Culture change needed in approach to prostitution

Home Secretary David Blunkett has called a cultural change in the way prostitution is dealt so as to enable victims to break out of the cycle of abuse.

During an address to the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping (CROP) conference in Leeds today, Mr Blunkett said that pimps who promote and control prostitution represented a "sub-world of degradation and exploitation" for many women and girls.

"Victims of prostitution are often trapped in a violent circle that is tied up with organised crime, domestic violence, drug abuse, exploitation and infection," he said.

"From anti-social behaviour to mafia-style criminality, our communities are bedevilled by the terrible trade."

The government is currently reforming the law on the exploitation of the victims of prostitution.

The Sexual Offences Bill, which is going through the House of Commons at the moment, contains new offences to cover the commercial exploitation of children and adults. It also extends existing trafficking offences to cover domestic trafficking for prostitution.

A £107 million package of measures has also been announced to steer vulnerable young people away from drugs and crime.

He added: "We must now focus our efforts on working with agencies and voluntary organisations with practical experience of what works so that we can reach out and protect those trapped in prostitution and offer them exit routes."

CROP works to support the victims of pimps, especially to enable them to exit prostitution and has developed a unique support and advice service for parents and other carers and relations of pimped persons.


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