Prostitution in Rhode Island
Prostitution has been present in most communities for years. Many cities have upheld prostitution as illegal, and anyone found participating in this vice is liable to prosecution. Rhode Island is an exception since prostitution is legal in the state as long as it is done indoors. Many people have been lobbying to have this changed but so far it remains legal. It is important that people take responsibility for their actions before engaging in prostitution. There are numerous consequences associated with prostitution.
Crimes against human beings are despised in all areas of the world. It is worrying that when people engage in prostitution, they are no longer protected; many crimes are committed against them. Men, women and children involved in the prostitution racket are often forced to perform sadomasochistic sexual acts. They are also forced into submitting to sexual demands of their clients in exchange for money. This amounts to sexual harassment and exploitation that is contravening the rights of the prostitutes’ human rights. There has been an increase in the cases where prostitutes have been beaten and others murdered for refusing to engage in some of the acts that their pimps and clients want them to. This also poses a major division in the security of the prostitutes. Rhode Island prostitutes argue that their indoors setting is safe, though cases have been reported of clients attacking the prostitutes.
The legislators against legalization of prostitution in Rhode Island are of the opinion that prostitution damages the reputation of the state; thus, reduces the number of people visiting the state as tourists. This is because many tourists are put off by the notion that the state has many prostitutes and they are, therefore, not comfortable associating with the state. This eventually impacts on the overall earnings of the state from tourism.
Prostitution puts participants at high risk of contracting HIV and other STD’s. This is in contradiction to all the lobbying being done to stop the spread of HIV. HIV is still a deadly disease that costs a lot of money to maintain; thus, it is imperative that we all take responsibility and curb its spread. The fact that prostitutes are forced into having unprotected sex puts them in the forefront in the hierarchy of contracting the killer virus. Prostitutes attest to taking regular testing, often on a weekly basis. A person normally tests negative for at least 4-6 weeks going on to almost 12 weeks after infection. During this time, the prostitute, in the false notion that she is negative, will keep on engaging in unprotected sex. Before the test finally turns positive, she will have infected very many people with HIV. Besides, she will also have exposed herself to other STD’s which might impact on her positive status.
Most of the prostitutes have nothing else to fall back on. This is because they have been in the industry for many years and they do not know how to get back to the mainstream employment. When one tests positive for HIV, she may opt to keep quiet about it since she has no other means to make a living (Allison, 2007). This, in the long run, means that she will keep having sex; thus, exposing her clients to HIV. This has been the case in many places and the worst thing is that no one is able to trace where they first got infected.
Human trafficking has been on the rise, and there are numerous campaigns being held for the sole purpose of eliminating this vice. Being a lucrative enterprise, prostitution requires fresh and new prostitutes to be availed for the clients. As such, pimps are forced to engage in sex trafficking of the girls and children to service the demand. This is a violation of human rights and puts these victims in danger while breaking them away from their families. Trafficking also contravenes the moral issue of protecting minors who have been in demand lately in the industry. These minors endure a lot of abuse, both physically and sexually.
Prostitution puts victims in rather awkward and often humiliating situations that they would rather not have chosen to be in. Prostitutes are often forced into performing humiliating acts in front of other people. Minors are also exposed to visual and graphic scenes that they should not be watching (Sweeney, 2004). This can, in the long run, interfere with the moral standing of these minors and may lead them to lack respect for adults. Those who were forced into prostitution as minors will grow into hardcore prostitutes who have no values due to the early exposure.
Prostitutes have the high potential of getting arrested often. This is because they are termed as lawbreakers and this, in turn, damages their credibility. A former prostitute will find it rather difficult to fit in the mainstream society since they will always be associated with prostitution. Moreover, she will also find it hard to find a good job based on their tainted past. A criminal record also impacts negatively on the overall credibility of people in many situations.
Since most prostitutes are forced into this business, they often look for ways to numb their feelings. Having sexual relations with strangers is not easy and drugs are a good way for the prostitutes to help them forget their current situation. This means that besides prostitution, prostitutes also have the tendency to engage in drugs and substance abuse. This puts them at risk of becoming addicts. Drugs and other illegal substances are expensive for the prostitutes to afford them on a regular basis; they must keep prostituting for the money. This makes them become dependants and slaves to the two vices: prostitution and substance abuse.
No one would like their family members or friends to be prostitutes. It is thus very difficult for the relatives of a prostitute to understand why one got into the industry. For some people the realization might be too hard to fathom such that they term the prostitute an outcast in their family. This can cause a lot of stress and pain on both the prostitute and family members, and lead to the tearing and breaking of family bonds. This in turn will make the prostitute remain in the racket since they have no one to turn to and nowhere to go if they quit.
Regardless of the place where prostitution is occurs, there is no protection for the prostitutes. The notion that once prostitution is legalized it becomes safe for the prostitutes is wrong. It is impossible to protect these people as long as their way of life constantly exposes them to dangerous situations. Beatings, rape and assault are the order of the day for prostitutes in both the states where it is legal and where it remains illegal. The likelihood for a prostitute to be raped is once a week in most areas (Alison, 2007).
Prostitution turns women into simple objects that men can have anytime in whichever way they want it. It is downgrading for women. Women prostitutes have a very low self esteem (Sweeney, 2004). Prostitutes will always be in the defense of their work, justifying their involvement as a way to support themselves. When the society accepts that women can be bought with money and be used by men, then it also opens avenues for rape to flourish. When a man is used to have prostitutes, then he may engage in rape. He will rape when he is short of money since he believes he is entitled to any woman he pleases to have at any time.
Prostitution does make money for some people, especially the pimps. As much as the states that have legalized prostitution want to depict it as a legitimate industry, it falls short. This is because prostitution is always associated with crimes like rape, human trafficking and exploitation. No one will put on their CV a past of prostitution simply because even the prostitutes are not proud of their involvement in the industry. Therefore, it should be clear to all that whether legal or not, it is a negative influence in the society and will never be a legitimate business.
Prostitution should not be seen as a career opportunity. Some people tend to forward their assertion that it is a good avenue for the poor women to find a way to make a living. This is wrong because most of the girls, women and children engaged in the prostitution industry are simply being exploited. This is mainly because they come from the marginalized and oppressed groups in the society and have little say in such matters. Some people go all the way to the third world countries and lie to communities that they want to educate children. They fly these children to the brothels where they are introduced into prostitution. These children have no education and will opt to only keep doing it as they know nothing else. Thus, instead of protecting the marginalized groups, people often exploit them.
There is no simple way of putting it; prostitution is a crime and is not a legitimate business. As discussed, there are numerous cons against the business that touch on the very core of human dignity and the protection of children rights. Any business, which puts people in danger, encourages human trafficking, and exploitation of marginalized groups and children is not a business but a racket.