Health and Safety for Prostituted Women

Governments which legalize prostitution unequivocally state that one of the aims of their policy is regarding the health and safety for prostitutes. This policy would undoubtedly attract the attention of feminists who support prostitution. The extent to which this safety can be extended would only be restricted to brothels, because there is no way of monitoring and preventing risks in the street prostitution sectors. Even if you were to consider the degree of protection offered to brothels after legalization, you’d know that again, a very small part of protection actually makes to the brothels.

Prostitution has an adverse effect on a woman’s reproductive and sexual health, because prostitution involves the use of the woman’s reproductive tracts, anuses, mouths and other parts. One concern should be the abrasion of the areas of internal mucous membrane and other sensitive areas. But none of this is mentioned in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) advice. But the advise ranges its concern from falls on slippery floors to problems of STDs, which include AIDS and pregnancy.

The OHS codes come to of great significance when prostitutes follow these measures to safeguard themselves from any untoward incident. But the same codes ignore the predicaments of power imbalance that construct the practice of prostitution. Case in point, an OHS code on the scarlet Alliance website advises prostitutes to examine a male client’s genitalia to see if it shows any signs of disease. In such an instance, the possibility of losing a booking, or the arisal of the client’s objection would be really high. This also increases the vulnerability of the woman in the situation. Another advise for prostitutes that the OHS offers is the use of condoms.

But this cannot really be implemented on a full scale, or be actualised to its fullest extent, because many prostitutes are offered more money to have sex without condoms. And even if condoms are worn, they have the chances of becoming undone or just torn.

According to the Queensland legislation, brothel owners are completely responsible for the health of the prostitutes they manage. The PLA is one such manual which contains policies and procedures that mandates the use of condoms and a quarterly health checkup for sex workers. However, the legal industry isn’t really good at implementing these safety measures. In 2005, Paris Satine, owner of Scarlet Harem, was charged for producing a phoney sexual health certificate and for operating her business illegally without a legal supervisor. It was found later that the certificate was obtained from Self Help for Queensland Workers in the Sex Industry (SQWISI). SQWISI was the same organisation which’d gained a reputation for being the best in the sex industry, as soon as prostitution was legalized.

There are many tips that have been directed straight at the legalised prostitution industry. Escorts are often encouraged to reconnoitre the premises as soon as they arrive. Signs like too many cars or too many lights switched on often point at possible molestation. But many women, often times who are drug addicts or who don’t speak the language, wouldn’t be in a state to implement all these tips.

Health and Safety for Prostituted Women
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