There is now just over one week until Rhoda Grant MSP’s consultation on the Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex (Scotland) Bill closes. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 14th December.
Rhoda Grant is proposing that the people (almost always men) who buy sex, and therefore create the demand for prostitution, which is a form of exploitation and a significant barrier to gender equality, should be criminalised. At the moment they are not committing an offence, even though they fuel exploitation and abuse of some of the most vulnerable women in our society, and even though the women (almost always – though there are some men who sell sex) can be criminalised for soliciting.
You can download the consultation here: http://www.rhodagrant.org.uk/consultation2012/index.htm
We urgently need people to respond – both as individuals and separately as organisations - supporting the general principles of the Bill to reduce and, ultimately prevent, sexual exploitation by targeting those men who buy sex and create the demand.
TAKE ACTION NOW
You don’t need to answer all of the questions and you can answer however you find easiest, in a letter, email or through this useful form for online responses: http://www.abolitionscotland.org/action/
Postal responses should be posted in time to arrive by December 14th to:
Rhoda Grant MSP,
or you can email Rhoda.Grant.firstname.lastname@example.org
There is more information about how to respond on page 31 of the consultation document that you may wish to read if you want to respond anonymously. You should also indicate whether you are responding as a private individual or an organisation.
Please share this information with your friends, colleagues and family, and through Facebook and Twitter, and encourage them to respond. It is vital that the Bill gets enough support to move the consultation onto the next stage and keep up momentum on the debate on prostitution in Scotland, which is a widely tolerated form of violence and abuse that needs to be treated with the same severity as domestic and sexual abuse.
Prostitution is defined as a form of VAW in the Scottish Government’s Safer Lives Changes Lives document: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/274212/0082013.pdf
Information on prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation can be found here:
You can find out more by watching the short film ‘Money and Power’, made by Zero Tolerance and the Women’s Support Project: