Elly Arrow Profile picture
12 Jan, 37 tweets, 15 min read
New research on the history of legal #prostitution in Germany focussing on the murders of women in the sex trade by @manuelaschon and Anna Hoheide. I am proud to have helped with translating this work that shines a light into the darkest corners. digitalcommons.uri.edu/dignity/vol6/i…
Key findings on the murders of women in German legal #prostitution: The daily fear of violence, potentially lethal, remains real for women, despite less fear of arrest by police. The primary perpetrators are sex buyers. The state does not care to collect official statistics.
Critics will claim the German law is a form of legalization (tight regulation forcing some women into illegal status) while one should support New Zealand's decriminalization (minimizing laws specific to prostitution). False distinction: German law on the left, NZ on the right...
Back to the study into murders of women in German #prostitution: The authors contacted the Federal Office for Criminal Investigations who said that they do not collect statistics on these murders because they don't want to contribute to stigma. Read that again!
The study has to rely on cases reported by police (searching for witnesses) or by the media (sometimes tactfully reporting, sometimes sensationalizing lethal violence against women in the sex trade). Of course, this data is incomplete. But that's a conscious choice by German gov!
A small group of volunteers, including sex trade survivors, have been working to collect this data through online and archive searches, Google alerts, and asking press offices for old publications on the subject. Their work is recorded here: sexindustry-kills.de/doku.php?id=pr…
They found 272 cases between 1920 and 2017, but the real number is likely much higher. For example, an old Spiegel report found 88 murders between 1950 and 1965, while the team behind Sex Industry Kills could only identify 11 names and has no information on the other 77 women.
These 272 cases include 41 cases of attempted murder, which women survived, but which left many traumatized for life, some severely disabled. Finding old cases of murder attempts is nearly impossible, so no clear conclusions can be drawn about increases or decreases.
Over 98% of documented victims murdered in the German sex trade 1920-2017 were female. 2 victims were transwomen and there was 1 male victim. They were aged 15 to 67. In total there were 5 underage victims and four over the age of 60. Children sometimes exploited next to adults.
There is a strong increase in migrant women murdered in the legal German sex trade: In the 90s 27.5% were migrants, in the 00s 48.5% and in the 2010s it was 60.7% of identified victims. The number may be higher since the nationality of some victims couldn't be determined. @ENoMW
In the 90s most migrant victims were from Russia, Poland, and Slovakia. In the 00s murder victims in German legal #prostitution were predominantly Thai, Polish, and Ukrainian. Since 2010 victims are mostly from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, and Poland.
Indoor #prostitution is often touted as considerably safer than street prostitution and while there is evidence to support this it's important to understand that 1) the vast majority of prostitution is indoors and 2) the risk of lethal violence remains a realistic fear there, too
While in the 90s most recorded murders did happen in a street prostitution context (50%), this trend reversed: In the 00s 77.6% occur in indoor #prostitution. 76% after 2010. Indoor means both mega #brothels with some security measures and small apartment brothels.
Germany's three biggest mega brothel chains (Paradise, Pascha, and Eros Center) were all the scenes of several murders of women in #prostitution despite panic buttons, cameras, and security. They collectively come up to 13 cases until 2017. No images of naked women, just pimps:
The murderers of women in German legal #prostitution: All cases were committed by men (with a tiny number of female accomplices), who cover all age groups, walks of life, and relationship statuses. If any relation existed to the victim, it was almost always as a #sexbuyer.
Motives for murders of women in German legal #prostitution include: Explicit #misogyny, attempts to cover up rape and/or robbery, jealousy, anger over disinclination to perform specific sex acts and fights resulting from price haggling. Some were killed over as little as 20€.
Obviously, no amount of money justifies murder. That should go without saying. However, this showcases how worthless prostituted women's lives are to these men, that they would use violence that ended up being lethal for just a few euros.
Killers of women in #prostitution do not even require a murder weapon: Preventing them from bringing knives or guns into brothels is not enough, a significant minority of women were strangled with bare hands or suffocated by pillows.
Frequency of murders of women in legal German #prostitution correlates with population density (e.g. most occur in Berlin, Hamburg, the Ruhr Basin, & the Rhine-Mine-Area). But women have been murdered in all 16 federal states and not only in big red-light districts in the cities.
Case Study on women murdered in legal German #prostitution: "Gerit" or "Linda" (stand-in photo), 25, Romanian, was murdered in front of the Paradise mega-brothel in Stuttgart by a sex buyer, 53, married with 4 kids, who wanted exclusive access to her.
The sex buyer who murdered "Gerit" kept a diary on how he abused her. He spent 10,000€ so that they would be 'exclusive'. He took her to Istanbul for a week and paid for a nose job. This is what many people think of when they hear #sugardaddy, but it's actually a nightmare.
Quote from murderer telling other sex buyers about his paid abuse of "Gerit": "[During the Istanbul trip] there was sex 2 times, but nothing but rejection [since]. I offered to call it off and for her to give the money back since she's not in a state to take care of my needs."
"Gerit" broke off the agreement after 2 weeks because she couldn't bear it. The buyer was enraged now saying he paid 52,250 euros for 900 hours of access to her (he kept an Excel spreadsheet). He thought this meant she was now rightfully his personal posession.
The sex buyer who murdered "Gerit" regularly described her vagina to other buyers (normal behavior on their forums): "She has a unique thing between her legs. I've shagged 185 women over 4 years, 37 with no condom. None was so fleshy, soft and tight as her thing." #misogyny
The sex buyer who murdered "Gerit" complaining about her "bad attitude": "Even when she's not up for fucking me - as a well-paying CUSTOMER, I should reasonably be able to except her to get her act together and deliver a manually skilled job anyways."
Finally, this sex buyer admits he knows "Gerit" has a pimp posing as an intimate partner, committing regular abuse of the woman. He also admits to raping her in her sleep. News outlets just speak of murder motivated by jealousy and omit his rape, misogyny, and lethal entitlement.
After the buyer killed "Gerit" another buyer comments: "I'm actually surprised, that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. When a john stabs a hooker to death, she probably deserved it. Hookers rip you off and enjoy playing with men's feelings. They're playing with fire."
The brothel owners of course rejected any responsibility for having profited from a woman under pimp control, who was raped inside and then killed in front of their legal brothel. The owners said: "This has nothing to do with us at all." (Later convicted for aiding trafficking).
Case study 2: "Cat" (stand-in photo), 28, Thai, was stabbed to death and robbed by Cihan B., 20, high school student, inside the Pascha, the biggest legal brothel in German and Europe. "Cat" bled to death inside a brothel room despite security cameras, doormen and panic buttons.
The mega-brothel owners promise better security, but three years later another woman is stabbed and severely injured by a sex buyer. 2015 another sex buyer strangles a woman nearly to death when she refuses "doggy style". sexindustry-kills.de/doku.php?id=pr…
Case study 3: Sonja M. (stand-in photos), 31, is found dead in a cardboard box in a public park. Police suspect a sex buyer abused Sonja, despite her drug addiction, tuberculosis, weighing only 45 kg, robbed her and left her to die. Buyers abuse women in need of medical attention
Quote from police officer on Sonja's case: "Those guys get a hard-on, even if the woman is HIV-positive or covered in wounds." I can confirm this from my own research where a subset of sex buyers specifically seek out women ravaged by illness or addiction. dieunsichtbarenmaenner.wordpress.com/category/drugs/
Conclusion: The study indicates that legalizing/decriminalizing (removing nearly all penalties specific to #prostitution as Germany did 2002-2017) does not make it safer for women in #prostitution. Fear of lethal violence is experienced by many and in all prostitution settings.
Prostitution has moved indoors worldwide but there isn't reliable evidence that this is meaningfully safe for women. Just like New Zealand and Australia, Germany has a large number of smaller-sized semi-legal/illegal apartment brothels and this is where a lot of violence happens.
Germany is committing a grave error and injustice by not collecting statistics on a population almost universally agreed to be exceptionally vulnerable to violence. Not collecting data because data collection "causes stigma" is what prevents real action to make women's lives safe
We have to stop viewing these murders as isolated cases & take an honest look at the patterns: Women in #prostitution experience disproportionate violence while "at work", not like the rest of the population in a familial/intimate partner setting. This is not a #JobLikeAnyOther.
