Archives for June 2017

Meet the Meat

ATZUM’s Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution has launched its latest campaign entitled, “Meet the Meat”. This campaign seeks to increase a growing awareness of the evils of Israel’s sex trafficking and prostitution “industries”. We want each person in Israel to understand that prostitution is never a choice, not a legitimate “job”. Prostitution is violent exploitation of the body and soul and should be delegitimated in a just society.

At Israel’s Knesset June 28, 2017

This campaign was launced at a critical time regarding the broadening positive consensus in the Knesset urging adoption of Nordic Model legislation in Israel criminalizing the client and rehabilitating the prostituted person. These significant achievements would not have happened without the help of our supporters who have joined us in becoming agents of social and policy change. Together we can significantly decrease and then eliminate prostitution in Israel.

Who are the prostituted people?

Ninety-five percent of prostituted people in Israel are women, nearly all Israel citizens; 87% of them are Jewish. Prostituted women come from all social and ethnic backgrounds. Despite that diversity, there are many similarities of personal history and the causes that led them to prostitution. Most prostituted women grew up in an environment of home violence and suffered severe abuse within the family. Eighty percent of prostituted women were sexually abused during childhood; most report fleeing home before engaging in prostitution.

Nearly all women in prostitution come from low socioeconomic strata. According to the National Survey on Prostitution published last year by the Ministry of Social Affairs, 62% of prostituted women are mothers, and 82% of those women are single parents to children under 18 without family or other support. Ninety percent of women in prostitution are controlled by pimps.

Extreme physical and emotional violence and PTSD are ubiquitous and inherent to prostitution. Such violence includes constant humiliation, beatings and rape by both clients and the pimps. Seventy percent of prostituted women questioned in the National Survey testified that they had been raped. There is a disconnect between body and mind, often resulting in amnesia, depression, eating disorders and heightened mortality rates. Few women in prostitution in Israel live to age 50.

Many prostituted women use addictive drugs. Contrary to the prevailing view, for most the use of drugs began only after entering prostitution as a means to create a sense of separation between body and consciousness, a desparate attempt to mask the pain that accompanies prostitution. No surprise then that 80% percent of the women wish to leave prostitution if they had the support to do so.

The National Survey reveals there are 12,500 prostituted persons in Israel. Prostitution itself (not including “deriviative” pornography sites, strip clubs etc.) handles more than 1.2 billion NIS/30 million USD annually. A prostituted woman is demanded to service six clients daily, an estimated one million visits per year in brothels, ”discreet” aparmtents and hotel rooms.

Myths about prostitution:

“Prostitution always existed and will always exist.“ – Prostitution is not a profession, it is a violent social phenomenon which ruthlessly exploits women and children selling their bodies.

“If prostitution is prohibited, the incidence of rape will increase.” The motives of rapet are not of sexual release but the violent control of a woman’s body. In those countries which criminalize the purchase of prostituted services, there is no increase in the rate of rape.

“It’s easy, fast money.“ – The vast majority of women in prostitution are destitute. Profits from prostitution are overwhelmingly those of traffickers and pimps.

About the criminalization of johns

The most practical way to halt the abuses of prostitution is to reduce demand, which will reduce supply. Criminalization of the purchase of sexual services ihas proven by far the most effective way to eliminate prostitution.

The Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution
is a joint initiative of ATZUM-Justice Works and Kabiri Nevo Keidar & Co.

Business License Revoked For Large Strip Club Following Prostitution Allegations

NGO plans to oppose efforts to renew the Pussycat club’s license.

Eliyahu Kamisher, May 18, 2017, Jpost

The Tel Aviv Municipality revoked the business license of the well-known Pussycat strip club in late April following prostitution allegations and an NGO is planning to oppose efforts to renew their license.The revocation follows a petition filed by the Task Force on Human Trafficking (TFHT) in the Tel Aviv District Court in December and police findings that sex services were provided in private rooms in the club.

In the petition the NGO claimed that the strip club, one of Israel’s biggest, operates as a brothel for all intents and purposes, with prostitution occurring in the club’s private rooms. Undercover police activity in the club revealed alleged sex services provided in private rooms with the owners allegedly taking an NIS 100 cut of the prostitution payments. Some of the club’s workers were foreign tourists in Israel, without legal status, the NGO said.

A court hearing on Thursday is scheduled to determine the conditions of giving the club a new license.

The club also demolished the private rooms, where the alleged prostitution occurred, and thus the police will not oppose renewing the license, attorney Avital Rosenberger-Seri of TFHT said.

A police spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

“But our stance is if this place for the last 10 years operates as a brothel there’s no way they will do anything else,” Rosenberger-Seri told The Jerusalem Post.

The club’s owners deny any prostitution in the building, “It is not and has never been operated as a brothel club,” they said in a statement.

“The municipality is beginning to internalize what has been claimed by field officials for a long time – strip clubs, such as the Pussycat, are brothels sponsored by the law,” Rosenberger- Seri said, “We welcome the importance the municipality sees in eradicating prostitution, but the way to eradicate it is to incriminate customers and the fundamental message that we must have legislation. The body of a woman Is not a commodity and consumption of prostitution harms women, men, and society as a whole.”

TFHT accused the Pussycat of being a “gateway” for prostitution in Israel where woman are recruited from across the country as strip dancers and then exploited for prostitution.

A number of strip clubs in Ramat Gan and the Baby Dolls club in Haifa were closed due to prostitution allegations.