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

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