Legal Grounds for Objection are to be submitted to your local Dept. of Liquor and Gaming Licenses – note; this is the official route for objections yet they profit from these clubs and though they claim to regulate them, they are lax.) If club is approved – Next step: Get a local member of council behind you and start a Government petition (In Australia it is through egov here or here In the UK here and USA here) This is to petition your state government and Attorney General to change legislations regarding the approval of strip clubs even with strong and founded objections from the community, MP’s and other community services – most towns have a zero policy which means they are under no legal obligation to accept such business venues in their locality, yet most do anyway as they derive taxes and revenue from the clubs. Most decisions are made by officials in cities and not the towns themselves, as in our case our mayor, local members of parliament, police force, community groups, counselling services, youth groups and churches all officially objected as well as members from our community and it was still approved by one man in the city. This is where you ask for a change in legislation so a town can have the say on these things not a government dept. If this is not the case for you, state the facts to these MP’s, police force, groups and public and start a new petition and put in new objections. These venues must be reviewed and re-approved on an annual basis so this is the time to do this to stop them being re-approved to continue operating (before the next annual approval)
Note; moral grounds will not be heard by officials. According to the Dept. of Liquor and Gaming Licenses, the physical harms and mental health and well being, the associated abuse of substances as well as circumstances such as poverty and previous sexual abuse of women who may work in strip clubs is considered moral grounds. However, make these things and the issues in the following reports known to your community, local members of parliament and local media, as well as the legal grounds, when circulating petition and raising awareness. More information on this and other factors can be found in the reports beneath the legal grounds for objections.
Legal Grounds for Objection
I am objecting to this strip club in …………. on the grounds that the following will occur with this presence of the strip club in regards to both the annual adult entertainment permit and the liquor license and approved extended trading hours:
-Undue influence, annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience to persons who reside, work or do business in the locality concerned or to persons in or travelling to or from an existing or proposed place of public worship, hospital or school.
-Harm from alcohol abuse and misuse and associated violence.
-The adverse effect on the health and safety of members of the public: and
-An adverse effect on the amenity of the community.
That an adult Entertainment Venue may be permitted without regard for the likely health and social impact that granting the application would have on the population and locality. And the probability of the health and social impacts on our town
That an Adult Entertainment Venue may be permitted in the proximity of a charity organisation that provides counselling, an education facility and a place of worship.
That Alcohol shall be sold and consumed by customers from …am with this directly impact the surrounding shops, including (schools, counselling services, youth services, churches and places of worship) and all residents who require other places of business in this locality during trading hours.
That a Liquor license is being sought for an ‘Adult Entertainment Venue’, where a brothel is prohibited such licensing for obvious reasons.
Statistics, Reports and Resources for these grounds of objection:
Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Those are the hours that rape crisis centers work the phones and respond to victims of rape and sexual assault across Illinois.
We do not want to see a day when those phone calls go unanswered. But like so many of our human services, funding for rape crisis centers has been on the decline, with jobs lost, counseling clients wait-listed and even one center closing its doors.
That’s why I am supporting Senate Bill 3348, which establishes a new revenue source for rape crisis centers. The Sexual Assault Prevention Fund would be created by charging a $5 per patron fee at strip clubs that serve alcohol, based on their correlation to negative secondary effects such as sexual abuse or rape. The fee would help rape crisis centers mitigate social ills, just like we link casino and alcohol revenues to gambling addiction treatment and underage drinking prevention.
Research has shown sexually-oriented businesses such as strip clubs with alcohol are crime hotspots, and R.T. Finney, the president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, will tell you the same. The most recent example comes from Blackjack’s Gentlemen’s Club in Elgin, where owners allegedly skimmed $3.7 million from dancers and used the business as a front for an illegal bookmaking business. Crime potential is why Illinois prohibits convicted sex offenders from entering strip clubs, and zoning regulations create huge buffers between where the clubs locate and places where women, children and senior citizens live, work, play and worship.
Studies cited by state supreme courts in recent years also make a correlation between alcohol, strip clubs and social ills, such as sexual assault. A Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled the fee was constitutional last year declaring it a “minimal restriction” that was directed at the “secondary effects of nude dancing when alcohol is being consumed.”
Lt. Governor Simon is a former law professor and prosecutor. Read article HERE
There are more women employed by the sex industry than any other time in history.
It is difficult to find statistics about sex workers and sexual violence; due to the once widely-held perception that sex workers could not be victims of rape, scientists only began to study the prevalence of sexual violence against sex workers very recently. Here are a few of the things we do know:
A study of exotic dancers found that 100% had been physically assaulted in the clubs where they were employed, with a prevalence ranging from 3-15 times over the course of their involvement in exotic dancing. Violence included physical assault, attempted vaginal penetration, attempted rape, and rape (Holsopple, 1999).
• In another study, 51.2% of women working as exotic dancers were threatened with a weapon (Raphael & Shapiro, 2004).
The shame and secrecy surrounding sexual abuse make it difficult to get accurate data regarding incidents what kind of these incidents among women in the sex industry. The studies that have been done reveal:
• Between 66-90% of women in the sex industry were sexually abused as children.
• Compared to the general population, women in the sex industry experience higher rates of:
Substance Abuse Issues, Rape and Violent Assault, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Domestic Violence, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Dissociative Identity Disorder
The women in this industry face a myriad of issues that impact their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. They are a largely unreached population and many feel desperately isolated and alone. Even those who would contemplate going to church wonder if there truly is a place for them there.
Will they find the restoration they are seeking in the house of God?
Farley, M. and V. Kelly. 2000. “Prostitution: A Critical Review of the Medical and Social Sciences Literature.” Women and Criminal Justice
Holsopple, K. 1999. “Stripclubs According to Strippers: Exposing Workplace Sexual Violence.” Pp. 252-276 in Making the Harm Visible: Global Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls, Speaking Out and Providing Services, edited by D. and C. Roche Hughes. Kingston: Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
Raphael, J. and D. Shapiro. 2004. “Violence in Indoor and Outdoor Prostitution Venues.” Violence Against Women 10:126-139.
Read full article HERE
Violence Against Women
In the UK, nearly 1 in 4 women experiences sexual assault and nearly 1 in 3 women experiences domestic violence (1). In total, over 3 million women experience these and other forms of male violence every year (2). The women’s sector has long campaigned for an integrated strategy to end this violence. In 2009, this culminated with the Government, opposition and Mayor proposing strategies to tackle violence against women and girls:
April 2009: The Mayor of London Boris Johnson launches ‘The way forward: a call for action to end violence against women’ – setting out a proposed programme of action.
