Category Archives: Harm

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

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

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

 

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

Prostitution is Violence against Women!

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.[1] Continue reading

Trauma as Pre-condition and Consequence of Prostitution.

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?

Continue reading

Letter to UN Women

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“[1] 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[2] 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

The German model is producing hell on earth!

This presentation was made in Vancouver, Canada on September 20, 2016 for “International Approaches to Prostitution: Sweden, Germany, Canada” to an audience of 200 people in the Orpheum Annex. It was one of five different presentations to different audiences in Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa over the span of a week in Canada.

Dr. Kraus’ presentations in Vancouver were sponsored by Aboriginal Women’s Organizing Network; Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution; Formerly Exploited Voices Now Educating; Foy Allison Law; Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity; University Women’s Club of Vancouver; Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter.

Thank you for inviting me here to Vancouver. Thank you to all the organizations that have made this possible, especially Suzanne Jay, who invited me and organized everything. Continue reading