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.
Speech held by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus on 25th November 2016 in Strasbourg / France.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women the Préfet of the Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine region, the head of the regional health authority in co-operation with the organizations called centre d´information des droits des femmes et des familles (CIDFF), Mouvement du Nid France and Pénélope 67 have invited to a cross-border symposion related on the subject of “Prostitution and Health: Challenges and Change of Perspective in Europe”.
I would like to thank the organizers for this German-French symposion. This first event after the introduction of the legislation for abolishing the prostitution system in France located next to Germany has a symbolic meaning to us. I think it is indeed necessary to wake Germany up. Germany, which provides guidelines with regard to a lot of European subjects, may – in this case – need tutoring from France and Sweden.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I would like to report about the dramatic consequences for prostitution after its legalization in Germany and I will prove that prostitution is violence against women. Afterwards, I would like to talk about its psychological impact.
The reason why I want to focus on the vioIence is because the political discussions in Germany have never really recognized the aspect of violence. Prostitution is seen as a private play which is none of the state´s business. Continue reading
Dr. Ingeborg Kraus , Edmonton/Canada, 16.09.2016.
Thank you for inviting me here to Edmonton, especially to Kate Quinn from CEASE.
So, as you heard, I come from Germany, a country that traumatized the entire world during the second world war, and here I am today to talk to you about trauma. And concerning the handling of prostitution, Germany is by no means a role model; in fact, it’s hell on earth. And nobody seems to care, especially women. They don’t speak up. They shut up.
So first of all, I was asking myself: was it a mistake to invite me? An error? Weren’t you paying attention when you invited me?
Consultation seeking views on UN Women approach to sex work, the sex trade and prostitution.
Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, Germany/Karlsruhe, 15.10.2016
“Scientists for a World Without Prostitution“ based in Karlsruhe in Germany, is a group of health experts (medical, psychological and in traumatology) who offer women in prostitution therapeutical and medical assistance. This group authored a manifesto declaring that prostitution is humiliating, degrading and in violation of universal human rights, that it is an act of violence and that it perpetuates this violence in the lives of women. In other words, there is no “good prostitution“. Our group also demands a law placing the responsibility on the men by insisting on a legal approach that penalises the sex buyers, because we are tired of being used to “repair women“ while there is a policy that incites men to “break women“. The manifesto was signed by the best known and most influential trauma psychologists and specialists in Germany. We want to inform on the realities of prostitution and its harmful effects on health, inform on the disastrous effects of a law legalising prostitution, draw attention to the presence and the voice of health experts who are in direct contact with the victims of prostitution: share our clinical experience as well as texts and scientific studies on prostitution. Continue reading
Psychologist and trauma expert Dr. Ingeborg Kraus’s lecture at the Madrid Conference: “Prostitution is Incompatible with Equality Between Men and Women”
Organized by La Comisión para la investigación de malos tratos a mujeres (The Commission for the Investigation of the Mistreatment of Women) Madrid, 15 October 2015
In Germany, the idea of abolition isn’t taken into consideration because it is believed that “good prostitution” exists. It is clear that child prostitution isn’t tolerated; likewise, so-called “forced” prostitution is considered to be evil. But prostitution between two adults who supposedly consent mutually, why not? Why forbid this decision between two adults?
In December 2014, Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, a German psychologist, initiated a petition signed by prominent trauma experts calling on the German government to repeal the 2002 law that decriminalized prostitution. In an interview with CATW’s Executive Director, Taina Bien-Aimé, Dr. Kraus discusses her reasons for starting the petition and the reality of prostitution for women in Germany. She also recently launched a Change.org petition urging Chancellor Angela Merkel to create a legal framework that will outlaw the buying of sex and support survivors. Please join them in their efforts by signing this petition.
The World Post: Germany Wins the Title of ‘Bordello of Europe’: Why Doesn’t Angela Merkel Care?
Interview by: Taina Bien-Aimé, CATW
In 2002, Germany decriminalized prostitution, reportedly due to pressure by the sex trade lobby and a few brothel managers who petitioned the government to develop safety standards and reduce the stigma and violence found in the sex trade. This law effectively rendered the prostitution industry a legitimate business. Today, this experiment is failing. Violence, abuse and trauma have increased for prostituted women in Germany. Some 400,000 women are now in prostitution, the vast majority poor women from abroad, with a linked exponential spike in sex trafficking. Alarmed by this state of affairs, prominent German trauma experts and psychologists signed a petition in December 2014, calling on their government to repeal its decriminalization law as a preventive measure against sexual violence and trauma. Below is an interview with Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, who initiated the petition.
At international level Melissa Farley a.o. have published the most relevant results with data from nine different countries (2004). According the study two-thirds of the examined 854 women in prostitution showed symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), which were comparable with them of healthcare-seeking veterans, women who fled to shelters, rape survivors and refugees who were exposed to state-sanctioned torture. The intensity of trauma-related symptoms depended on the intensity of the activity in prostitution. Women with multiple suitors reported harder physical symptoms. The longer the women were active in prostitution, the more likely they were infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
Click here for the study “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” by Dr. Melissa Farley.
Dr. med. Wolfgang Wöller
The tendency of victims of physical or sexual childhood abuse to become revictimized in later life has well been documented empirically. Moreover, there is a high stability of violent and abusive relationships. The aim of this paper was to summarize perspectives from psychodynamic theory, attachment theory, and posttraumatic stress research to explain revictimization phenomena. The term repetition compulsion has little explanatory valuewithout additional theoretical assumptions.
After 3 years in prostitution, I almost jumped out a window – from the third floor. That was how prostitution made me feel, – that I had nothing to live for. I had been sexually violated so many times, that there was almost nothing left of me – neither inside, or outside. I was nothing. I was worth nothing. I felt completely useless. I was a machine for other people’s amusement, their sexual desires and their perverse exploitation.
I spent 9 years in therapy, to get where I am today. And even though I persist in telling about the violence experienced in prostitution I still live with the traumas and the re-traumatizing. But we, as survivors have to. We have to keep on telling about the violence, so no one will ever forget or be manipulated into thinking, that prostitution is even close to something you can define as sexwork.
by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus
Prostitution is often portrayed as a completely normal thing, something that has always existed. This usually involves very little thought of the women in prostitution. If it does, the argument of ‘choice’ is very quickly brought up. Who wants to take on the role of a person who sanctions or judges?