Why Ireland Needs the Criminalisation of Demand

30 Mar

Prostitution – the purchase of another human being for sex, is not and never has been the purchase of sex, because neither I nor any of the other women stand on the street or in the brothels with our genitalia and our mouths and throats in neatly wrapped packages which you could borrow and return to us in 20mins. No, I had go with them, you had to talk to me first, my mind was present the whole time. You always have to buy the person before you gain access to their body. So you must ask yourself one question, Do you believe that people have the right to buy other human beings?

When I ask anyone this question, of course they say No but when I ask them Do you believe that people have the right to buy other human beings for the purpose of their own sexual gratification?, they sometimes hesitate, I understand where this hesitation comes from, because they think “well if they are offering it”, what’s the problem, two consenting adults, a business transaction!! I say no, this question requires a yes/no answer, you either believe it or you don’t, end of. I stood on that street selling myself but I always knew they had no right to buy me.

There are many reasons why women find themselves in prostitution and all of them have nothing to do with feeling empowered, and even if they did feel delusionally empowered, I don’t care if she is offering herself up in a gold bikini on a silver platter in the pent house suite of the Berkeley Court Hotel, no one actually has the right to buy her, period!!

Rape does become part of the job, so much so that we don’t really use the term rape, we don’t have permission to, we might allude to it but then its ignored and the subject is changed. Many become desensitised to the pain of others, because if you knowledge someone else’s pain, you may just have to acknowledge your own, and we don’t have anywhere to place or deal with that pain, so some bury it, some use substances to forget it, some disconnect from it and unfortunately some accept it as routine.

I often wonder what people would be saying if they were breaking our bones, because to be honest with you I’d rather be writing this with a few healed bones than half the crap I have to live with in my head.  If the offenders were breaking our bones, would the pro-prostitution lobby be fighting for stronger crutches to hold us up while we work? – water resistant plaster casts, support heists in the brothel beds, etc?  Rape is an invisible violent crime, so how do people view the rape of a prostituted woman? – And I’m not looking for an answer; I unfortunately already know.

People ask me how many men, I was bought by 4-5 offenders, 2-3 nights a week, at least 45 weeks of the year for 6yrs and that is an equation I will never do in my head.  I’m a survivor of a vicious gang rape, an attack which my friend did not survive and I have never seen the world the same way since.  I was no “sex worker”, I was a trapped mind who lived in a body that no longer belonged to me, in fact I was a disconnected, drug addicted, walking rape victim, we all were.

Some may say that we will never end prostitution, well that doesn’t mean that we do nothing either, unfortunately in this world there will always be people willing to exploit the vulnerable, to make profit off the bodies of other human beings because nobody, not even the most equal societies in the world have found the cure for the human condition and all its complexities.  You can pull the plug on technology, you can open more safe houses and instil support systems but it is only legislation that curbs human behaviour; that is in fact why the justice system exists in the first place.  And when a man makes a conscious decision to go out and purchase the body of another human being to do with it what he wants, that is unacceptable human behaviour. We should never be bound by history, Ireland should know this more than most, for history is a series of processes through which humanity must be found and on this issue it is so long overdue and I for one, have had enough.

In the last 3yrs alone 29 children have been rescued from sexual slavery in Ireland, where do you think the children are kept? They are raped and abused in the same brothels as the adults, so I ask you, who pay’s the ultimate price under tolerating regimes?  This is not acceptable to me, this should not be acceptable to anyone and on that basis alone prostitution should be outlawed.

Legislation should always reflect the values of a country, at the moment bodily integrity is not valued in Ireland even though the protection of bodily integrity is enshrined in our constitution and gender equality is not possible while women are up for sale, we will never stand shoulder to shoulder with our male counterparts so long as it is still acceptable for us to be on our knees or backs at their mercy.

At the moment our country is also debating marriage and how much we value it and who is entitled to that right, but at the same time we have a system where by it is acceptable for offenders to make a complete mockery of the commitments they made, because although I wasn’t counting wedding rings, I would agree that up to 60-70% of offenders are married or in committed relationships, I have always believed that these women have a right to know, they have a right to know what goes on in the back seat of the car, the very car they might be bringing the children to school in the next morning.  The commitments these women have made must be valued and treated with integrity the opposite of which is hypocrisy and this hypocrisy must end.