March 2009: The Home Office publishes ‘Together we can end violence against women’ consultation paper on an integrated strategy.
Feb 2010: The Home Office publishes its ‘Sexualisation of Young People Review’
December 2008: The Conservative Party publishes ‘Ending Violence Against Women’ (pdf) strategy paper for an integrated strategy.
Putting Sexualisation on the Agenda
We have been lobbying hard to make sure all these strategies include measures to take firm action to tackle the sexualisation of women and girls in the media and popular culture. The table below shows current policy proposals on this issue:
Addresses sexualisation of women and girls
Addresses mainstreaming of the sex industry
Mayor of London:“The way forward: a call for action to end violence against women”
Yes: calls for tougher action on lap dancing clubs and on cutting demand for prostitution
Home Office:“Together we can end violence against women”
Yes: consultation includes a “fact-finding review into the increasing ‘sexualisation’ of teenage girls” and invites responses to the question “Is there a link between sexualised images, perceptions and actual violence?”
No: the consultation only details other policy work undertaken to tackle trafficking
Conservative Party:“Ending Violence Against Women”
Yes: “we must be honest about the growing sexualisation of
Yes: although this is limited to tackling trafficking: “We will also look at targeting potential ‘consumers’ and ‘employers’ through public campaigns in order to highlight the suffering caused by forced labour and prostitution”.
Full article HERE
Why is this a problem?
Lap dancing clubs are a form of commercial sexual exploitation and form part of a sexist ‘sex object culture’ which sees women increasingly sexualised in the media and popular culture. They create ‘no go’ areas where women feel unsafe walking at night (2) and are linked to sexism in the workplace (3). Their social impact is therefore clearly different from that of cafes or karaoke.
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA) is the Australian branch of CATW International, a Non Governmental Organization having Category II consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It works locally and internationally to end all forms of sexual exploitation of women, especially the violence of prostitution, trafficking and pornography.
This report shows the burgeoning strip club industry in Victoria, Australia, harms women and communities. Strip clubs harm the physical and mental health of women who strip, as well as the opportunities of all women who want equal sexual relationships with men. Strip clubs create no-go areas for women, and are responsible for increasing violence in the community. The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA) argues that strip clubs need to be understood as part of the industry of prostitution and regulated in the same way as brothels. This means that they would be licensed, subject to planning restrictions, unable to obtain liquor licenses, and owners would need criminal record checks. To ensure that strip club are not seen merely as entertainment venues, like other night clubs, they should be regulated as commercial sex venues.
The prostitution industry, which CATWA believes should be understood as encompassing escort agencies, strip clubs and the pornography industry. Promotes a model of sex in which women are bought and sold as objects for men’s pleasure. Prostitution requires the objectification of women in order to exist and it requires, and creates, women’s continued inequality in order to function.
CATWA believes that prostitution harms both the women directly involved in it and women more generally. Prostitution is harmful physically and psychologically for prostituted women, and this is supported by an ever growing number of sociological studies. There is now substantial evidence that prostitution is not experienced as ‘just a job’ but, for the vast majority of women, is experienced as a form of exploitation and sexual abuse. The prostitution industry poses a threat to all women through fostering a prostitution culture, where the buying and selling of women is normal and acceptable.
CATWA believes that pornography and strip clubs can be seen to increase the legitimacy of the prostitution industry as a whole by depicting the commercial sexual exploitation of women as acceptable, and even entertaining and glamorous.
CATWA endorses the ‘Nordic Model’ of legislation as a way forward. The Nordic Model involves criminalising the buying of sexual services rather than criminalising women in prostitution. The model is based on an understanding that prostitution is a form of violence against women. The Nordic Model has been very successful in reducing prostitution and trafficking in many parts of Scandinavia.
Stripping is one of the most socially accepted systems of prostitution. It is often not seen as linked to other forms of prostitution although empirical studies suggest that stripping is often interlinked with escorting, brothel prostitution and pornography (Stark, 2006).
For example, illegal prostitution often occurs on strip-club premises and it is common for owners of brothels to also own strip clubs and transfer clients and prostituted women between both businesses. It is therefore not surprising that women across all forms of prostitution, including stripping, experience similarly high rates of posttraumatic stress syndrome (Farley, 2003).
According to the Melbourne newspaper The Age, Victoria currently has 20 ‘sexually explicit venues’ some of which can hold in excess of 1000 patrons (Fyfe, 2010) and many of these clubs, particularly those in Melbourne’s King Street, have been linked to high rates of violence (ABC News, 2008).
Rather than letting the expansion of the industry continue unabated, it is time to reconsider strip clubs. Earlier this year Iceland banned strip clubs with the reasoning that ‘it is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold’, and this move received broad public support (Bindel, 2010). It is time that these issues were raised in Australia. Strip clubs need to be seen as a form of prostitution which harms women and girls as all other forms of prostitution do. As stripping is a form of prostitution, as an absolute minimum it needs to be subject to the same restrictions.
In 1999 an amendment to the Victorian Prostitution Control Act redefined ‘sexual services’ in order to prohibit several activities which were understood to be taking place in strip clubs. The Act includes masturbation as a sexual service and it defines this to include, ‘whether or not the genital part of his or her body is clothed or the masturbation results in orgasm’. The Act did not foresee the rise in lapdancing which fits this definition. Strip clubs are increasingly offering what should be understood as sexual services and should be regulated in the same way as other forms of prostitution.
What happens in the clubs?
A report on the strip club industry in Queensland described the activities that take place in private dances or lap dancing as follows: [S]emi-nude or full-nude striptease performed for an exclusive audience(usually one person). It may involve‘ open leg work’…Lap dancers will often rub their bodies against audience members in a sexually suggestive manner, and audience members will touch the dancers in a similarly intimate way…caressing, kissing or suckling dancers’ breasts. The buttocks, back and thighs may also be caressed… (Jeffries and Lynch, 2007: 7).
The report concludes that ‘many will be surprised at … how sexually explicit the live adult entertainment industry is’ (Ibid: 18). The degree of sexual contact taking place in the strip clubs of Melbourne is so considerable that an amendment had to be made to the Prostitution Control Act in 1999 to spell out exactly which activities would be considered ‘prostitution’.
In Queensland, the stripping industry takes such forms as ‘adult cafes’, peep shows and outcall agencies offering: masturbation, insertion (both vaginal and anal) and/or group acts (‘girl on girl’ only). Dancers may masturbate and insert objects (e.g. dildos, vibrators, vegetables and strings of beads into themselves or other dancers’ (Jeffries and Lynch, 2007: 14). This is what takes place in LA showgirls strip clubs on the Gold Coast!
