The image of women waiting on sidewalks, empty spaces or industrial lands is most often repeated when talking about prostitution. However, in Spain this is no longer the portrait that most closely matches reality: studies and organizations indicate that prostitution is gradually leaving the streets and concentrating in private apartments. There are reasons for this phenomenon: the emergence of the Internet and mobile phones, the need for police control and the avoidance of municipal ordinances that prosecute prostitution. And Consequences: More covert and diffuse prostitution, more risk for women who practice it, and much more difficulty for security forces and agencies, but also for NGOs to come to them.
These are some of the findings in “Prostitution in Valencian Society: A Sociological Perspective,” by Antonio Arino Villaroia, a sociologist in the investigation and a professor at the University of Valencia, who studies the state of prostitution in this region as well as throughout Spain. The study indicates that there is a “corresponding reduction in prostitution on the streets”, as well as “closure of some clubs” and “relocation of flats”, a phenomenon that is very difficult to detect and makes it even more difficult to calculate. The number of women who prostitute themselves.
“All these transformations make prostitution at the same time a more mobile, ubiquitous, capillary and scattered phenomenon, but, above all, a more invisible and normalized phenomenon. His presence on the streets and in clubs is declining, but growing exponentially these changes make it difficult to gather tough and up-to-date information. One of our informants said: “We have more information about drugs than prostitution,” the text reads. The impact of the Internet, the widespread emergence of the latest generation of mobile phones, and the creation of digital platforms specializing in facilitating contacts accelerated model change, which eventually combined with pandemics and limitations.
Antonio Arino explains that apartments already existed, but the phenomenon of networks and cell phones has intensified: Marketing. If a woman had to expose herself on the street to get acquainted with herself, now it is not necessary to see it, because it is possible to post much more information on the Internet, in more detail and to facilitate contact. This is the ultimate change in what prostitution was. ”The pandemic has led to the phenomenon of‘ blind acceleration ’.
Sociologist Louis Balaster, who has explored this issue in depth, confirms the phenomenon he describes as “processes of concealment and movement.” The transformation, he emphasizes, is due not only to flats, but also to web platforms dedicated to prostitution. “The flats are still partially located. Neighbors are able to identify them, though not instantly. Now the movement is more intense through the websites spread by women,” she says. These are not just advertising websites, but websites that act “like clubs” and offer services to specific women. The platforms can be identified to go to apartments or to any place where women move. Half of the prostitution offerings in the Balearic Islands are already happening online.
“In the case of websites, they increase the profitability of the business and benefit from technological change: they spread offers, but you do not know exactly where these women are, even though they are in your area, because in half an hour they are.” They should be in the place that is given to them, say, be it an apartment, a hotel, a yacht, a car … For pimps it is a super business, they do not pay for space, they do not have to bear it. “The value of conflicts on the street or with neighbors, their location can not be determined and they are less subject to the police,” – explains Balaster. The police and the Civil Guard can not knock on any door because there are no doors. Neither NGOs nor administrations can do that. The risk for women, she argues, is growing: platforms expose their image, the services offered are almost unlimited, and women travel to places where they do not know what to find.
Some traffic clubs already have their own web pages so that in the event of an unforeseen event or closure, they can quickly switch to the business modality of the platforms. Balaster points to the internet and new technologies, but also to the policies of many administrations that only serve to hide prostitution and even criminalize many women, she says. For this reason, he argues that abolitionist politics should think about “how technology can undermine a country’s legislative sovereignty.” The sociologist also criticizes the failure of trafficking complaints: “Judges do not grant them victim status, the process is too long, there is no support, they can expel you and, as the pimps know, threaten you. Your child’s photo on Whatsapp and that means women are equally controlled. “Payments are made online or by transfer, a woman does not even care about money.”
In doctors around the world, they work with women in prostitution and confirm a trend that is also encouraged by “pressure from some administrations” and from an early age when prostitution begins to be consumed. The last drop was a pandemic. Celia Lopez, a member of the organization, highlights the number of websites that currently have agreed exchanges that are also offered in dating apps. There are also consumer forums where they have been able to observe the “great growth” of this type of exchange.
“It poses a clear threat: it makes the prostitution system invisible and women working in prostitution, and it makes it much harder for us to reach out to them and force them to find crime,” said Celia Lopez. This concealment and dispersion will lead to “a lack of socialization among them”, but it also, he said, is a risk for women who are more exposed to violence in the private space and with an even more demanding schedule. Doctors around the world are exploring new ways to reach these women, for example, through the app -ELLA-, which offers all kinds of information and training: where to get a health card with mental health resources, social health care, sexist violence. …
Sociologist Antonio Arino adds that there is a high mobility of women in apartments, which “further distances them from each other”, but reveals them less “about certain regulations that were persecution”. While many clubs are closing, there are other types of facilities that continue to open, ”new types of buildings-hotels, more cautious and Marketing In addition, if it is not banned, they will have a way in the sex industry. “It is clear that” those who still have the image of prostitution as a street phenomenon “are mistaken.
Source: El Diario