Title: Nefarious: Merchant of Souls - debut screening (Perth)

Date & time: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 7pm

Venue: Mount Pleasant Baptist Community College, 497 Marmion St., Booragoon

Description: A few days ago I watched a preview screening of Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, a feature length documentary by Exodus Cry International that exposes the horrors of the sex trade and human trafficking. My husband and I were left speechless at the end of the documentary after being confronted with terrible injustices but somehow feeling a sense of hope that just as slavery was abolished in Britain in the 19th century, the abolition of the sex trade is possible today.

What impacted me the most was the journey that Director Benjamin Nolot took in producing this documentary. Like many of us, he started out thinking of human trafficking as girls being deceived or abducted to work in prostitution. As terrible as this is, Nolot began to see that all women in prostitution experience exploitation, not only those who had been abducted or deceived.

The harm that an orphan child who has been abducted and sold into prostitution in Eastern Europe is similar to the harm that a women who is prostituted in Las Vegas experiences. It shows how every woman in prostitution loses her identity and sense of worth, often resulting in mental health crisis and drug dependency.

Legalised prostitution feeds the acceptance and normalisation of the sex trade and is not the answer to creating a ‘safe’ sex industry. There is nothing safe about prostitution and the journey through Moldova, Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Thailand and Cambodia in this documentary exposes that truth.

The debate around prostitution laws is particularly relevant to WA and the ACT as these governments consider different approaches to dealing with brothels and prostitution. It seems that as individuals become more familiar with the abuse and exploitation inherent in prostitution that one becomes more opposed to the idea of normalising the exploitation through legalisation.

If you live in Perth, please attend this debut screening Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Tickets are $5 and can be booked here and paid for at the door. It is essential to book your tickets as seating is limited.