Moreover, strip clubs in Queensland allow the practice of ‘non-contact ‘Dating’ Services’ as well as outcall striptease services from the clubs. Customers may take a dancer on a ‘date’ outside the club. There are guidelines that say sexual contact should not take place but the practice mirrors other common forms of prostitution in much of Asia.
The impossibility of separating the activities of prostitution from those that take place in strip clubs has caused a minefield for local authorities who are usually responsible for regulation. Often women who strip are required to remain a set distance (e.g., 30 centimetres or a metre) away from male buyers. There is no monitoring in any jurisdiction as to whether these rules are complied with.
Strip Clubs and Violence: The Harms to Women
Strip clubs facilitate violence against women in a number of ways. American academic Melissa Farley (2005) has found that the emergence of private booths within strip clubs has led to increased physical contact between dancers and clients. This has led to dancers becoming more vulnerable to rape, whilst simultaneously providing ‘protection’ and ‘anonymity’ for the men who use them.
These dangers of the strip industry have been acknowledged by the Victorian State Government’s Prostitution Control Act Advisory Committee, which in 1997 found that ‘incidents of physical and sexual violence, sexual harassment and stalking were common’ in strip clubs (Sullivan, 2008, p. 200).
It is interesting to note that the ‘school girl’ theme is common in strip classes as well as in ‘lingerie restaurants’ such as Maxine’s in Richmond, where one lunchtime a week is promoted as the schoolgirl day. This could be seen as promoting the sexual use of young girls.
Strip Clubs and Harms to the Wider Community in Victoria
Strip clubs foster violence in the wider community. The street that hosts the main strip club district in the city of Melbourne, King Street, topped a Herald Sun newspaper online poll as Melbourne’s most threatening street in 2008. In a poll of around 3500 readers, the city club strip attracted 42.4 per cent of the vote. King Street was believed by readers to be more dangerous than even the area best known for street prostitution in Melbourne, Fitzroy Street St Kilda (Buttler, 2008). Local governments in Victoria have widely recognised the threat to community safety and security that strip clubs bring to local areas.
Geelong City Council, for example, challenged a planning application by a strip club owner in 2006, citing evidence from residents that they felt unsafe on the streets around existing strip club venues. A Geelong woman testified at the tribunal hearing that she was ‘afraid to walk home at night alone after a number of incidents involving the Alley cat strip club’ in Geelong. She testified that she had come to expect a certain amount of drunken behaviour after living in the CBD for five years but the number of incidents had sharply increased since the opening of the club (Craven, 2006).
The connection between the strip industry and violence is one that has long been acknowledged. The King St 1994: Enough is Enough report drew a link between sexually explicit entertainment, alcohol and violence.
The Victorian Prostituion Control Act Advisory Committee report of 1997 also noted that the environment created by strip clubs is conducive to the harrassment of women (PCAAC, 1997). Strip club zones effectively create no-go areas for women because they create an environment that is ‘unsafe for women and may be conducive to danger’ (PCAAC, 1997, p. 11). Pauline Burgess, who was on the committee, noted evidence of club patrons abusing and harassing women outside clubs, with comments such as ‘show us your tits’ (quoted in Sullivan, 2007, p. 188). Victoria police have tried unsuccessfully to stop strip clubs from operating in the city of Melbourne, and have opposed alcohol license applications in order to effectively shut clubs down.
In early 2010, Victoria Police lodged a liquor license objection with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in relation to the Showgirls Bar 20strip club, which is run by the nephew of the dead organised crime figure Robert Trimbole. Victoria Police claim John Trimble’s King Street venue does not deserve to sell alcohol because it is failing to stop repeated violence in and around the club. The police submission to the Tribunal described male patrons and staff of strip clubs as violent and drunk.
In 2009, Victoria Police checked to see if Bar 20 was abiding by its licence requirements not to allow drunken people on the premises and discovered so many that they did not have the staff numbers to arrest them all(Moor, 2010b). This report from police is disturbing because it shows that women are largely unprotected in clubs, which are apparently so overrun by such men that police are unable to intervene.
Alcohol Licensing and Victorian Strip Clubs
The rise in violent crime incidents in Melbourne’s strip club district has led to increasing concern about the role of strip related alcohol consumption in fuelling violence in and around strip venues. This was evident in the strategy for addressing alcohol related violence, Restoring the Balance –Victoria’s Alcohol Action Plan 2008-2013, launched by the Victorian government in May 2008, which sought to introduce ‘measures to address alcohol misuse, including preventing alcohol-related violence in and around licensed venues’ (Department of Justice, 2010). The Action Plan led to the passage of the Liquor Control Reform (Licensing Bill) 2009, which introduced a ‘risk-based fee structure’ in Victorian licensing laws. This legislation saw liquor licensing fees for Victorian strip clubs increase to $30,000 a year (Hansard, 24 February 2010, p. 420), on the basis that such venues were identified by the government as ‘high risk’. In September 2008, the option of banning alcohol altogether in strip clubs was raised by Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson, following a number of violent incidents that occurred in Melbourne’s CBD strip club district (AAP, 2008). The Minister noted the inconsistencies in Victorian laws on this issue, given that alcohol is banned in Victorian brothels but readily available in strip clubs which provide ‘perhaps not the full suite of sexually explicit services, but a fair component of them’ (Moor, 2008). Robinson ordered a Consumer Affairs review of liquor licensing for venues offering ‘sex entertainment’ in September 2008 (AAP, 2008), but the findings of the review do not appear to be available to the public.
As a first step toward addressing the harm suffered by women as a result of the strip club industry, CATW Australia recommends the total banning of alcohol in Victorian strip clubs. This is put forward with a view to reducing the threat to physical safety experienced by women both in the strip industry as well as in the wider community, and in seeking the eventual closure and banning of these venues.
Connections with Organised Crime
There is evidence of considerable organised crime involvement in the ownership, management, security and patronage of strip clubs in Victoria. This creates several harms to the community. Strip clubs facilitate the development and profits of organised crime. Problems are created for policing and good governance. The violence associated with organised crime also spills out of the clubs to make the surrounding areas unsafe for citizens.
Victorian strip clubs in particular have come under some scrutiny in the media for their association with organised crime members. The shooting in Melbourne’s CBD involving a Hells Angel motorcycle gang member in 2007, for example, was widely reported.
The bikie shot two men, killing one, after they attempted to stop him from assaulting a women (stripper) who he was in a relationship with, on the street in Melbourne’s CBD. Reports at the time indicated that during the weeks prior to the shooting, the bikie had been seen several times at the Spearmint Rhino, the strip club where his girlfriend worked as a dancer (McKenzie et al., 2007). The incident highlights the link between strip clubs and motorcycle gangs, with The Age quoting a former police officer and security company owner as saying ‘bikie gangs, amphetamines and strippers’ have always been part of the industry. ’[Y]ou’d be stupid to think the motorcycle gangs weren’t involved in some of the clubs along King Street and surrounding suburbs’ (McKenzie et al., 2007). The Age also reported that underworld figures have ‘a stranglehold on the city’s largest clubs, which have a cash economy and access to girls, alcohol and drugs’ (McKenzie et al., 2007).
In conducting research into Melbourne’s strip clubs, CATWA has undertaken a content analysis of the websites of twelve Victorian strip clubs – or ‘gentlemen’s clubs’. Seven of these clubs are located in Melbourne’s CBD, three in the inner suburbs (South Melbourne, Northcote and Brunswick), one in the outer suburbs (Frankston), and one in Geelong. This analysis indicates that the strip industry is engaged in glamourising the degradation of women. The clubs target ‘businessmen’ and the corporate sector, and try to ensure that male buyers are repeat customers by encouraging them to attend as frequently as possible. The clubs market themselves as mere entertainment, rather than prostitution providers. They promote themselves to potential women workers as glamorous venues, rather than as quasi brothels, and so induct new generations of young women into Australia’s sex industry.
The range of functions that the clubs advertised on their websites suggests the increasing acceptability of strip clubs as a ‘legitimate’ function venue and the viewing of strip shows as a legitimate ‘activity’. The vast 16majority of the websites boasted that they could cater for a range of functions, including:
• Private Functions• Birthday Parties (‘Surprise your friend with a lap dance he or she won’t forget’)• Bucks Nights• Hens Nights• Corporate Events• Work Functions• End of Financial Year Boat Cruise and lunch (Hustler)• Executive Meetings• Office Partie • Divorce Parties• Large VIP Room• Christmas Breakups/Functions• Sport’s Club Functions• Golf Days (‘Need sexy caddys?’)• Tradies Celebrations• Bus, Limosine and Hummer Hire Xplicit and Bux Parties)• Or ‘any excuse for the boys to go out and play’ (Bux Parties)
The clubs market themselves as legitimate venues for events but their ‘entertainment’ relies on the degradation of women.
Almost all of the clubs advertised different promotions and events, including:
• Amateur Night (Hustler)• ‘Girl of the Month’ (Goldfingers)• Australian Showgirl of the Year (Xplicit)• ‘So You Think You Can Striptease’Competition • Lingerie party (Dreams Gentlemen’s Club)• Lucky door prize (Hustler) • Miss Nude Victoria (Hustler)• Rookie of the Year (Showgirls Bar20)• Dildorama (Hustler)• Merchandise/Logo Night (‘wear any approved Spearmint Rhino logo item for free entry’)• Business card competition (Men’s Gallery)• Poker nights• Music gigs (Xplicit)• Televised sport – AFL (Xplicit)
The clubs diversify their offerings in order to normalise the venues and encourage a wider range of male customers. They seek to market themselves as exactly like night clubs, rather than brothels, even though strip clubs are clearly part of the sex industry and need to be understood as such.
Part of the normalisation of strip clubs is their provision of meals. Patrons of Hustler Club can order, for example, a two-course meal in the dining room and be served by topless waitresses. It should be a matter of concern that the clubs are now spreading into the suburbs, and taking with them the harms to the community and to women’s equality, while pretending to be community conscious businesses.
One of the clubs, which is located in the inner-city suburb of Northcote, advertised the ways in which the club was attempting to create a sense of connection and contribution to the local community – ‘this venue has always provided a variety of entertainment for the local community and we will continue the standards of entertainment, but with a new modern upmarket decor. Sit back with a few friends in a quiet surround and enjoy’ (Xplicit).
How Does Strip Affect You?
Strip clubs not only harm those women directly involved in them, they also harm the status of women more generally. The clubs foster a prostitution culture which constructs and reinforces women’s inequality.
A Harmful Prostitution Culture
The current branding of the strip industry as ‘entertainment’ diverts attention from the fact that it is aiding the normalisation of prostitution. Such normalisation has resulted in a prostitution culture, which has harmful effects upon not only the lives of women in prostitution but also of the lives of all women living within society.
A culture of prostitution damages the possibility of creating relationships of equality, respect and honesty between women and men in the home, in the workplace and in all other areas of life. The strip industry is growing and patronage is increasing. Strip club advertising places women’s bodies for sale on billboards in suburban streets. Through these practices, new generations of men are trained in accepting prostitution as a normal and acceptable facet of life. This inevitably affects the way that men relate to women in their lives: their family, partners, workmates and friends.
Equal relationships between men and women are still difficult for many to achieve. The existence of strip clubs, brothels, pornography and the advertising of these forms of sexual exploitation make it much harder. The Strip clubs not only harm those women directly involved in them, they also harm the status of women more generally. The clubs foster a prostitution culture which constructs and reinforces women’s inequality18prostitution industry, of which stripping is one strand, creates and promotes the notion that women are objects for sexual use rather than equal human beings. It creates the idea that women can be bought and sold for men’s sexual pleasure. A prostitution culture cements gender inequality and reinforces negative attitudes about women.
Harms to Equality: The new glass ceiling
The increased social acceptance of the strip industry and use of strip clubs by male executives for networking, awarding of bonuses and socialising has had a detrimental effect on women’s equality in the workplace. The use of strip clubs by male businessmen is now creating a new ‘glass ceiling’. The acceptance and use of this form of prostitution adds a new dimension to the exclusion and limitation of women’s participation in the workplace and work-related activities (Jeffreys, 2010).
It is clear that the use of strip clubs for business is promoted by clubs in Victoria and it is also clear that this is likely to have a real effect on working women’s equality. Women can attend meetings and suffer the pain and embarrassment of watching how other women are treated in the strip clubs, or they can refuse to go, be excluded from important business events and risk losing the chance of advancement. Women executives cannot be equal in a prostitution culture where their male colleagues can cement deals by providing women from strip clubs to clients, or join clients in visiting strip clubs (Jeffreys, 2002).
Why the Concern?
Concern about the expansion of the lap-dance club scene can be divided into the following areas:
• Links to organised crime and criminality
• A front for prostitution
• Inadequate licensing laws
• Neighbourhood disruption
• Perpetuation of gender inequality
These issues were explored during the study, and are addressed in this report.
