I NOTE some of your readers have suggested that a legal brothel for Ballarat would be a good thing (
, September 25). It's a crazy idea, in my opinion.
Several arguments are put forward for the legalisation of brothels. These include that brothels are a safety valve, they will make the streets safer for women. Yet Melbourne, with a host of licensed and unlicensed brothels still has a high, and increasing, rate of rape and serious sexual assault.
Then it is suggested that the unpartnered must have access to sexual services. Nonsense! Nobody
It is suggested some women undertake this activity for enjoyment, but there are more pressing reasons in many cases. Compulsion by evil men, grinding poverty, expensive drug habits, childhood abuse, and personality disorders are among other causes.
In 2001, the ABC's
program featured Linda Watson, who took stock of her life and decided to give up her lucrative escort business in Perth. As a former prostitute, she was determined to help other women "get off the game" and escape the cycle of exploitation which she'd known first hand over a 20-year career in the sex industry. She found an unexpected friend and benefactor in Perth's Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey, and so Linda's House of Hope was born. She has successfully rescued many women from the vile slavery they had been involved in. Last year she was able to speak against a Bill in the South Australan Parliament aimed at legalising prostitution, changing the stance of several members.
In 1999, Sweden passed the
Act Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services.
Sweden recognises prostitution as a "serious form of male violence against women and children" and, in keeping with the country's commitment to gender equality, sought ways to protect women from prostitution.
Under the Swedish law, prostituted women are not criminally liable; it is the purchaser of sex who is committing the crime. Although the law was initially met with criticism by police and judicial authorities, they are now supportive of the legislation.
As can be seen by the situation in Sweden, society can reduce the amount of prostitution by addressing the core cause: the demand from men who purchase women for sex. Other Nordic countries are now following Sweden's lead, and South Korea has had a similar system since 2004. Time for Australia to follow suit, in my opinion.