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Challenging sexual exploitation

Issued: 15 Aug 2008

A conference on sexual exploitation is being staged in Inverness in a bid to highlight common misperceptions, and challenge society's ideas of what's acceptable.

The event on August 22 is being organised by the Highland Community Planning Partnership's Violence Against Women Development & Training Officer Gillian Gunn, in partnership with the Child Protection Committee.

She said: "When people think of sexual exploitation they don't tend to think of the full scale of issues that this includes, such as trafficking, prostitution, pornography and lap dancing. It's time for a bit of a debate and a reality check.

"This conference will contain graphic and sexually explicit images which previous attendees have said were personally and politically challenging but extremely worthwhile. It is impossible to comment on pornography, for example, if we are not fully aware of the content of what is now in the mainstream. Things have really moved on over the past 5-10 years. We need to get a grasp of what is out in our communities and what images and representations of women are being consumed.

"We hope that by attending this conference people will become more aware of why commercial sexual exploitation is included in the definition of Violence Against Women."

A number of guest speakers will be presenting including Bridget Curran from Routes out of Prostitution, Julian Heng from Open Road project (Glasgow) and Frances Monaghan, Wise Women.

The free conference is aimed at planners, policy makers, and practitioners working with women, men or families.

Following a visual presentation there will be a number of workshops including one on Working with men or women involved in prostitution, Sexual Exploitation and the Internet and, Challenging Men's Demand - Research into Practice in Highland.

Anyone who wants to attend the free conference, including statutory and voluntary staff, should email Gillian.gunn@hhb.scot.nhs.uk.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme