Equally Safe: A consultation on challenging men's demand for prostitution, working to reduce the harms associated with prostitution and helping women to exit

Closes 10 Dec 2020

Opened 11 Sep 2020

Overview

Prostitution is a form of commercial sexual exploitation. Commercial sexual exploitation persists as a result of how women are viewed by society.

The Scottish Government’s definition of gender based violence is clearly set out in Equally Safe, Scotland’s strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls:

“Gender based violence is a function of gender inequality, and an abuse of male power and privilege. It takes the form of actions that result in physical, sexual and psychological harm or suffering to women and children, or affront to their human dignity, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life. It is men who predominantly carry out such violence, and women who are predominantly the victims of such violence. By referring to violence as ‘gender based’ this definition highlights the need to understand violence within the context of women’s and girl’s subordinate status in society. Such violence cannot be understood, therefore, in isolation from the norms, social structure and gender roles within the community, which greatly influence women’s vulnerability to violence”

Equally Safe Priority 4 states the Scottish Government’s priority to ensure men desist from all forms of violence against women and girls and perpetrators of such violence receive a robust and effective response. This violence includes the violence perpetrated by men in relation to acts of commercial sexual exploitation, of which prostitution is one aspect.

The consultation is being taken forward under Equally Safe and fulfils the 2019-20 Programme for Government commitment to consult on approaches to challenge men’s demand for prostitution, continue to support work to reduce the harms associated with commercial sexual exploitation and help women to exit prostitution.

Why we are consulting

The aim of the consultation is to gather views on how best to challenge men’s demand for prostitution in Scotland, reducing the harms associated with prostitution and supporting women involved to exit. The consultation paper invites views from a wide range of readers including key stakeholders, statutory partners, those who work in the sector to challenge men’s demand for prostitution, support women and those who may have lived experience to help inform the development of future approaches to prostitution in Scotland.

Read the consultation paper

Give us your views

Interests

  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Law and Order