Category Archives: Scientific Texts

NEVER AGAIN! Surviving Liberalized Prostitution in Germany

This article, co-authored by a six-year survivor of the sex trade industry in Germany (Sandra Norak) and a psychologist and trauma therapist (Ingeborg Kraus), provides perspectives on the difficulty of withstanding the coercion of traffickers and the difficulties of exiting prostitution in a country in which prostitution has been legalized, normalized and made “a job like any other.” This normalization persuades survivors to believe their traffickers that it is a legitimate occupation and encourages them to endure the violence. Liberalization also has prevented the development of needed trauma services to those seeking to exit the sex trade industry.

Here is the link to the article published in Dignity: Never Again!

SHADOW WOMEN

A text written by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, published on “Trauma and Prostitution” in April 2018; in the following translated from German into English  by „Abolition de l´industrie du sexe Canada“. Proofreading by Mary Veronica Clancy.

Shadow women are women whose husbands betray them by using prostituted women. Until now, there has been nearly no consideration paid to this “collateral damage” of prostitution, and there are virtually no reports about it.

The following interview, which I conducted with an affected woman, touched me deeply. One reason is that only then did I become fully aware of the dimension of injury suffered. In reality, an enormous amount of injury is caused if a woman’s partner goes to a prostituted woman. This kind of betrayal has devastating consequences for the whole family, and victims aren’t taken seriously and don’t receive effective help. Contradictorily, there is the danger that even therapists reverse the roles of culprit and victim, and that the betrayed spouse becomes brainwashed by them. In Germany there is virtually no specialist literature about sex addiction, and so there is no possibility of enlightening oneself about the issue nor understanding what is done to you. The other reason is that in my professional capacity as a therapist, I get to know a lot of women who are devaluated by their partners. Perhaps their partners don’t go to prostituted women, but every man has access to porn even if he doesn’t access it directly. Everywhere we are confronted with pornographic representations of women, even without wanting to see it. And in a country where prostitution is legalised, it remains a man’s right to go to prostituted women or to have the privilege of deciding against it. And if we take a closer look at the issue, ultimately, all women are shadow women in a country that legalizes the buy of sex and considers prostitution as sex work.

The following interview was conducted by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus on the 29th March 2018: Continue reading

Ex-punter demands: immediate ban on buying sex!

A text from 28th September 2017 about a man who was addicted to porn and prostitution, published on Trauma & Prostitution; in the following translated from German into English by „Abolition de l´industrie du sexe Canada“. The interview was conducted by Dr. Ingeborg Kraus.

In front of the biggest furniture store in Karlsruhe (remark: a city in the south-west of Germany) two advertisements are standing side by side near a road: one for a brothel and one for marriages. Do you want to buy non-binding sex or start a love attachment and swear mutual loyalty? Apparently, in Germany both things are standing equally side by side and it doesn’t seem to shock anyone anymore. However, prostitution doesn’t only have devastating consequences for the women in it, but also for the betrayed women of punters.

In this interview a former punter speaks about the consequences of his actions for his wife and demands a ban on buying sex. Pornography meant entry into prostitution. When his wife discovered his double life, she said he “had reduced their common life to ashes”. She had broken down completely. “She was harshly and immediately deprived of the base of trust on which she believed her marriage to be safe”, according to the ex-punter’s statement nowadays. “For a long time she suffered heavy posttraumatic stress disorders – like otherwise victims of torture do it – and has developed cardiac arrhythmia which still aren’t over. For a long time, my wife has been unable to work.”

These tragic „collateral damages“ of prostitution haven’t moved into the focus until nowadays. Supposed that of course the number of 1,2 million punters doesn’t reflect exactly the same ones who go to prostitutes each day and supposed that a huge amount of married men or men living in stable relationships are punters, the number of betrayed and, after discovery, psychically injured women is unexaggerated in an area of two-digit millions. We have to conclude that Germany is a country of betrayed women. Continue reading

Never again prostitution!

A text by Sandra Norak and Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, published on 18th September 2018 on Trauma & Prostitution „Nie wieder Prostitution“; in the following translated from German into English by Abolition de l´industrie du sexe du Canada.

We got to know each other in our common participation as experts in the documentation “Brothel Germany – the billion-business with prostitution” which was nominated for “Prix Europa” 2018. Sandra Norak was a victim of lover-boys, a dropout from 6 years in prostitution who is now finishing her studies of law. Dr. Ingeborg Kraus is diploma psychologist and trauma therapist. In this common text we want to unite our experiences and perspectives.

 

Sometimes, for us the way appears very long, sometimes too long so that we think we won’t have enough power and won’t manage to go the way until the end. Exit from prostitution, a milieu which has mostly destroyed body and soul, is a very long and painful way which sometimes appears endless and on which you encounter apparently unbreachable obstacles.

Again and again we hear or read about dropouts who inside of themselves fight with the notion to go into prostitution again or finally really go back into it again, although they consider their experience in prostitution as traumatic and name prostitution a kind of violence. This behaviour isn’t understood by many outsiders.

With our text, we want to clarify about the difficulties of leaving prostitution and simultaneously encourage women in the process of leaving and after. Continue reading

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

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

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