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Take action now! – your chance to shape government policy on ‘Sexual Entertainment Venues’

There are just under three weeks until the Scottish Government’s consultation on ‘Regulation of Sexual Entertainment Venues’ closes. The deadline for submitting comments is 5pm on Tuesday 24th September 2013.

The Scottish Government wants to create a new licensing regime for venues that offer ‘sexual entertainment’ (i.e. strip clubs/lap-dancing clubs). This includes a suggestion that communities should be consulted about these venues and that local authorities should be able to set a limit of zero venues in their area. You can read the consultation here:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/06/3607/0

We need people to respond and help shape the Government’s approach. The sex industry is bound to respond so we need to make sure they hear a wide range of views. You can respond both as individuals and on behalf of your organisations. Zero Tolerance’s response is here and we are happy for our supporters to copy and adapt bits of our response if they are useful.

We would encourage you, in your response, to:

- Support enhanced regulation of sexual entertainment, which at the moment is not regulated in any meaningful way.
- Challenge the normalisation of sexual exploitation – we see a new regulatory regime as necessary and better than no change BUT ultimately we want the government to work to end sexual exploitation.  We don’t consider lap-dancing and stripping as ‘adult entertainment’ but as sexual exploitation and we believe that most people don’t want this sector to grow and be seen as a ‘normal’ part of the leisure industry.
- Let the Scottish Government know how you feel about lap-dancing and strip clubs

  • Do they make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable? Do you avoid walking past them at night or during the day?
  • Do you try to avoid your children seeing them?
  • Do you think they are sexist and harmful to equality?
  • Have you been excluded from a work night out as the ‘boys’ were going to a strip club?
  • Have you passed on a stag night or a night out as you didn’t want to be ‘one of the guys’ getting a lap-dance?
  • Have you been to one of these venues; were you concerned by what you saw?
  • Are the people you work with affected by the increasing presence of the sex industry in our towns and cities?
  • If you live in a town where there are no strip clubs now, would you want a strip club in your local high street?

Personal stories are very effective in influencing government decisions – tell the Government how lap-dancing and strip clubs make you feel, and how they affect the women and men you work with.

TAKE ACTION NOW

  • If you have an hour, send a more detailed response to the questions in the consultation (you can use the Zero Tolerance response to shape your answers); and contact your MSP to let them know your views and ask if they will support new regulation and work to challenge sexual exploitation. 
  • If you have half a day, send in a response and also visit your MSP to let them know your views – writing, emailing or phoning are all useful but visiting your MSP in person, at their surgery, has the most impact on them. 

You don’t need to answer all of the questions in the consultation paper and you can answer however you find easiest, in a letter or email – even just a paragraph counts. You need to respond before the closing date of 24 September 2013 to:

Walter Drummond-Murray
Criminal Law & Licensing Team
Scottish Government
Area 2W, St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh EH1 3DG
Email: licensing.consultation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

There is more information about how to respond on page 14 of the consultation document that you may wish to read if you want to respond anonymously. You should also indicate whether you’re 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.

Further reading on sexual exploitation and sexual ‘entertainment’: http://www.womenssupportproject.co.uk/content/lapdancing/204,172/
http://www.womenssupportproject.co.uk/content/commercialsexualexploitation/173,172/
http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/projects/CSE
http://www.vawpreventionscotland.org.uk/resources/audio-visual-resources/money-and-power-commercial-sexual-exploitation-scotland

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW!

 
 

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