Punish or help both parties in prostitution

in regards to sending the men to prison who participate in prostitution by paying for sex.

I am writing in response to the letter written by Sarah Kamp on Nov. 1, in regards to her thoughts on sending the men to prison who participate in prostitution by paying for sex.

Kamp states that women engage in prostitution due to despair and addiction. This is a fallacy. Surely these are conditions that have contributed to their becoming a prostitute, however many people have faced despair and addiction and come out of it without resorting to prostitution.

Kamp also writes that it is because of these conditions (addiction and despair) that we should not be sending these women to prison, rather offer them help to get out of prostitution and send the johns to prison instead.

She ignores the fact that some of these men may require counseling or some form of social outreach to help them deal with the life situations that brought them to the point of paying for sex to get whatever gratifications they do from it.

Kamp doesn’t recognize that sending these men to jail for long periods of time would cost a large amount of taxpayer money and further crowd the already overcrowded provincial prisons.

She also fails to acknowledge the fact that in order for these women to get out of prostitution they have to be ready and willing to accept the help that is being offered to them, when all the while the prostitutes who are not accepting help are having customers being put behind bars.

The customers being put behind bars are main sources of income for them and in consequence these women will not be making enough money to survive and possibly have to look for other illegal ways to make income.

There are two parties involved in the act of prostitution.

Laws should not be made that punish one party involved while taking pity on the other, making them out to be victims.

If a law is to be made both parties need to be punished equally for the act, and if other options such as social outreach programs are offered, then they too in turn need to be offered to both parties.

Greg Spence

Abbotsford News