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Activists across Scotland to challenge the sex industry

Press Release from Zero Tolerance and the Women's Support Project

Launch of new short film and resource to support local activists

What: Launch of a new short film and resource pack exposing the reality of the prostitution, pornography and adult entertainment industries in Scotland, featuring the voices of women involved in prostitution

When: 10am Wednesday September 29th 2010

Where: Quaker Meeting House 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL

Available: Preview copy of film (embargoed until 00:01 Wednesday September 29th), interviews with Linda Thomson, Women’s Support Project, Michelle Lowe, Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust and the interviewees in the film.

Contact: Linda Thompson, Women’s Support Project 0141 552 2221 Michelle Lowe, Zero Tolerance 0131 624 8957

Organisations from across Scotland will come together in Edinburgh on Wednesday 29th September 2010 to challenge the damaging impacts of the sex industry on their communities.

Scotland’s first short film and resource pack designed to support workers in local areas to raise awareness about the harm caused by prostitution, pornography and ‘adult entertainment’ will be launched at the event.

Two women involved in prostitution in Scotland share their experiences in the seven minute film ‘Money and Power: Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Scotland’ and it also includes interviews with workers at national and local levels1 and statistics on the sex industry.

The sex industry is huge, with the UK pornography industry alone being worth over £1 billion annually2. It has a powerful negative impact on young people with recent studies showing that 90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed pornography online3 and 63% of teenage girls would like to be a glamour model.4

The DVD was developed by The Women’s Support Project and Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust because of a demand from local organisations for tools to help them to take action, raise awareness and run training sessions on prostitution, pornography and ‘adult entertainment’.

The film was made with support from a steering group of local violence against women agencies and produced by the mediaco-op5. It is accompanied by a comprehensive resource pack to support local staff to run training and awareness-raising sessions using the film.

The film and pack challenge myths about commercial sexual exploitation, including the misconception that prostitution is a glamorous, lucrative option for women and that it is ‘easy money’. ‘Stephanie’ (not her real name), one of the women interviewed in the film says:

“A lot of people think it’s easy money but it definitely isn’t because there’s a lot of psychological problems, a lot of violence. I’ve been attacked four times, raped twice, there’s just a lot of danger in it and nobody would go to work for danger”.

Alastair Robertson, Training Coordinator for Forth Valley VAW Partnerships, who is featured in the film calls for other men to get involved in challenging the sex industry:

“It terrifies me to think it could my daughter who in some way could be tricked or duped or encouraged to join an industry which is glamorised on the face of things, but essentially is about abusing women and about objectifying them and about exploiting them and that end up with their death”.

The film resource will be launched at a practical session aimed at frontline workers to look at how the resource can be used at a local level. 1000 copies will be distributed free to violence against women organisations throughout Scotland and screenings in cinemas are being arranged during the 16 Days of Action on Violence Against Women (November 25th- December 10th).


1. Interviewees:
Alastair Robertson, Forth Valley Domestic Abuse Training Coordinator
Andrea Beavon, VAW & Domestic Abuse Coordinator, Scottish Borders Council
Jan McLeod, Senior Development Worker, Women's Support Project

2. Adult Industry Trade Association press releases 2005. The figure may be much higher given the expansion and diversification of the industry in the past 6 years. http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-sta...

3. J. Ropelato Pornography Industry Statistics http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-sta...

4. Nearly 1,000 young women aged between 15 and 19 were polled on their role models and aspirations. This poll was carried out by the Lab TV website in 2005 and found that 63% of the young women found being a glamour model most appealing. A quarter thought being a lap dancer would be a good profession but just 4% picked the teaching profession.

5. Agencies Involved:

Women’s Support Project is a feminist voluntary organisation,
recognised as a Scottish Charity. The Project works to raise
awareness of the extent, causes and effect of male violence against women, and for improved services for those affected by violence. http://www.womenssupportproject.co.uk/

Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust adopts a primary prevention approach to challenging men’s violence against women & children. It coordinates the VAW Prevention Network, the
national violence against women prevention network for Scotland www.vawpreventionscotland.org.uk

mediaco-op is an award-winning team of professionals, with a solid track record in broadcast television, corporate production and community film-making. We specialise in creating quality film for TV, for the voluntary sector and in running media training and facilitating participatory video projects. http://www.mediaco-op.net/

Steering Group:
Andrea Beavon, VAW & Domestic Abuse Coordinator, Scottish Borders Council
Fiona Whitehouse, Aberdeen Cyrenians
Gail Cook, Domestic Abuse Policy Coordinator, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire
Grace McVey, Women's Support Officer, West Dunbartonshire Criminal Justice Partnership
Karen Laing, West Dunbartonshire
Karen Macmillan, Coordinator, Perth & Kinross Violence Against Women Partnership
Kathryn Sharp, Violence Against Women Partnership Coordinator, Dundee
Linda Thompson, Women's Support Project
Luan Grugeon, Drugs Action, Aberdeen
Michelle Lowe, Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust
Sandy Sneddon, Safeguarding Coordinator, Aberlour, Stirling
Sharon Sale, Violence Against Women Coordinator Inverclyde Council
Suzanne McShane and Claire McCulloch, Glasgow Community Safety Services

6. The project was funded by:

The DVD was funded by the agencies involved and other local partner agencies who are keen to use the resource in their local areas:

Dumfries and Galloway Violence Against Women Partnership
North Lanarkshire Violence Against Women Partnership
Perth & Kinross Violence Against Women Partnership
Scottish Borders Violence Against Women Partnership
Women's Support Project (Scottish Government funding for Challenging Demand Project)
Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust (Scottish Government funding for VAW Prevention Network)




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