Free picture exchange sex
At the heart of rape and sexual assault is, of course, the issue of consent.
“Section 74 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides that a person consents if they agree by choice, and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice.
The concept of ‘freedom’ can, as in this instance, mean economic freedom.” Otherwise known as financial independence.
Conway gives me an example of the case of R v Kirk, where a homeless teenager agreed to sex with a man in exchange for £3.25 to buy food.
Presently, she is living in an affluent area of London, free of charge, with a man she met on Craigslist (he was one of hundreds who responded to her advert saying she was desperate for free accommodation). "The benefits I’m entitled to while I’m job-hunting are barely enough to make ends meet.
Part of the requirement of her unwritten tenancy is to share a bed with her landlord, Jayesh*, a software engineer – she does not have a bedroom or any private space of her own, and sleeps on the sofa during the day while he is at work. I meet Natalie for a coffee around the corner from her flat and outside a man is begging loudly for change. London rent prices are so high.” Natalie is dressed immaculately with fresh blonde highlights – but lost her job after a temporary contract that she hoped would become permanent didn’t come to fruition.
“The court found that the homeless victim merely ‘submitted’ rather than ‘consented’ because she had no choice in the matter: it was sex or hunger.
After telling me how grotesque he finds this latest twist in the ongoing London housing crisis, he explains, “Regrettably, but – notwithstanding the bold and shameful soliciting of sex on public internet forums – it is legal.” However, he continues, given the level of the crisis facing young people when it comes to housing in London, the issue raises the interesting question of whether or not these arrangements undermine an individual’s freedom of choice.
She then struggled to pay the rent on her flat near Heathrow and, as a substitute, her landlord pressured her into sex to cover the costs she owed him.