The sex industry is both a cruel and disturbing place, run by criminals and all efforts must be made to bring it to its knees and the only way to do that is to cut off what makes it exist in the first place, the offenders, men who believe they have a right to buy other human beings. I want legislation that will fine offenders, jail the real pimps and coercers and send a clear message out to the traffickers to start packing and get the hell off our island because women are no longer  for sale.

Mia De Faoite

33 Responses to “Why Ireland Needs the Criminalisation of Demand”

  1. susie March 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Excellent blog mia, i was moved to tears by your experiences, rape is an unfortunate and inherent part of prostitution, so here we are in the year 2013 still with the old chestnut of blaming the victim, instead of the perpetrator, its a disgrace.As for the pro-prostitution lobby that will probably lauch a myriad of verbal abuse my response is quite simple. If that was your daughter how would you feel?Im all for freedom of choice provided that this so called choice is not influenced by abuse,poverty and trafficking for the satisfaction or profit of another person.

  2. Kylie Devi March 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you Mia for your thought provoking, and emotional post. I appreciated this:

    “There are many reasons why women find themselves in prostitution and all of them have nothing to do with feeling empowered, and even if they did feel delusionally empowered, I don’t care if she is offering herself up in a gold bikini on a silver platter in the pent house suite of the Berkeley Court Hotel, no one actually has the right to buy her, period!!”

    Living in America I have met so many women who claim to feel empowered by their sex work, and I have always wondered about that. You have provided some excellent food for thought and I am grateful for your bravery to speak out.

  3. shellybeachonline March 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Thank you so much for your powerful, articulate words. I speak often to those who have been decimated by abuse and to those in professions who help them. I am also part of a project called Somebody’s Daughter (http://www.somebodysdaughter.org) and continue to point people to your blogs and work toward shared goals. You have my support and prayers.
    Shelly Beach
    shellybeachonline.com
    PTSDPerspectives.org

    • UK Feminist March 30, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Thank you for this, thank you for sharing. You are brave and a survivor. Solidarity, sister xx

  4. Soul Survivor March 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Brava to your wonderful post, and your courage. My heart weeps at what you have endured, and rejoices that you have made it through to this point in your healing. As I have been reading tens if not hundreds of testimonials of our exited sisters, I see some things that put disturbing questions in my head. I wonder if you, and others here, could help me think about this? I know from my own experience, and from reading the experiences of others, that there are many women who enter prostitution in order to pay the bills for their single-parent families, to pay for university, to pay off debts, etc., etc., because selling their bodies is the highest paying “job” (sorry, but that is the way they rationalize it, not how I see it at all) that there is, for them. What are we going to do to help these women to realize, to understand, the harm they are doing to themselves, which they are burying with denial, desensitization, dissociation, drugs (which adds a whole other layer to the need for money)? How can we help them to understand?

  5. shellybeachonline March 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    I’d be honored if you freely shared the title music from the She’s Daughter project with anyone you felt would be blessed by it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLi_yJynSlo

  6. DublinCallGirl March 31, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    Nice one Mia.
    You keep strong and look at all the support you have already. I might not comment online much but I will always be supporting you

    dcg XXX

  7. Mia De Faoite March 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Thanks so much everyone for all your kind and generous words of support, for they only serve to make me stronger and more determined to put an end to what can only be described as the systematic stripping of human dignity, i.e. prostitution.

    Thank you, xxx

    • Tom fitzGerald April 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      Mia! Very moved by your articulation of your truth and what is I believe also a human truth about human dignity and basic human rights. I really wish your you continued strength and courage in what ought to have been a war that was already won by the end of 19th century at the latest!

      In admiration

      Tom

      • miade April 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

        Thank you so much Tom & your right, the truth is when human dignity is in jeopardy, we must take sides!
        Kindest regards,
        Mia

  8. Katherine March 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Reblogged this on Relentless and commented:
    POWERFUL! Must.Read.

    • miade April 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      Thanks Katherine & may i say your own work leaves me somewhat in awe of you!

