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  • Author or Editor: Nicole Westmarland x
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This chapter discusses the background to the government’s 2006 Coordinated Prostitution Strategy, and some of the tensions that exist between different approaches to prostitution. The focus is on street prostitution in England and Wales. There are three dominant perspectives on prostitution within England and Wales: the ‘prostitution as nuisance’, ‘prostitution as work’, and ‘prostitution as abuse’ perspectives. These perspectives on prostitution are elaborated in detail. The current prostitution legislation has sent out confusing and mixed messages, particularly in relation to children and young people. Key issues faced by street prostitution include drug use and reasons for entry into prostitution. It is hoped that the Strategy can act as an impetus for different groups to work together more closely to achieve what is best for women involved in different forms of prostitution, and that ideological positions do not get in the way of ensuring women’s safety and well-being.

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This chapter explains the national context and gives an overview of law and policy, focusing particularly on developments during the reign of the New Labour government from 1997–2010. It describes three key issues that remain problematic. First, it analyses problems with policing and prosecuting rape. Second, it describes the continuing problem of negative attitudes towards rape victims and analyses the implications of this problem. The third and final key issue outlined is the Rape Crisis funding crisis which has resulted in a number of Rape Crisis Centre closures and continues to be a significant problem.

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Domestic violence perpetrator programmes are a frequently used intervention to respond to perpetrators of domestic violence. However, there is considerable concern about the use of ‘online’, ‘virtual’, or ‘digital’ programmes delivered remotely. Policy and practice have developed at pace through the COVID-19 pandemic and research is lacking. This exploratory research examined the challenges and opportunities associated with a pilot online programme in Minnesota, US, for court mandated men. It took place before the COVID-19 pandemic, making it the first study to investigate a ‘live’ online programme.

A mixed method design was used, consisting of 40 hours of observational data (covering 25 sessions); four interviews with programme facilitators, 12 interviews with programme observers, and six perpetrators enrolled on the programme. We did not investigate the experiences of partners or ex-partners or of partner organisations, which is a limitation.

We found that while the online format solved some long-established issues with programme delivery (for example, providing an intervention for rural communities, a lack of transport, continuity of intervention for those who travel as part of their job), different issues arose in connection to the online programme. These problems included access to necessary broadband speeds, technical hardware and a private place to participate in the sessions.

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Law and Policy in Europe and Asia

What is to be done about prostitution? Is it work or is it violence? Are women involved in prostitution offenders or victims? Is prostitution a private or a political issue? The answers to these questions vary depending on many factors, including where in the world you live.

This book provides a valuable, detailed international comparison of the laws, policies and interventions in eight countries across Europe (England and Wales, France, Sweden and Moldova) and Asia (India, Pakistan, Thailand and Taiwan). The countries were chosen because of their contrasting social policy and legislative frameworks.

Specific topics covered include national social and historical contexts in relation to prostitution; legal frameworks - with discussion of existing laws and policies and debates around legislation and decriminalisation; key issues faced - particularly relating to reasons for entering prostitution and analysis of policies and interventions.

The case studies are brought to life by giving voice to the experiences of women involved in prostitution themselves together with the personal reflections of the authors.

Aimed at a wide audience of students, academics, policy makers and practitioners, this book makes an important contribution to academic and policy debates in the fields of criminology, law, social policy, women’s studies, sociology, politics and international relations.

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Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. Following on from International approaches to prostitution (The Policy Press, 2006), this book provides an overview of rape law and policy in 10 countries, including England, Australia, Canada, India and China.

By introducing readers to national perspectives of issues relating to rape, the book presents a comparative approach that highlights the similarities and differences between countries, contexts, laws, key issues, policies and interventions. It is recommended for academics, students, practitioners and policy makers.

Open access

What is to be done about prostitution? Is it work or is it violence? Are women involved in prostitution offenders or victims? Is prostitution a private or a political issue? The answers to these questions vary depending on many factors, including where in the world you live. This book provides a valuable, detailed international comparison of the laws, policies, and interventions in eight countries across Europe (England and Wales, France, Sweden, and Moldova) and Asia (India, Pakistan, Thailand, and Taiwan). The countries were chosen because of their contrasting social-policy and legislative frameworks. Specific topics covered include national social and historical contexts in relation to prostitution; legal frameworks – with discussion of existing laws and policies, debates around legislation and decriminalisation, and key issues faced – particularly relating to reasons for entering prostitution, and analysis of policies and interventions. The case studies are brought to life by giving voice to the experiences of women involved in prostitution themselves, together with the personal reflections of the authors. Aimed at a wide audience of students, academics, policy makers, and practitioners, the book contributes to academic and policy debates in the fields of criminology, law, social policy, women’s studies, sociology, politics, and international relations.

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What is to be done about prostitution? Is it work or is it violence? Are women involved in prostitution offenders or victims? Is prostitution a private or a political issue? The answers to these questions vary depending on many factors, including where in the world you live. This book provides a valuable, detailed international comparison of the laws, policies, and interventions in eight countries across Europe (England and Wales, France, Sweden, and Moldova) and Asia (India, Pakistan, Thailand, and Taiwan). The countries were chosen because of their contrasting social-policy and legislative frameworks. Specific topics covered include national social and historical contexts in relation to prostitution; legal frameworks – with discussion of existing laws and policies, debates around legislation and decriminalisation, and key issues faced – particularly relating to reasons for entering prostitution, and analysis of policies and interventions. The case studies are brought to life by giving voice to the experiences of women involved in prostitution themselves, together with the personal reflections of the authors. Aimed at a wide audience of students, academics, policy makers, and practitioners, the book contributes to academic and policy debates in the fields of criminology, law, social policy, women’s studies, sociology, politics, and international relations.

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This introductory chapter briefly introduces the authors and the chapters that follow, while pulling out some of the themes that cut across the chapters. Rape and other forms of sexual violence happen to all women, all over the world. No group of women is immune from the acts or fear of sexual violence. While rape may be condoned in many areas of the world, it is often actively promoted in war and conflict zones. Until all women are free, none will be free.

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The issue of prostitution brings to the fore many of the contradictions in feminist politics, and the ambivalence in dealing with issues of sexuality reflected both in Asian and Western feminist politics. This chapter presents a brief insight into how our own personal views on prostitution have developed in order to ‘situate’ or ‘locate’ our knowledge about it. The rest of this book tries to move away from the individual perspectives on prostitution. It is divided into two parts: the first looks at prostitution in Europe, and the second in Asia. An overview of the chapters included in the book is also given.

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Over the past ten years the theoretical framework of ‘coercive control’ has been increasingly applied, critiqued and now underpins a criminal offence. While many argue that it more accurately reflects experiences of victimisation, there has been little exploration of coercive control through the accounts of perpetrators. Through two phased interviews with 64 men attending UK Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes, we examine how and why men use coercive tactics and how unpicking gender norms enabled some men to recognise and reduce their use of coercive control. We argue that coercive control is more dynamic, contestable and open to change than previous research has suggested. Some men did manage to take steps away from investing in traditional masculine norms and reduce their use of coercive tactics. However, this was an uneven and contradictory process which took time – involving painful realisations of loss and harm alongside a discovery of the benefits associated with letting go of restrictive gender norms. Understanding how and why men invest in or dismantle gender norms that underpin coercive control has important implications for theory and for practice, particularly the content and focus of work with domestic violence perpetrators.

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