Archives de Tag: Jay Levy

“I’d say that this is the one purpose of the law that the government has fulfilled… that the law (sexköpslagen) should be exported to other countries… irrespective of the fact that the knowledge base was so poor, I mean the empirical (knowledge) was very poor, very weak… on the actual sex trade in Sweden”.

IntervIew, 2010, SenIor AdvISor reGArdInG ProStItutIon – the nAtIonAL BoArd of heALth And weLfAre

Jay LEVY, Swedish Abolitionism as Violence Agains Women p. 10

“It is… difficult to discern any clear trend of development: has the extent of prostitution increased or decreased? we cannot give any unambiguous answer to that question”.
the nAtIonAL BoArd of heALth And weLfAre 2008: 63

“to be able to tell how many people that are engaging in sex trade according to this definition of the sex purchase law, within any particular period of time in the country as a whole, of course that’s a very common political expectation but is nonsensical to anyone with basic knowledge of scientific methodology ”.
IntervIew, 2010, SenIor AdvISor reGArdInG ProStItutIon – the nAtIonAL BoArd of heALth And weLfAre

Jay LEVY, Swedish Abolitionism as Violence Agains Women p. 9

Where discourses framing the sex purchase
law have determined an opposition to harm reduction, social constructions of sex workers have additionally come to impact sex workers’ experiences of service providers. The Stockholm Prostitution Unit appears to be a high threshold organisation, catering only for people for whom sex work is problematic, or who want to cease sex work. Those who have not experienced difficulties or do not wish to stop selling sex are not seen as areas of concern, not deserving the ‘energy’ of targeted, state-sponsored attention:

“we are not here for people who feel good. we’re here for the people who… experience problems with (prostitution)”.
IntervIew, 2009, SoCIAL worker, StoCkhoLm ProStItutIon unIt

“as far as they feel well, and like to be in this situation, fine with me, I mean, the day when they don’t like it anymore, they can
come to me. So I don’t spend my energy on this group of people”.
IntervIew, 2009, nAtIonAL CoordInAtor AGAInSt trAffICkInG And ProStItutIon

Sex workers may therefore feel that they have to construct a ‘victim’ status to access service providers’ ‘energy’ and resources. This goes some way to explaining why the Stockholm Prostitution Unit assert that sex workers almost universally experience problems with their sex work: those who do not have difficulties or who do not wish to cease selling sex are simply unwelcome.

Jay LEVY, Swedish Abolitionism as Violence Against Women p. 4

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare specifies sex workers and their clients as target groups for HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives. In spite of this, provision of condoms to sex workers is not seen to be the Stockholm Unit’s or the state’s responsibility. Social workers at the Unit oppose condom distribution and the National Coordinator Against Trafficking and Prostitution – previously with the Stockholm Unit – agreed, noting in interview (2009):

“If they make so much money maybe they could buy their own condoms.”

The Stockholm Unit do not provide condoms during outreach. Though condoms are provided at the Stockholm Unit’s offices, these are closed at night when street sex work levels are highest, and are inconveniently located at least a half hour walk from street sex work areas. Where the Stockholm Unit fails to provide condoms
on the street, sex worker respondents reported having to provide one another with condoms, with additional reports of shoplifting for condoms around Stockholm’s street sex work area.

Jay LEVY, Swedish Abolitionism as Violence Agains Women p. 4