The “German Model”, 17 years after the liberalization of prostitution

Speech by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus at the Italian parliament in Rom, 28.05.2018.

Proofreading by Mary Veronica Clancy.

I am honoured today to have the opportunity to share our experiences with a law that legalises and normalises prostitution. Far from protecting the women, “the German model“ has become “hell on earth“ for them. I use this strong comparison on purpose, because the situation in Germany has become extremely serious. I will give you a short overview of the effects of this law.

Before I came to this conference, I spoke to two police inspectors who have long working experience in the milieu: Helmut Sporer and Manfred Paulus. Sporer[1] said that prostitution has risen up to 30% since 2002. We have made a huge mistake implementing this law and have gone in a direction few could have imagined would be so disastrous. Prostitution has nothing to do with sexual liberation, it is just money that counts. The profit of this business is enormous: we are talking about 15 billion Euros of direct transactions every year[2]. It has become an important industrial sector were women´s bodies are objectified and used as a commodity. Continue reading

Against Hate, Nordic Model Now!

Speech by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus at the international abolitionist conference in Buenos Aires, May 17, 2018.

Proofreading by Anya Zeldovich Noble.

Thank you for inviting me here to Buenos Aires[1]. Thank you to all the organizations that have made this possible.

I was asked to talk about something general. So I was asking myself, how many men are taking part in this conference today? One or two? Usually there are just a few who come, and it´s a pity, because it´s a topic that regards them.

There is a new study that came out a couple of weeks ago, conducted by Melissa Farley. A screening for traumatic brain injuries[2] has been made among women in an exit program. The violence is enormous! She found out that 95% had sustained head injuries. They have been hit in their head with hands or fists, or objects, like bottles, bats, sticks, hammers, guns, telephones, canes, belts, rocks, steel tubes, or ash trays. Or their heads had been slammed into objects, like floors, against dashboards, steering wheels, windows of cars, furniture or sinks, against vehicles, buildings, doors or stairs.

Well, it is not the women themselves who hit their heads with an ash tray or their own fists, no, it is men who are doing this. This topic regards men! Continue reading

European Conference – French Parliament – Paris 24.05.2018

It is a great honor for me, to talk on Thursday in the french parliament. CAP and MdN have organized an European Conference on prostitution and human trafficking in France and Europe. Experts come together to evaluate the situation and compare it from the different perspectives in order to end this form of violence and sexual exploitation.

24th of May 2018, 9 am to 1:30 pm – Salle Colbert, National Assembly.

Programme et intervenant.e.s

Prostitution et traite des êtres humains en France et en Europe : état des lieux et perspectives comparées pour mettre fin à ces formes de violence et d’exploitation sexuelles. Continue reading

International Abolitionist Conference – Buenos Aires May 17th, 18th and 19th 2018

International Abolitionist Conference
Towards a true abolitionism
May 17th, 18th and 19th, 2018 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, University of Buenos Aires (UBA)
Centro Cultural General San Martín, rooms C and D, 1551 Sarmiento Street.

Organizing Committee: Trece Rosas; Furia Trava; Red Alto al Tráfico y a la Trata (RATT Argentina); Taller abierto de historia de género, Cát. Historia Argentina III B, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, University of Buenos Aires; Instituto Interdisciplinario de Estudios e Investigaciones de América Latina (INDEAL); Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, University of Buenos Aires; Instituto de Historia de España Claudio Sánchez Albornoz, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, University of Buenos Aires; Centro de Estudios e Investigación en Ciencias Sociales (CEICS).

Schedule of Activities:  Continue reading

Screening for Traumatic Brain Injury in Prostituted Women

Violence is pervasive in prostitution and can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study estimated the prevalence and demographic correlates of TBI among 66 women and transwomen in prostitution. Ninety- five percent had sustained head injuries, either by being hit in the head with objects and/or having their heads slammed into objects. Fifty percent of the women who had been hit with objects had been hit in the head with hands or fists. They also reported being hit in the head with bottles, bats, sticks, hammers, guns, telephones, canes, screwdrivers, belts, rocks, bed slats, steel tubes, and ash trays. Thirty-four percent of the women who had had their heads shoved into objects had been shoved into walls, with others reporting having their heads slammed into floors; against dashboards, steering wheels, or windows of cars; against furniture or sinks; against other people; or against vehicles, buildings, doors, or stairs.

Sixty-one percent had sustained head injuries in prostitution. The women described acute and chronic symptoms resulting from head injury and/or concussions. These included dizziness, depressed mood, headache, sleep difficulty, poor concentration, memory problems, difficulty following directions, low frustration tolerance, fatigue, and appetite and weight changes. Screening for TBI is crucial to the care of prostituted women.

Here you get to the study done by Melissa Farley, Party E. Banks, Rosalie J. Ackerman and Jackeline M. Golding: http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1104&context=dignity

 

Letter to a Trauma Therapist

Transcribed from the speech given by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus at the conference “Prostitution – the Uncensored Truth” in Munich on March 16, 2018.

Translation: Livia Belfiore – Reviewed by Dr. Melissa Farley and Firdes Ceylan – Picture: Hailin Wang, „Deep night“.

On my way to Munich today I read about the Third Reich in an alternative city guide. In it, I learned that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was a great admirer of Naturopathy. Not far from his personal herb garden at Dachau concentration camp, experiments with homeopathic remedies were conducted with prisoners with tuberculosis. Mere meters from there, cruel medical experiments in low-pressure chambers and causing hypothermia were carried out. Next to the crematorium was the concentration camp’s very own brothel, and close to that a rabbit breeding ground, which the SS guards cared for lovingly. After the war, around 80% of former officials were reinstated.

As I was reading, I suddenly became deeply aware of our history of compartmentalizing evil. This does not merely concern the individual level, where the same person who affectionately cares for rabbits will also be able to murder humans in gas chambers, but is also true on a collective level. Our people compartmentalized the devastating evil and, after the war, went on as if nothing had occurred.

The mechanism of collective dissociation is the same when it comes to prostitution. Herein however, it is of the utmost importance to analyze, educate and denounce the system in order to help women exit their precarious situation. Anything less legitimates the mental and physical destruction of the many women trapped in the system of Prostitution. Continue reading

Sign the Petition!

https://www.change.org/p/punish-the-buying-of-sex-abolish-prostitution

Dear Chancellor Angela Merkel, dear Minister Heiko Maas, and dear Minister Manuela Schwesig,

We appeal to you to:

1.   create a legal framework to outlaw the buying of sex in order to stop the use of women as sexual commodities.

2.   renegotiate the laws on prostitution with the aid of experts and survivors who are not profiteers of the ‘prostitution system’.

3.   ensure that exit strategies for those who wish to leave prostitution are mandated by law.

4.   ensure that the German government takes the long overdue step to ratify the United Nations Convention of 1949 which states that “prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and endanger the welfare of the individual, the family and the community.”

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