Forced prostitution and Clause 13

Sometimes people say things that are so far off the edge of what is reasonable that I feel my jaw drop with amazement. I have come across one such awful case recently.

On Sunday I am preaching on the part in 1 Timothy 1 that deals with women dressing modestly. As I have been looking at the scripture I have been pondering on some of the strands of meaning. One of which is the encouragement to women to project themselves in more ways than the merely sexual. Because of my studying this week I have been thinking more than usual about the dignity of womanhood.

So imagine my jaw dropping as I came from that mind-set and read a report of some Christians who have been working and praying about Clause 13 of the Policing and Crime Bill. It will probably be debated and voted on this month in the House of Lords. The clause proposes to make it illegal to pay for sex with someone who is subjected to force, i.e. someone who has been trafficked or is being controlled. Sadly, paying for sex with someone subjected to force is currently legal.

At Committee Stage in the Lords, in the debate on Clause 13 one peer said (and this is it, hold your jaw) that poorer men could only afford to pay for sex with women who were subjected to force and therefore to criminalise this would be social discrimination!

How could someone is in such a position be so ignorant or so morally bankrupt that they fail to see that forced prostitution is a tragic occurrence, with all kinds of socially damaging side effects, which needs to be stopped.

God help us.

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