It’s perfectly legal in the United Kingdom to advertise housing rentals in exchange for sex, but vulnerable women are likely to be exploited by the controversial practice, the BBC reported Thursday.
“One student described how she felt her only option was a ‘sex-for-rent’ deal,” the British news service noted. “She said she had fled an abusive home and had nowhere to live.”
“He took me into his living room, got me drinks, and then after that it was just straight upstairs and go for it,” the woman told the BBC.
“I think these adverts go as close to the edge of the law that they possibly can without breaking the law,” Andrew Wallis, CEO of the anti-human trafficking group Unseen UK told BBC. While the advertisements promise a purely consensual arrangement, “The trouble is when you have a vulnerable person who then becomes exploited, the concept of choice soon disappears,” Mr. Wallis said.
At least one member of Parliament, Peter Kyle, is calling for a possible ban on such arrangements if online classified-advertising portals don’t police themselves.
“If they don’t stand up to this and then accept their responsibility, I will be pushing for legislation to do it for them,” the Labour MP said, reported the BBC.
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