Thursday, 27 February 2014

Quoting Shelly Stoops

"The Merseyside Model is the diametrical opposite of the Swedish Model. At its heart is sex worker safety and this is prioritised above enforcement. The Swedish Model has at its core the criminalisation of men who pay for sex which forces sex workers into dangerous places, it gives them less time to use their safety strategies, think things through, negotiate safe sex at a price and location they find acceptable and let someone know where they are going. This drives people underground to places where rape and sexual assault can easily occur. The women are unlikely to come forward for help as unless they are willing to agree to adopt the 'victim' persona and agree to be 'fixed' they will find no help available to them. The Merseyside Model encourages women to work safely and in places where we can easily find them - spaces that are well lit, covered by CCTV and ANPR and policed regularly. If they become victims of crime, we encourage all clients to report all crimes to the police. This is possible because there is a culture of mutual respect and trust. Women do not need to be anything but themselves to receive help or assistance and we operate a harm reductionist model based on the human right of that individual to be safe and free from harm."

- Shelly Stoops, former specialist sex worker Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) and Manager of the Safe Place Merseyside