The Empowered Woman Project

4,369 supporters

    Started 9 petitions

    Petitioning UK Parliament

    Sex in return for rent should become a specific named criminal offence

    Creepy men are offering free accommodation in return for sexual favours / regular sex. One even said to an undercover reporter that he quite ‘likes’ the risk of pregnancy with tenants.  Investigated on Jeremy Kyle’s new show which first aired last Monday called The Kyle Files, Kyle will be investigating high-profile issues which impact on people’s lives across Britain. An issue which came to light in the first episode was men across the UK offering free accommodation to women in return for sexual favours. Kyle said that there had been email exchanges between one of his colleagues who is in her twenties and a middle-aged man where he said she could rent a room for free providing she agreed to his demands of a sexual nature. The man, who features in the episode and appears to ignore Kyle’s questions, uses the website Craigslist to advertise his rooms for rent and to explain what will be expected in exchange. I find it deeply saddening that this sort of advert isn’t having to meet some sort of community guidelines in order to be displayed on the site. Young women, for all sorts of reasons, can find themselves alone and vulnerable and in need of somewhere to sleep or a roof over their head. These sorts of rooms may appeal to women who have come through drug addiction or alcohol abuse who are in dire need of a safe place to rest their head. These adverts and the men responsible are NOT safe and we need to ask Craiglist why there isn’t a way to report adverts of this nature. When I started digging, it didn’t take me long to uncover a few of these adverts in Glasgow. One was for a ‘free room with en-suite’ in the Hillhead area of the city for a ‘female who’s willing to earn it’. He asked that prospective candidates email what they’d be willing to do in exchange for the free room. I exposed the advert on my Facebook page The Empowered Woman Project to see what people thought about it and one follower names Charlotte said, “Back when I was 18, I saw something similar advertised on a house sharing site. I was very desperately in need of accommodation at the time and nearly contacted the person with the listing but ended up listening to my gut instead and not bothering.” What this means is that we are dealing with a very real issue where women are perhaps willing to compromise on consent and what makes them feel safe in exchange for simply a safe place to live. What we need to ask is why do sites like Craigslist not have a way of reporting these potentially damaging adverts and how can we clamp down on this type of predatory behaviour? If you’ve found yourself considering responding to an advert of this kind, we’d be keen to hear from you... in the meantime, please sign our petition to have this made a criminal offence. 

    The Empowered Woman Project
    38 supporters
    Petitioning Dumbarton Sheriff Court, SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT, police scotland

    Appeal the decision of Christopher Daniel's sentencing

    The Empowered Woman Project was alerted to a Scottish case by follower Laura Hastings.  STV reported today: Sheriff Gerard Sinclair found Christopher Daniel, 18, guilty of sexually assaulting a girl on numerous occasions when she was aged between six and eight. But the "wholly exceptional" sentence means the teenage dental student does not have a criminal record and was not put on the sex offenders register. Following a series of STV News reports, the Judicial Office for Scotland published a statement on Thursday detailing the sheriff's reasons. The victims's family are angry and confused by the reasons given - accusing the sheriff of making assumptions and getting facts wrong. The statement said from the victim's family said: "The sheriff considered the offence to be the result of an entirely inappropriate curiosity of an emotionally naive teenager rather than for the purpose of sexual gratification." The girl's mum said: "I am absolutely gobsmacked by this. How can he possibly know this? It also seems to be at odds with the charge which was of sexual assault. He also says that my daughter appears not to have suffered any 'long-lasting effects'. Again, how can he possibly know this? No-one has asked me at any point how my daughter is." Since Daniel's trial at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last month, the family had been unable to obtain the sheriff's reasons. The release of the statement is highly unusual - but the Judicial Office for Scotland did not warn the victim's family that it was happening. The sheriff says his sentence was based on the attacker's immaturity, social awkwardness and the fact his level of offending did not escalate. He also placed importance on the damage that a conviction could do to Daniel's career. The statement read: "As to the circumstances of the offence, the sheriff considered that the actions, occurring on more than one occasion could not be classed as spontaneous. "However, there had been no attempt to escalate the nature of the offending. "In light of the evidence as to the immaturity of the accused, and the nature of the discussion during which he admitted his actions, the sheriff considered the offence to be the result of an entirely inappropriate curiosity of an emotionally naive teenager rather than for the purpose of sexual gratification." "The accused had appeared both noticeably immature and socially awkward, features confirmed by other evidence in the case. "It was fortunate that the complainer appeared to have suffered no injury or long-lasting effects. "Any sentence would mean that he would probably be unable to continue his university course." The sheriff also said he took the decision because the family "held no ill will" against Daniel and were not "seeking any form of retribution". I'm sorry but... we want this decision appealed. And urgently. For the girl and for her family and for any victims of sexual trauma / violence. 

    The Empowered Woman Project
    1 supporter