“Although Nigel Latta is right to argue that her death is tragic under any circumstances and that she is much more than just a ‘sex worker’, the sad reality is that the profession is harmful and dangerous, and more and more vulnerable people are becoming victims because of the flawed decriminalisation of prostitution,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Decriminalisation has failed to achieve its stated objectives of improving the safety, health and welfare or the conditions of the workers. What it has achieved is greatly improving the conditions for pimps and brothel owners.”
The government report on prostitution after decriminalisation found that street workers experience 2 to 3 times more violence than other workers, and actual serious violence (rape, holding against will, and physical violence) are reported less than 20% of the time.
“What other business or sector of society in New Zealand would tolerate this – and yet the sex industry is sold as a success story. Where is the Occupational Safety and Health? No other work employment sector has a risk factor where rape is considered an inherent part of the work, and why would we want a family member to be in a type of work where there is a 35% chance of being sexually molested i.e forced to accept sex from a man they did not want to.”