Dating and relationships
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

New ruling on carers helping disabled people visit sex workers

Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,789

Scope community team

edited April 30 in Dating and relationships

The BBC has today reported on a new court ruling that makes it lawful for carers in specific circumstances to arrange sex for their disabled clients.

In a case brought about by 27 year old male, 'C', the judge ruled that:
"It is important to recognise that those with mental health disorders have, in the past, effectively been prevented, by the law, from engaging in sexual relations. 

It is no longer the objective of the law to prevent people with mental disorders from having sexual relationships, rather it is to criminalise the exploitation and abuse of such adults by those with whom they are in a relationship of trust."
The fear of having acted illegally, and not in C's best interests, had previously prevented carers from organising a visit to a sex worker.  An experience that C, who has autism and a genetic disorder, wanted to pursue having not yet found a girlfriend or entered any other sexual relationship.

This landmark ruling could have major implications for other disabled people as:
Under England's complex prostitution laws, paying for sex is a not a crime - but actions that encourage its arrangement are.
However, lawyers are now appealing the ruling on the grounds carers would be encouraging prostitution using the state's care services.


Over to you:

  • What do you think to the ruling?
  • Do you feel carers should be able to organise sex - as requested by clients - without fear of repercussion?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below :)
Online Community Co-ordinator

Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.

Replies

  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,416 Pioneering
    Hmm I don't know what to think, if its between two consented couples then yeah, but if its going out paying someone to be sexual with a client, then its illegal in UK, 
    Under England's complex prostitution laws, paying for sex is a not a crime - but actions that encourage its arrangement are.
    Now that statement above has baffled me, as I  know prostitutes have been arrested on street corners and prosecuted for soliciting. 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,605

    Scope community team

    It's legal to pay for sex, but you're correct that it's not legal to solicit sex in a public place along with a string of other offences @Sandy_123. You can read more here on the English Collective of Prostitutes' website
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 4,159 Disability Gamechanger
    I have been a carer myself we aren't allowed to buy cigarettes or alcohol  for service users  so my personal opinion is a carer shouldn't be put in the position of arranging sex for a service user  

    One it puts the carer in danger 
    Two  it puts the service user at risk as well as danger .

    Three  if the carer is arranging  this its moraly wrong in my opinion  its also a big responsibility to put on carers 

    If I was a carer now I would refuse to help them do this it is to much responsibility  and there is a high risk there is also the emotional  side of things to think of as well 

    In my opinion it's wrong and there should be a better way of doing things and a safer way 
  • CaleyCaley Member Posts: 21 Listener
    Very difficult situation, both morally and legally.  One one hand, people are entitled to enjoy consensual sexual relationships regardless of disability, but on the other hand it seems way out of the scope of a client's carer/support worker to be expected to arrange it.  One major consideration would have to be does the client have the mental capacity to understand the risks of things like sti's, are they vulnerable and in danger of becoming a victim of exploitation or could they become emotionally attached to someone they pay just for sex, which are probably things a client would not be aware of but those supporting them may see as very valid concerns?  It's a real minefield and as a former support worker working with older folk, I did see a few vulnerable elderly men being financially abused by younger female sex workers, sometimes groups of them, and it was extremely difficult to deal with as the men didn't see that what was being done to them was wrong and staunchly defended their "friends".
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,789

    Scope community team

    edited May 1
    Hi everyone, it's definitely a topic that evokes mixed responses and feelings.

    Twisting the situation on it's head, would many of the risks you describe such as risk of STI's, developing feelings for the sex worker and becoming a victim of exploitation apply to non-disabled people too?  Should these also be a barrier to disabled people having their sexual needs fulfilled?

    Also, if it was fully regulated and seen as meeting a clients basic human needs in so much as feeding, bathing, etc. - would you still have the same concerns?

    Just playing devil's advocate here and I know it's a subject with many grey areas, but interested in what you think :)
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,416 Pioneering
    Wouldn't they have to legalise prostitution 1st?

  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 4,159 Disability Gamechanger
    Prostitution is illegal  how can you get round that one  a carer is in a position of trust uou would lose your job and you would be prosecuted  
    Maybe even go to prison 

    The law would never allow it and prostitution would have to be made legal which would then cause more  problems  people are working hard to get women out of prostitution  and trying to help turn their life around  and get them into proper jobs 


  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,416 Pioneering
    Dont you think tho, if it was legal, be more controlled, like, be proper places for the ladies to work instead of street corners, also tax man will make a fortune. 
    It happens any way regardless if its illegal or legal, there's always going to be a demand for the service. It works in Amsterdam. 
    I know there is a lot of trafficking etc going on,  but, if it was legal, be controlled better and protection laws of some description.
  • CaleyCaley Member Posts: 21 Listener
    Sex work will never stop happening and it would be far safer for the workers and their clients if it was legalised and had proper controls in place, ie the workers are based in safe licenced premises which are properly managed, inspected and regulated, get regular health checks etc, in which case the risks to disabled or vulnerable "punters" would be vastly reduced and could be a way of them having their needs met without many of the dangers they would face now.  And as well as making it safer for everyone concerned, it could also bring in tax revenue and reduce the burden on the police and court system.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,789

    Scope community team

    @Sandy_123 @lisathomas50

    As @Tori_Scope mentioned slightly earlier, prostitution itself is legal in England and Wales.  The complexities arise with activities associated with it, which this Government report details as:
    ...soliciting, kerb crawling, brothel-keeping and various forms of exploitation, are illegal. These activities are controlled through legal provisions which have been implemented over a period of decades, through several different laws, with a view to protecting vulnerable people from exploitation and reducing the negative impacts of prostitution on local communities.
    I understand concerns around the safeguarding, ethical and moral aspects of disabled people accessing sex workers and I think we can agree that such arrangements should ideally take place through established organisations that have clear governance, policies and guidelines to protect all parties involved.  If this is something anyone reading is interested in exploring, please visit:
    • The TLC Trust - a non-profit organisation helping disabled people find professional sexual services.
    • Adult work - a website that provides access to a range of sexual services including sexual surrogates.  
    While to read more about disability and sex, you can also visit:
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,416 Pioneering
    @Cher_Scope yes I have read most of what you put on varias websites and agree it is  very grey area, be interesting to see the out come.
Sign in or join us to comment.