I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the hard-hitting topics that my most recent crime novel, Eyes Wide Open, covered, even writing an article on the recent failure of Amnesty International to protect trafficked women. I was aiming with this novel to bring some awareness to the issues faced by the female characters within the book, namely exploitation within the sex industry. As a follow-up to this I’ve decided to donate my royalties from Eyes Wide Open, for the next year, to an organisation called Beyond the Streets.
In their own words, Beyond the Streets is a UK charity working to end sexual exploitation. Here is their manifesto…
Our vision is to see a world where people are free from exploitation, and where those involved in prostitution have the option to pursue genuine alternatives, free from constraints such as drug use, abusive relationships and poverty.
The sex industry is an ever expanding arena for sexual exploitation. Street prostitution, off-street prostitution, sex tourism, strip clubs, lap dancing, international and domestic trafficking and pornography are some of the venues where sexual exploitation against women, children and men happen every day. We are working towards seeing an end to the sexual exploitation of those in prostitution, many of whom have been trafficked. We believe that sex trafficking and prostitution overlap in fundamental ways and that there is an inequality of social and economic power between those exploited and those who exploit. The sex industry is a theatre for gender power dynamics to take the stage.
It is unknown how many people are working in prostitution in the UK – but what we do know is that it affects people in every town and city in the UK.
Prioritising the involvement of those exploited by the sex industry we seek to move….
We believe in life beyond prostitution and understand that change becomes sustainable when a person is empowered rather than simply treated as a passive victim.
We believe that people exploited by prostitution and sex trafficking deserve access to genuine and attainable alternatives. Campaigning alone is not enough; alternatives have to be provided.
We believe that it is vital to look beyond the terms ‘prostitute’ and ‘sex worker’ and treat with respect and dignity the person behind the label.
– See more at: http://www.beyondthestreets.org.uk/#sthash.QOxGsqUW.dpuf