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 to Angela Merkel in 2015 – signed by 200 organisations ‑ was not answered. Petitions are not accepted. These examples that show how the problem is being ignored completely, accumulate. Continue reading
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. 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
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
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
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?
Dr. Julia Geynisman is a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Born in Russia and raised in Chicago, Dr. Geynisman founded the Survivor Clinic in July 2013 to serve women who have survived or are surviving gender violence, including sexual violence and female genital mutilation. The Survivor Clinic is held in the evenings on the Upper East Side of New York City and is free of charge to all patients without insurance. Dr. Geynisman answers a few questions about her groundbreaking clinic and her passion for women’s health, rights and equality.*
‘If You Build It, They Will Come’: The Survivor Clinic Tackles Sex Trafficking in New York City
The World Post, Taina Bien-Aimé, CATW, July 14, 2015 Continue reading
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.