The term ‘lap dancing’ is used throughout this report to mean any type of ‘erotic’ dance, such as table and pole dancing. Some clubs included in this report self-define as table dancing. However, for the sake of consistency, these clubs will be referred to as ‘lap-dance clubs’, and the dancers involved, ‘lap dancers’.
This short exploratory study seeks to address lap dancing, and lap-dancing clubs, in a context of growing concerns from Glasgow City council regarding the current licensing system and lack of local authority powers, in line with its equality policy and stand against commercial sexual exploitation. Opposition to the clubs from some women’s groups was also noted. The study draws on a range of perceptions – the police, licensing boards, the general public, customers and dancers.
The study was conducted using a multi-methodological strategy, which was discussed and agreed with the commissioning body, and formally agreed at a meeting of the Council’s Policy and Resources Equalities Sub-Committee.
Methods used were:
• Literature review • Internet research • Visits to clubs • Interviews
A report by the Lillith Project (2002) focused on seven lap-dance clubs in the London borough of Camden. It concludes that the existence of lap-dancing clubs has a negative effect on the community, that areas where lap-dance clubs operate have become ‘no-go’ for women who feel uncomfortable walking by, and that men have been harassed by personnel offering them sexual services24
Mary Sullivan’s study (2004) of the effects of brothel legalisation in Victoria, Australia, links table and lap dancing to prostitution and the sex industry. In her view, legalisation expands the boundaries of the sex industry and causes ‘women…[to] become products of mass consumption’ (op cit p 3). Page 27
A Front for Prostitution?
This study has revealed the complex process and set of conditions in which dancers become more susceptible to requests or suggestions to sell sex. The lack of employment rights, for some women the experience of accumulating debt, expectations of the customers, fierce competition, and a link in public perceptions between lap dancer and stripper/prostitute, create an overall climate where the selling and buying of sex on the premises becomes more likely, as the diagram on the next page illustrates :
51 Iain Wilson And Billy Briggs, 2002,‘City powerless to act against lap-dance club’, Glasgow Herald, October 4. 52 Robert Verkaik, 2004, ‘Spearmint Rhino hires ex detective to clean up club’s act’, The Independent, April 29. 53 Neasa MacErlean , 2002, ‘Sexual union’, Observer, July 28.
In Glasgow, women’s groups that focus on violence and exploitation are united in their critique of lap dancing clubs, believing them to constitute exploitation of women.
The Women’s Support Project (WSP) said it is regularly contacted by members of the public concerned about the effect the clubs are having on their city. The coordinator explained:
Women avoid the areas where the clubs are. There’s a very popular pub near one of them that my friends and me used to go to regularly, but since the club opened I haven’t been back since. There are tales of groups of drunken men who are all fired up to sexually humiliate women, so we don’t want to bear the brunt of it.”
The Scottish Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation was formed in 2004 out of concern regarding the expansion of the ‘acceptable face’ of the sex industry, namely lap dancing clubs.
The Scottish Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation (SCASE), which brings together organisations and individuals in Scotland who share a concern about the harm caused by sexual exploitation of women62, also objects to the presence of lapdancing clubs. SCASE considers the normalisation and expansion of the sex industry to be harmful to women in general.
We view lap dancing as being part of a spectrum of commercial sexual exploitation which contributes to a culture in which women are viewed as objects available for the sexual gratification of men. We would argue that commercial sexual exploitation, which includes lap dancing, pornography and prostitution, is inextricably linked with both the prevalence and the acceptability of sexual violence within our society. Any work around sexual violence must have as its objective the eradication of rape, and we will not achieve this until we tackle the root causes of this violence: namely men’s attitudes to women, and society’s tolerance and encouragement of these attitudes (Correspondence, 2004).
In England, women’s groups that have been proactive in their opposition to lapdancing clubs are the Lillith Project, OBJECT and the Sheffield Women’s Forum, all of which were contacted for the purposes of this study.
A representative of the Sheffield Women’s Forum, which conducted a straw poll of women in the city centre near to where a lap-dancing club had recently opened and advertised, stated that:
In general, women in Sheffield do not want these clubs in their city, and nor do they want to walk past the billboards advertising the clubs using naked women. There’s enough pornography around as it is (Interview, May 2004).
OBJECT, which describes itself as ‘challenging the portrayal of women as sexual objects’63, is critical of lap-dancing establishments because they “encourage the normalisation of pornography and misogyny (Interview, May 2004).
The following groups and organisations are affiliated: Women’s Support Project; Rape Crisis Scotland; Glasgow Rape Crisis; Glasgow Women’s Aid; East Lothian Women’s Aid; Dumfries and Stewarty Womens Aid; East Dumbartsonshire Womens Aid; Glasgow Simon Community; WISE Women; Womens Rights Education; Network Open Secret; Gartnavel Hospital Adolescent Unit; Quarriers Reach Out Project; Quarriers Family Resource Project; Routes out of Prostitution; SAY Women; Base 75; SWAP Project; Polepark Family Services; Rape and Sexual Assault North East; Edinburgh CC Equalities Unit; plus a number of individuals. 63 http://freespace.virgin.net/object.objects/.
On the basis of information provided by dancers and customers in particular, it could be argued that activities within lap-dancing clubs are in direct contradiction with attempts to promote equality between men and women, and could contribute to hindering further progress in this area. During the course of this study, there were instances where customers were observed sexually objectifying and exploiting dancers. The way that lap-dance clubs are organised, and the conditions that the dancers operate in, appear to reinforce gender inequality, and normalise men’s sexual objectification of women.
This study concludes the following main points:
• Contrary to the opinion of club owners interviewed for the purposes of this study, lap-dancing clubs can be seen as part of the sex industry
During the six visits only two female customers were observed in one of the clubs. Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit London Metropolitan University 60
• Lap dancing is becoming increasingly normalised
• Activities within the clubs can be seen as detrimental to gender equality
• The buying and selling of sexual services does occur in some lap-dance clubs
• Current licensing conditions appear inadequate
• Working conditions and terms of employment of lap dancers are inadequate and problematic
• There is strong evidence that dancers can suffer humiliation and sexual harassment on a regular basis, from customers and staff/management
• There is a strong public lobby opposing lap-dance clubs in the UK and elsewhere
• Many dancers begin working in lap-dance clubs through lack of real choice
• The requirement for dancers to ‘glamour model’ to advertise the club, and the evidence that some customers take covert photographs of the dancers whilst naked, suggests links between lap-dancing clubs and pornography
Read full pdf HERE
Lap dancing is harmless. Why aren’t you worrying about more important things?
