Protect our young by cracking down on ‘compensated dating’ | South China Morning Post
The compensated dating industry is what makes sex work in Hong The police's approach to compensated dating has largely been . Hong Kong scholar cancels book after censorship tussle with China-owned publisher. In Hong Kong, compensated dating is a trend in sex work that still remains . Often, she says, girls must travel to clinics in China for cheap. Berkeley: University of California Press. Joshua, B. (). Police Saddened as Young Girls Lured into 'Compensated Dating'. South China Morning Post, p.
The next morning, she used a forum to self-promote, and by nightfall, she had her first customer. It was as simple as that. The compensated dating industry is what makes sex work in Hong Kong unique.
There is no shortage of men willing to pay for companionship and sex, and business is booming — one recently-busted ring had overmembers. The industry is supported by internet forums and apps like WeChat and Instagram, where prices are negotiated. The ease of the system has girls in Hong Kong turning to compensated dating as a source of extra income; the authorities now see it as a serious problem.
Despite its popularity or because of itpart-time sex work like compensated dating is thought to be riddled with exploitation. But women who work in the industry view it differently: Meanwhile, Sandy — who has been doing compensated dating since August last year — is both cheery and completely unabashed about it.
At the very beginning, she decided to be open about her work rather than be cowed by stigma.
However, she still makes an effort to hide her real name, saying that previous news reports have resulted in a barrage of cyber-bullying. These posts are viewed with horrified awe by the students of the university she attended, to whom she has become something of an urban legend.
- Japan ‘compensated dating’ exhibition puts child prostitution in the limelight
- ‘Compensated dating’ is just another term for prostitution
- Child sex abuse, compensated dating: holiday trends Hong Kong would rather ignore
But she still hopes to use these accounts to bring something new to activism. Dispelling the myths While police and activist groups clash over the perceived risks of compensated dating, the legal quagmire created by these differences in opinion has been tough on the sex workers themselves.
Current legislation severely restricts sex workers, who amongst other things are not allowed to promote their services in public spaces, work in groups, or lease a workspace.
His findings show that people from various backgrounds drift into the industry. And perhaps even more surprisingly, it is not always about the money — even children from wealthy backgrounds are at risk. As another social worker, Melissa Lee, says: This range of victim profiles and the ever changing role of technology makes it hard for police and frontline workers to estimate the number of people involved in compensated dating.
However, the issue is serious enough that an entire police unit in Kowloon West is dedicated to compensated dating and related issues such as part-time girlfriend services. It has had its hands full.
Compensated dating: Social problem or a road to empowerment and easy cash?
In March, the unit arrested 19 people, aged between 16 and 40, on charges related to compensated dating. The offences included rape, controlling people for prostitution, sexual intercourse with a minor and procurement of persons under 16 for making pornography.
This meant they were able to make only 22 arrests in the first 10 months ofthough they believe the true number of cases is far higher. A section on their website warns: Anyone having sex with an underage girl or boy — defined as under 16 — is committing a criminal offence and if convicted faces a five-year prison sentence. If the minor is under 13 it could be life imprisonment.Dangers of Dating a Chinese Girl - China Uncensored
Those people offering the services can be charged too — no matter how tragic their backstory. Melissa Lee, the social worker, recalls one girl who had been raped by her father and forced into prostitution since she was eight years old. When she turned 16 she reported him to police and her circumstances briefly improved as his case made its way through the courts. But the wait was long — three years — and the girl struggled to cope, eventually turning back to the only way she knew how to fend for herself.
She was later arrested on compensated dating offences. Lee says the case is an example of how, even with the best intentions, Hong Kong sometimes fails the victims of this crime. She says the traumatised young woman simply did not receive the care she needed to prevent her engaging in at-risk behaviour. While the court of public opinion puts most of the blame on the clients, mostly male, it reserves condemnation for the young and vulnerable girls some perceive to be greedy gold-diggers.
compensated dating | ChinaHush
Far less often is the spotlight turned on society itself. Their family failed them. Society and culture failed them. Buying and Selling Sex in Cyberspace.
She said she had made a wise choice because she could make money from compensated dates but nothing from one-night stands. And there are, of course, no easy answers. Many commentators say the only way forward is through education, but the Education Bureau says it is already doing what it can. Chan, the social worker, says this should go further and there should be a self-esteem programme for girls and boys from difficult family backgrounds. Others say any solution needs also to deal with the mostly male customers who create a demand for compensated dating.
Kong, Associate Dean at Hong Kong University, notes health and social services in Hong Kong cater mainly to young people and women, while the social stigma attached to buying sex prevents men from seeking the help they need. This perpetuates the problem as the root cause is never addressed.
One model that has been suggested is for Hong Kong to follow Sweden in punishing the buyers of sex and protecting the women involved in prostitution. She argues advertising and media that portray girls as sex objects must also be addressed: For instance, why a naked body selling perfume or why a year-old in suggestive motion or posture in selling clothes?
She recalls looking in the mirror one day and being unable to recognise herself. She had become lost in the lies she had told her clients and herself and felt trapped. Feeling suicidal, she remembered learning about God in primary school and though she was not religious, a strange peace flooded over her.
She began to pray.