gets a flashback: she sees little Séverine who refuses the host. She feels guilty for what had been done to her. It is not the adult woman who goes to the brothel, it is the girl feeling guilty. It is striking how the adult self constantly apologizes. She is suffering from recurring nightmares in which she is being humiliated, in which dirt is being thrown at her, in which she is being insulted, whipped, raped. Adult Séverine is often absent in her life, like in a trance, unfocused. She drops things. She cannot develop a real closeness to her husband. Continue reading

Can the vagina be a work tool?

A speech by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus in the Urania at the event „Sexwork” – the shattered myth. Berlin, December 3rd 2017. 

I want to thank the organisers, especially Rachel Moran and Julie Bindel. This book launch would not have been possible without them.

If we are lucky we might have a government before the end of the year. At the moment, we see politicians who talk to each other for 8 weeks and don’t reach any results. We see politicians who withdraw from any discussion. Then we hear that they spent whole nights discussing how to get others to discuss with them. To me it seems as if they don’t talk about the problems in this country but rather about constellations (of coalition partners).

The Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier is right when he says that the political forces of the economically strongest country in Europe must not refuse to take political responsibility. All parties are obligated to the common good. They serve our country and their responsibility goes beyond their own interests.

In the problem field of prostitution, I was able to see this crisis of German democracy that is now visible to the whole world for a long time already. International conventions are being ignored, the letter from New York[1] to Angela Merkel in 2015 – signed by 200 organisations ‑ was not answered. Petitions[2] are not accepted. These examples that show how the problem is being ignored completely, accumulate. Continue reading

Prostitution can not be regulated, it has to be abolished!

Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, Pamplona/Spain, 26.10.2017. 

On the picture: Ingeborg Kraus, Sonia Sanchez and Sheila Jeffreys.

Thank you for inviting me here to this international conference in Pamplona, to all the organizations that have made this possible, and especially Sara Vicente from the “Comision para la investigacion de malos tratos a mujeres”.

15 years ago, nearly at the same time, Sweden and Germany have choosen a complete different way how to deal with prostitution. Sweden decided to punish the sex buyers and Germany exactly the opposite. Time has gone and we can now see without any misunderstandings, which model has been the most protective for the women and the society.

Prostitution has always been legal in Germany, except a short period of time in the early 20th century.[1] Germany instituted a law in 2002 that tried to make out of prostitution a job as any other. The politicians thought, that it wasn´t prostitution itself that was the problem, but the discrimination of the women by the society and the lack of rights they had. Considering the problem from this perspective, they wanted to strengthen the women as best as possible. (They said): Prostitution should not be seen any more as something “against the good morals“, but as a job. For now on, the women were considered as workers, “sex workers.” And if they are workers, they should have the same rights as any other worker that run a business or is employed somewhere, like having a social security or if their rights are not respected, they should have the right to enforce a claim by legal action. The state didn´t want to put any regulations concerning the sex practices. They said that nobody can say how people should have sex. As they run a business, they are also allowed to make publicity for it. So the new law cancelled the restriction of promoting prostitution. Pimping became forbidden.

Fifteen years after passing the law, what are the outcomes? Continue reading

Abolition means Love!

 

This is the introduction of a lecture held in Stockholm, Sweden on October 2, 2017 for “the conference on the sex trade”, organized by TALITA.

Dr. Ingeborg Kraus

Last year I went on a tour with Simon through Canada and we were a really good team: I was the “baddy”, talking about the situation in Germany and he was the “goody”, offering solutions. And then he said: “Well, Ingeborg, you should come to Sweden, too.” I asked him: “What can I do in Sweden? People will chase me.” “No, you know”, he said, “we are so used to the law, that people don´t realize how lucky they are.”

15 years ago, Germany, in contrast to Sweden, chose to legalize prostitution without any regulations and it turned out to produce hell on earth. I won´t talk in detail about it, Manuela Schon will do this afternoon. But just to give you a couple of examples: before I came here, two police inspectors had briefed me. Helmut Sporer said that prostitution has risen up to 30% since 2002. We have made a huge mistake implementing this law and have gone the totally wrong way. Prostitution has nothing to do with sexual liberation, it is just money that counts, Sporer says. The profit of this business is enormous: we are talking about 15 billion Euros of transactions every year.

Continue reading

Conference on the sex trade. Stockholm 02.10.2017

With Gail Dines and Ingeborg Kraus. 

Sweden has chosen to punish the sex buyers 1999, Germany has chosen to legalize prostitution in 2002. What are the results? Which model protects women in prostitution the best? How does it influence the society? Which model helps the best in the fight against trafficking in women? It is time to draw a balance! 

Program:

Continue reading

World Congress on Women’s Health – Dublin 2017

Title: 15 Years after adoption of the legalization of prostitution in Germany, evaluating the impact on and the consequences for women’s mental health.

Presenter: Dr. Ingeborg Kraus

Where: 07.02.2017 in Dublin – http://iawmh2017.org/wp/

Introduction/Objective: Germany instituted a law in 2002 that legalized prostitution without any regulation in an attempt to normalise it as a job like any other. It was put in place because it was argued that it wasn’t prostitution that was traumatizing but the stigmatization of these women by society. Fifteen years after passing the law, my colleagues in the field of Psychology and I have analysed the impact of the law on prostition itself and on womens health. This symposium will present the key observations based on direct clinical work & analysis of patient studies, of the mental health impacts of prostitution on women involved in the German sex industry over the last 15 years. I will outline positive approaches as medical practitioners to support and assist women who suffer mental ill-health as a consequence of this experience, and finally; to reflect on a number of recommended policy changes with the objective of more broadly improving the situation. Continue reading