Lap dancing clubs encourage their customers, and wider society, to see women as sex objects. They reinforce the idea that women are always sexually available, as long as you’ve got a bit of cash to spare. This has to be seen in the wider context of a society in which men still dominate the positions of power and where violence against women is endemic, with 1 in 4 women facing rape in her lifetime and 1 in 2 women facing sexual harassment, stalking or domestic violence. Those working with female victims of male violence believe that the mainstreaming of the sex industries legitimises the attitudes that ultimately lead to violence against women.
The fact that we are bombarded with sexist images of women in poses which stem from pornography, depicting women as always up for sex, no matter what, cannot be disconnected from endemic violence against women, low conviction rates, and the fact that the majority of people still think that women are at least partly to blame if they are sexually assaulted (Amnesty International, Sexual Assault Research 2005).
“The use of women in degrading entertainment exacerbates violence against women…lap dancing and similar clubs be regulated to ensure that local crimes against women do not increase” Women’’’s National Commission (WNC) report to the UN Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 2005
Read pdf HERE
It is long established that the overwhelming portrayal of women as sex objects in society plays a role in maintaining inequality between women and men. This has been recognised at the international level by the United Nations Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which calls on States to take decisive action to tackle objectification – which it links to stereotypes and prejudices based on gender (8). CEDAW has since repeatedly identified (9) the links between the portrayal of women as sex objects by the media and sex industry with attitudes that underpin violence and discrimination against women.
In 2008 the UN CEDAW Committee cross-examined the UK to assess its progress in fulfilling CEDAW obligations. On gender stereotyping and the portrayal of women in the media and popular culture it was found that the UK had still not enactedany relevant policies. The committee strongly called for action to be taken by the UK Government (10). The End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) has also repeatedly highlighted (11) the sexualisation of women in the media and popular culture as a ‘conducive context’ for violence against women and has called for action to tackle this, in particular via the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Read these facts HERE
The sexualisation of women in the media and mainstreaming of the sex industry is filling the gap of sex education and shaping how sexual identities are formed. Alarmingly, 66% of young people say that they find out about sex, love and relationships through the media (Institute of Education, 2003).
This is harmful. As pornography infiltrates mainstream culture and the line between what used to be considered hard core and what is sold in newsagents and supermarket becomes increasingly blurred, the rape narrative which originated from porn has become increasingly acceptable. In fact, Maxim even tells teenage readers that ‘a lot of women fantasise about things like being raped’ and that ‘it’s a myth that women like soft sex’.
This message is reflected by statistics showing that almost half of all adult women in England and Wales have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking (British Crime Survey)
Object is a human rights organisation which campaigns against ‘sex-object culture’ – a culture in which women are increasingly sexualised as ‘sex objects’ in our media and every day lives. and a high proportion of people still think that women are at least partially to blame for rape, with rape conviction rates at an all time low (Amnesty International, 2005).
‘Sex-object culture’ also harms boys who are pressurised to act out a version of ‘being a man’ in which power over women is normal. The effect is demonstrated by the fact that only 8% of rapes are stranger rapes, meaning that it is ‘ordinary’ boys and men who are committing sexually violent crimes. The media’s portrayal of women as sex objects also harms girls’ mental and physical health leading to a lack of confidence with their bodies as well as eating disorders (American Psychological Association, 2007). Women and girls are comparing themselves with celebrities who have had plastic surgery and whose photographs have been airbrushed. It is no wonder that in the UK at least 1 million people have eating disorders (90% of whom are women) and that upwards of £1 billion pounds is spent on plastic surgery annually (90% of which is spent by women). When women are overwhelmingly valued on the basis of their looks this has an impact on all spheres of life. Parliament is 80% male, and the gender pay gap means that in effect women are only paid till October whilst men continue to be paid until the end of the year.
• But what if it’s a woman’s choice to be glamour models or lap dancers?
Mainstream media outlets glamorise the ‘porn star’ life. For example even though much research shows that prostitution is overwhelming abusive and exploitative, the media friendly story is still one of the ‘Belle du Jour’ fantasy of a successful and glamorous call girl. Instead of showing the realities of lap dancing, page 3 or prostitution, the media focuses on discussions on women’s choice to participate in the sex industry.
Actually, the issue of choice is complex. We have to look at all the factors which influence our choices, including the way that the media and popular culture glamorises the sex industry. Even if we could establish that it truly was a genuine and empowering choice of a woman to go into one of these industries, the harmful impact that their normalisation has on society makes the issue much bigger than one of individual choice.
• What about freedom of speech?
We are talking about multi-billion pound media and sex industries backed up by big business. It is clear that it is the sex industry and all those making profit out of the sex-object culture that have the loudest voice. It is the women and men who want to challenge this culture that are silenced.
We are not calling for censorship. Object is calling for improved regulation of the media in relation to sexism and for people to understand the reality and effects of normalising words and images which reinforce and normalise inequalities between women and men. Quite rightly this has been recognised in the arena of racial equality, where legislation criminalises the incitement of racial hatred. Isn’t it time for such laws to be brought in to protect the rights of women?
Read pdf HERE
Boys Think Girls are Toys?: An evaluation of the nia project prevention programme on sexual exploitation
An evaluation of a prevention programme focussing on sexual exploitation for both young people and professionals. The programme was delivered across London by the nia project, in partnership with the Children’s Society from September 2007 to December 2010, with three broad aims:
– To increase the number of young people at risk of being abused through sexual exploitation accessing appropriate support;
– To increase the number of professionals that are able to identify young people at risk of sexual exploitation and take appropriate action;
– To increase the number of agencies aware of the issue and able to address it.
Recommendations from the evaluation include: the integration of sexual exploitation prevention work in schools/youth settings, and training for a range of professionals, commissioned by Local Safeguarding Children Boards and delivered by specialised organisations.
The term sexual exploitation is associated with economic gain and/or commercial elements ofsexual activity. In the prevention programme it was used in a wider sense, to cover coercive behaviours in intimate relationships and peer networks that might lead to, or be a constitutive part of, sexual exploitation (see also Kelly et al, 2000). While content of the programme was adjusted for specific groups, core themes included:
social constructs of gender;
masculinity and links with coercion/pressure;
the spectrum of sexual exploitation;
media representations and messages about gender and sexuality;
appropriate behaviour in respectful and consensual relationships;
signs of potentially abusive or exploitative dynamics;
legal contexts, including the Sexual Offences Act 2003;
boundaries of personal space and the body;
Young people’s experiences and perceptions of coercion and exploitation
An extensive evidence base exists on the range of contexts in which young people experience sexual coercion and exploitation, as illustrated by selected key findings:
21 per cent of girls and 11 per cent of boys had experienced some form of sexual abuse
(May-Chahal & Cawson, 2005).
