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NCJ Number: 200703 Find in a Library
Title: Violence in the Lives of Female Sex Workers
Journal: Sexual Assault Report  Volume:6  Issue:5  Dated:May/June 2003  Pages:67-68,74
Author(s): Erica Weissman
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper summarizes three articles (two research studies and an essay) from a special issue of "Violence Against Women" that explore from different perspectives the way violence pervades the lives of female sex workers in Western societies.
Abstract: A study by Nixon et al. (2002) entitled, "The Everyday Occurrence: Violence in the Lives of Girls Exploited Through Prostitution," involved interviews of 47 adult women in the western Canadian Provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan who entered prostitution while still in their teens. Many of the women had been physically and/or sexually assaulted by pimps, intimate partners, customers, and/or other women, and some admitted that they themselves had acted violently at times, toward both men and women. The authors call for social service programs that intervene with children, particularly those in the foster care system, before they are lured or coerced into prostitution, as well as for specialized services that address violence as a major problem. In another study, Busch et al., address the problem of violence against women in prostitution by seeking to understand something about their male customers ("Male Customers of Prostituted Women: Exploring Perceptions of Entitlement to Power and Control and Implication for Violent Behavior Toward Women," 2002). The study involved an examination of the social perceptions of 1,342 men in California, Nevada, and Oregon who were voluntary participants in special programs that involved deferred adjudication and psychosocial education for first-time offenders arrested for attempting to hire a prostitute. The study focused on the characteristics of men likely to endorse power and control. The authors concluded that the findings supported the feminist theory of male violence against women by men with more traditional or socially conservative beliefs about sexuality. The third article, entitled "Legalization: The Australian Experience," by Mary L. Sullivan and Sheila Jeffreys (2002), focuses on the results of legalizing prostitution in Australia. It illustrates the clear systemic link between prostitution and violence. As large establishments became common and a small number of wealthy entrepreneurs gained control over much of the industry, sometimes acting as fronts for criminal organizations or criminals, trafficking in women and girls expanded dramatically in the form of debt bondage in both legal and illegal brothels.
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Australia; Juvenile prostitution; Occupational safety and health; Prostitution; Violence causes; Violence prevention
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