  9. Crossover Culture April 1, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    Thank you, Mia, for your brave and profound post here. You share some vitally important insights that many, so many, including those in abolition and anti-trafficking efforts, need to hear. I will certainly incorporate these things in my education and training. God greatly bless you with peace and refreshing, and partnered support, and favor. Looks like you already have some awesome quality people standing with you. (Special thank-you to the one who pointed me to this blog.)

    • miade April 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Many thanks Crossover Culture for you support & good wishes. And you are right, survivor insight is crucial in the debate & finally some of us are managing to get our voices heard. And I applaud your great efforts in trying to bring awareness to your students, I have no doubt that we will speak again🙂

  10. Crossover Culture April 1, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    Reblogged this on Crossover at Eagles Point and commented:
    If we don’t advocate and educate with the perspective and experience of those who have suffered through this, we are completely missing the boat. They’re the whole reason we are doing what we do to begin with. Thank you, Mia, for sharing things here we vitally need to hear, most importantly, your experience.

  11. Stephen April 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Great article Mia written with such emotion and passion. I’m so proud of your progress, and achievements since I’ve meet you. You are indeed a survivor, a heroine, a true inspiration, for both women and men. As you said “Some may say that we will never end prostitution, well that doesn’t mean that we do nothing either” change only happens when we make our voices heard, keep up the good work Mia, and keep writing with such integrity and etiquette!! xx

    • miade April 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      Cheers Stephen but rest assured I didn’t achieve them on my own, don’t ever underestimate the significant role you have played, your my kinda man & I adore you for it xx

  12. Geri April 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    What more is there to say

    • miade April 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Nothing Geri, except Turn off the Red Light now!

  13. Hugh McElveen April 3, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Powerful blog Mia on every level. You’re brilliant……..well done.

    Two quotes spring to mind “Cruelty as entertainment is not a clash of cultures, but a dance of barbarism” Susie Linfield and “… a politics of the everyday in which visibility is no longer a trap but a safeguard” Nicholas Mirzoeff.

    • miade April 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      Thks Hugh🙂 That first quote just about sums it up for me!

  14. Melanie April 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Powerful blog Mia! All the best…

    • miade April 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Thanks Melanie, I hoped it would be!

  15. mirykornhauser April 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    ¨All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.¨ This is how add my little grain to the fight, since this OUR fight, all decent human beings. Good luck

    • miade April 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

      Great quote Miry & yes this is a human rights issue & as such should be the concern of all humans.
      With thanks,
      Mia

  16. Michelle April 12, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Mia it was such a privilege to meet you today and hear your story every emotion going was brought to a head listening to your story sadness frustration anger it was a truly amazing experience I really appreciate your bravery in sharing your experience with our group and I’d like to wish you all the best in everything you do and I will be watching out for PEACE xx

    • miade April 14, 2013 at 1:51 am #

      Hi Michelle, thank you so much, it was a privilege to have the opportunity to speak with such as welcoming, compassionate and understanding group of women, believe me I gained a lot from the experience also, with kindest regards to you always x

  17. Precarious Yates April 24, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Reblogged this on precariousyates and commented:
    Every nation needs to criminalize the demand, but I’m surprised Ireland hasn’t done so yet.

    • miade April 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      Absolutely they do, and Ireland is just about to make it’s decision.

      • Precarious Yates April 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

        I wish I still lived there to add my voice to to the vote!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. There are many reasons why women find themselves in prostitution and all of them have nothing to do with feeling empowered. | Writing for God, Fighting Human Trafficking - March 31, 2013

    […] If you want to read the whole blog, please go to https://survivingprostitution.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/why-ireland-needs-the-criminalisation-of-deman… […]

  2. Sex Trafficking and the “P” word | Relentless - April 8, 2013

    […] I re-blogged a post by “Surviving Prostitution”, a powerful perspective on the reality of life for women who sell sex and what we can do about it. […]

  3. Compromising Marriage: 3 Steps to Avoid Infidelity – Glen Gaugh - April 19, 2013

    […] interesting blog post on criminalizing demand for prostitution presents another front in the attack on marriage, the one in which a spouse participates in […]

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