Young women are subject to emotional pressure/manipulation to consent to sex by partners and peers, whilst also reporting instances of rape and assault (Hoggart, 2006a;
2006b; Hoggart & Phillips, 2009; Maxwell & Aggleton, 2009; Noonan & Charles, 2009).
One in ten young women experienced attempted sexual assault and three per cent had been forced to have sex by partners (Burman & Cartmel, 2006); one in 14 young men considered ‘forcing a partner to have sex’ as ‘something that just happens’ (p32).
Sexual violence and exploitation is common among young people, with rape (and threats of rape) used against girls involved in gangs and their female family members (Firmin, 2010).
One in three teenage girls has experienced sexual violence from a partner, for a minority on an ongoing basis (Barter et al, 2009).
Further stats on women in the sex industry
The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation’s website also quotes “Survivors of Incest Anonymous” in its “Recovery and Support Groups” section, (10) which shows that they know it is not uncommon for pornography performers to be incest survivors. Mary Anne Layden, a psychotherapist who counsels strippers and prostitutes, estimates that between 60% and 80% of strippers are adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. (11)
POVERTY, HOMELESSNESS AND/OR ECONOMIC DEPRIVATION: Other social factors such as poverty, unemployement, or homelessness can make some women enter the sex industry. Some girls get kicked out of their home as soon as they’re 18, or sometimes, even before that age. Others run away from abusive homes. Many of them have a lack of work experience and education, and have no money for studying. These girls need food and a shelter. Sometimes, they become the preys of ruthless pimps who prostitute them, or make them participate in the production of pornography. It also happens that a girl or a woman who has not got a lot of experience or education, finds herself in debt or economic needs and have to make an (at least) meaningful sum of money very quickly. It has been documented that being poor or disadvantaged economically or educationally is one of the ways to drive women and girls (and sometimes men and boys) into the sex industry.(15) Why would we say that the women in pornography and prostitution, who are sexually, physically and emotionally mistreated in every way possible, have made their choices to be there? When we seriously think about it, it is obvious that, generally, those “choices” have been made under a certain form of constraint somehow. Seeing them smiling and/or enjoying their “career” on the set or in interviews and broadcasts, is part of the sex industry’s marketing scheme. The women have to ACT their part so the industry can make more money.
CULTURAL TRAINING AND/OR SOCIALIZATION TO THE PORNIFIED CULTURE: There are indeed some women who eagerly seek “careers” in the pornography industry. And why? Because the whole culture promotes the “porn star” job as a glamorous job. From hit movies to music videos, the images of the stripper and “the happy hooker” are shown as “liberating” and “empowering” for women. Some young girls unfortunately are still immature, even when they turn 18, and with no doubt fall for the pernicious ideologies that the media industries (whose owners, managers, producers and broadcasters are predominantly men) want them to believe. This culture obviously trains women and girls to be sexually available for the pleasure of men. However, even those women and girls – who “choose” to enter the stripping or porn industry after having had a harmful pornifed cultural and social training — do not choose the conditions in which they will “work”.
HOW WOMEN ARE HARMED INSIDE OF THE INDUSTRY:
No matter how a woman who is in pornography has entered the industry, she will have to face the highly likely:
1. PSYCHOLOGICAL HARMS: One of the psychological harms is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which often results from abuse in childhood or sexual violence in adulthood, and notably involves a traumatic re-experiencing of events, a protective emotional numbing and autonomic nervous system hyperarousal. (23) Of the 854 prostituted respondents interviewed by researchers, 68% met the criteria for PTSD. (24) Women in prostitution whose tricks or pimps had made pornography of them had significantly more severe symptoms of PTSD than did prostituted women who did not have pornography made of them. (25) One of the harms is in the process of “dissociation”, which means that women in prostitution and pornography have to mentally “split” to be able to put up with what they do and survive. Fragmenting the mind into parts as well as separating mind from body are essential. That’s all part of the dissociation process. (26) The use of drugs can make this process easier. Those who do not learn to dissociate properly, are more likely to become suicidal. (27) That is one of the reasons why feminists are not surprised when they see “porn stars” who say “they love what they do and they freely chose it” in interviews for TV documentaries, which are a part of the pornography industry’s marketing scheme. Feminists know well that these women have well succeeded their dissociation process, which gives them a better “acting”. Other mental disorders in women in prostitution may include multiple personality disorder, Complex PTSD (CPTSD – when the prostituted self takes over and there is nothing left of the real woman), bipolar disorder (which involves agitation, anxiety and depression), Stockholm Syndrome (which involves, among other thing, emotional bonding to an abuser and denial of the extent of violence and harm he has inflicted), etc… The level of emotional and psychological trauma must be awfully high in the pornography industry.
2. BODILY HARMS: Considering the fact that pornography producers always have to make increasingly more violent and degrading materials due to the increasingly desensitized users’ demand to push the envelope, the unbelievable amount of bodily harms these women suffer is abject. Taking a close look at pornography in a non-sexual way makes obvious that these women suffer daily: choked during oral sex until they cry, forced to perform violent and/or painful anal sex, having their sphincters stretched in such a damaging way, getting beaten, slapped, tortured and bruised, these women must horribly suffer inside of that industry. Tears in the body and throat must be awfully painful. Sometimes, during the scenes, the women forget to act: they do not even attempt to fake moans of pleasure anymore, they are in pain and focused on being able to survive through the scene. (28)
3. EMOTIONAL PAIN: Women in pornography and prostitution cannot always mentally dissociate properly and they often undergo serious depressions and nervous breakdowns due to the emotional pain of being sexually degraded and having their bodies being awfully used and abused. Many prostituted and pornographized women suffer various mood disorders. Some of them eventually become suicidal.
4. HEALTH RISKS: The use of condoms in the American porn industry is below 20%. (29) The website of the nonprofit Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation lists some of the health risks of standard porn sex acts-from HIV and hepatitis to rectal chlamydia, gonorrhea of the throat, and damage to the vagina, throat, and anus. Scenes in which numerous men ejaculate in a woman’s face are extremely risky, the site notes, since “the eye is a direct conduit into the bloodstream.” (30)
Read more HERE
Crimes committed against women who work in strip clubs are often underreported, as is the case for most other crimes of a sexual nature.