To read about individual cases of women who did not survive German legal #prostitution read this thread (obvious trigger warning for disturbing content):

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More from @EllyArrow

11 Jan
This is an old article, but nonetheless: The New Zealand Prostitute's Collective handed out flyers to Chinese students normalizing prostitution, motivating some to enter the industry, which they are actually not legally allowed on a student visa! Christ... nzherald.co.nz/nz/chinese-stu…
I personally can't really fathom how this pamphlet motivated anyone to enter the sex trade because it is victim-blaming garbage and at the same time skirts around the reality of the industry so much you don't even know what it is really trying to tell you... Image
It must have preyed on the poverty of many students, including exchange students struggling to get a job while studying abroad. This is absolutely a vulnerable situation & I am disgusted the NZPC told them this hot garbage instead of warning them they can't legally do this in NZ!
Read 10 tweets
10 Jan
You cant pay rent. Your landlord offers to let you pay through labour: Is it the same whether he asks you to paint the walls, clean the bathroom or suck his dick? The last option would be rape. Everyone gets that. The sex trade is the same thing except it's usually many men not 1
You also cant see a problem with overwhelmingly impoverished women of color risking their very lives so that rich white people can have kids they're genetically related to? Apply basic intersectional class analysis & the exploitation designating poor women as breeders is obvious.
Fyi you can oppose the exploitation in mines, factories, nail salons and everywhere else too. But you can set ethical standards for some industries to make the labour reasonably safe. You can't ever purchase sexual attraction or a child wish. That's a pretty serious difference.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
Government report on #prostitution states: "We do not have a problem with child trafficking". One paragraph later "a significant number of sex workers first sold sex as minors". Me: 🤨🤨🤨
That's what you get when denying the connection between adult & child commercial sexual exploitation even though the evidence is right in front of your eyes. Domestic child trafficking is still trafficking. It's not sex work. It's not kids selling sex. It's not underage sex work.
I really really don't wanna hear the mantra of "sex work isn't sex trafficking" when every evidence of clear definitive coercion (e.g. CHILDREN) is neatly rebranded "sex work" by the folks who espouse this. You're the ones who have a problem distinguishing. You really really do.
Read 7 tweets
28 Dec 20
Okay this might seem pretty arrogant but after 5 years of self teaching on prostitution statistics and law I get so frustrated in conversations with people because they don't have the basic legal definitions of relevant terms to make meaningful arguments (eg legal def of pimping)
They say: "But pimping is illegal." And I say: "No it isnt. It's legal to tell a woman when to 'work', for what prices and to force her to be naked in the brothel at all times. Taking 49% of her money is legal. And in practice those limits aren't even stuck to as gov confirms."🤦🏻‍♀️
They say: "Forced prostitution is illegal." And I say: "No it isnt. The only way she can charge a pimp for being exploited is if she can prove she was forced to do specific 'service' for specific men. But you can get rich off of a woman and never meet that definition."
Read 12 tweets
27 Dec 20
Sharing this great article again written by @DanaLevy on why prostitution never was and never will be a #joblikeanyother. Argued today with a woman insisting that the same protections could be used in brothels as are in scientific labs... Ehm, no. nordicmodelnow.org/2020/03/12/pro…
There is no demand for prostitution where the woman wears goggles, a face mask, gloves, or just a straight-up hazmat suit which would put it in line with worker protection regulations regarding such basic things as body fluids. There's only like 3 dudes with a rare fetish here.
May I also remind you about how "infection safe #prostitution" was supposed to look like in Germany during the last reopening after 1st lockdown? Hardly anyone used face masks and stuck to "massage only". One pimp even suggested this dehumanizing trash:
Read 6 tweets
18 Dec 20
On International Day to End Violence Against Women In The Sex Trade, I am going to compile statistics and evidence about my country Germany specifically and how with 18 years of highly permissive laws towards brothel keepers, pimps and sex buyers we have arrived at the following:
Violence frequently starts prior to entry into the sex trade. It is not a myth that women in #prostitution are disproportionately neglected and abused physically, sexually or emotionally in childhood. According to gov-funded study half faced regular abuse: bmfsfj.de/blob/84328/0c8…
According to one study that asked 54 women in German prostitution, 41% entered were first exploited as minors. prostitutionresearch.com/pdf/Prostituti… International pro-prostitution oriented researchers confirm a rate of 20-40% entry into sexual exploitation as minors: aviatorpenguin.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/ado…
Read 28 tweets

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