Police harassment of prostitutes has increased – they can be forced to appear in court to provide testimony against the client (they can refuse to be witnessed, but they are still summoned and sometimes escorted to courtrooms), and whenever they are caught with a client their belongings are searched and they may be frisked. Anything that police think they can use as evidence against clients (such as condoms) is confiscated. This practice clearly has consequences for condom use among sex workers. It provides them with strong incentives to avoid using them. The law has been a catastrophe for non-Swedish sex workers – if the prostitute found with a client is not a citizen or legal resident of Sweden, she is immediately deported; in fact government prosecutors complain that in a number of cases they were unable to gain convictions against clients because the pros- titutes they were found with had been deported before they could even give a statement (BRÅ, 2000:4, p. 44; also Expressen, 01–09–30).8 This fact affects the willingness of non- residents to report on violence. A police chief in the north of Sweden observes that, ‘I don’t think for example that a Russian woman would dare to report a man for violence against her, because then she would risk not being given a visa if she ever wanted to come back to Sweden, because it would have become known that she is a prostitute’ (Tidnin- gen Svensk Polis, 02–04–18).

Don KULICK, “Sex in the New Europe, The Criminalization of Clients and Swedish Fear of Penetration, Anthropological Theory 2003 3: 199

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