Strip clubs reflect the gender power dynamics in our society. They are criticized as “environments in which men exercise their social, sexual, and economic authority over women who are dependent on them and as places where women are treated as things to perform and take commands from men” (Ciriello 1993).
A 1992 study by Thompson and Harred states that 92 percent of the women who enter the sexual entertainment industry are within the poverty limits, leading us to believe this is the case for women employed by strip clubs as well. Furthermore, it’s estimated that the majority of strippers are either college students or single mothers. Also, being a stripper does not automatically guarantee financial stability as PayScale reports a range of income for strippers to be between 20k and 122k. Finally, the fact that strippers tend to be more educated as compared to the general population says something about the gender inequality present in the work place with respect to both the value of women-centered professions as well as availability of higher paying opportunities for women.
in addition to financial superiority, all strip club patrons exude their social dominance as they mingle with barely-clothed or partially nude women while they themselves are fully dressed. The women are forced to show not only respect, but even admiration and attraction to men from whom they hope to receive tips. The men, however, have the privilege of judging the women not only for their physical appearance (in choosing which dancer to tip or request a private dance), but also to show disdain for their choice of employment despite the fact that the men share the space with the women simply through their choice of patronage. The objectification and dehumanization of women stripping on a stage is considered entertainment to men and is oftentimes an expression of their masculinity and dominance due to paid for/forced access to female bodies.
Finally, the sexual violence that occurs in strip clubs is probably the most common and most serious issue. One study finds that 100 percent of exotic dancers have been physically assaulted in clubs at which they were employed. The violence acts include physical assault, attempted vaginal penetration, attempted rape, and rape (Holsoppie, 1999). Also, 52 percent of strippers report having been threatened with a weapon (Raphael & Shapiro, 2004). The former statistics are all in addition to the “consensual” acts of prostitution that occur at many venues where club owners hire too many dancers causing them to compete with each other for customer attention and, consequently, provide “extras” in order to make some money.
Other Issues Related to Stripping
statistics show that women working at strip clubs experience higher rates of substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, domestic violence, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative identity disorder than the general population and women who work in the sex industry in general.
The most common substance abuse involves alcohol, as many women who work at strip clubs use alcohol as a coping mechanism. Regarding work preparation, the most common habit for strippers is to consume alcohol. Not only do women drink before getting to work, they also drink while getting ready on site (hair styling and makeup application). Additionally, many women drink throughout their shifts, oftentimes pressured by club management to never refuse a drink from a customer even when their drinks are full. The prevalence of drinking in order to “perform” also shows the extent to which women have to drug their emotions and minds to be able to withstand the objectification, dehumanization, and humiliation that they experience while stripping.
Our society provides a false sense of glamour that goes along with stripping. However, there is NOTHING glamorous about being objectified and sexually abused. Society sees stripping as a self-esteem booster when, in reality, it lowers the self-esteem of women who are demeaned, disrespected, and abused on a daily basis. There’s a false sense of empowerment associated with choosing a career as a stripper; reality proves that women’s lack of power on a social, sexual, and economic basis is exacerbated in this environment. Also, there seems to be a lack of danger-concern regarding strip clubs, which are viewed as pure fun and entertainment versus dodgy places inhabited by a multitude of victims.
Read more HERE
Watch Video HERE
20 min video – Rachel Lloyd effortlessly explains her perspective on sexual exploitation/prostitution/trafficking….its links to Domestic Violence and its place in wider systemic issues of power and privilege.
Along with the increase of “special cabarets” came the increase in crime which was directly associated with these businesses. In fact there were a total of 463 crimes reported involving robbery, assault, narcotics, prostitution, lewd and lascivious acts, nude dancing, fight disturbances and exhibiting obscene material. With the increase of these businesses and the crime associated with them came the outcry of the families and residents . . . for an end to these “sex oriented” businesses in their neighbourhoods.
III. THE SECONDARY EFFECTS OF ADULT ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENTS ON RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS
“With the increase of Adult Entertainment Establishments came a public awareness that these type of businesses could have a direct effect on the quality of life in . . . neighbourhoods due to the criminal activities associated with these adult businesses and the type of patrons that [they] attracted.”
Residents of communities located near some of these businesses have many reasons for disliking these establishments. One concern is with drivers who rush out of the parking lots of the businesses while children are nearby.
Public hearings have overflowed with similar concerns about traffic, property devaluation, prostitution and other crimes. However, at the core of this concern is the fear of the kind of people a nude dance club attracts; usually undesirables, transient crowds, and unsavory elements.
223A. Adverse Effects and Their Causes
Adult entertainment establishments foster criminal activities such as racketeering, arson, murder, narcotics, bookmaking, porno-graphy, profit skimming, and loan sharking.
Along with these activities, opponents of these establishments argue that the spread of HIV, increased prostitution, increased rape, and neighborhood deterioration are also adverse secondary effects attributed to adult businesses.
Not only does a community have to deal with the increased crime brought by these businesses but also the impact on moral values. Signs erected on public streets and highway billboards intended to solicit patrons ultimately indicate to the community’s youth that the moral standard of the community is to depict women as tools for sexual gratification and fantasy fulfilment, rather than as friends, lovers, mothers, and equals.
2. Increased Crime, Prostitution, Rape, and Neighbourhood Deterioration
In LaRue, the Court relied upon testimony by law enforcement agents and state investigators that prostitution occurring in and around strip clubs involved some of the female dancers employed at the clubs.248
The city also presented testimony that indecent exposure to young girls, attempted rape, rape, and assaults on police officers took place on or immediately adjacent to such premises. 249
Community and property
Two types of studies have been conducted to determine whether the presence of adult entertainment affects propertyvalues.262
The most common study approach has been to solicit the opinions of real estate appraisers, lenders, or property owners about the effect of adult businesses on nearby residential or commercial properties.263
Results of these surveys show that the majority of people surveyed would not buy a house or open a business near an adult business.264
Additionally, real estate professionals and residents generally agree that adult entertainment lowers property values “from moderate to substantial amounts.”265
The Supreme Court has held that this evidence may be borrowed from other cities where the secondary effects exist.277
Also, “[a] city need not wait for urban deterioration to occur before acting to remedy it” by way of a zoning ordinance that restricts location of adult entertainment businesses, and a city may rely upon experiences of other cities in enacting such restrictions as long as reliance is reasonable.278
Adult entertainment produces negative secondary effects, as is evidenced by numerous studies. Potential effects include: the spread of HIV, higher crime, higher rates of prostitution and rape, and neighbourhood deterioration, including decreased property values.
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www.spaceinternational.ie – Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse calling for Enlightenment