Exposed: foul website promotes child sex and trafficking

Punternet 2 cropped

Campaigners want sick sex website closed down.

Graham Martin's photo

26th February 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A sick website is a cover for sex traffickers and a playground for perverts seeking under-age sex, TFN can reveal.

Campaigners want action to shut down the Punternet site, which allows men to “rate” prostitutes and post the women’s contact details.

It features degrading and graphic descriptions of the prostituted women, how much they cost and what they do – or are forced to do.

Worryingly, there is clear evidence that it is being used by men to share details of under-age and coercive sex and how to access trafficked women.

Many of the comments on the site, which is easily accessible with no age or security restrictions,  are too graphic and disturbing to reprint in TFN.

When you read it, it really angers you and you realise that you are just a piece of meat to them

A small sample includes evidence of under-age sex: "I like nothing more than a young and under-worked body... this does not usually cause any problems through inexperience".

There is direct evidence of trafficking. One punter, who appears to be describing exploitation taking place in Aberdeen, wrote: "She was just too inexperienced and unskilled, coupled with a crap attitude. After seeing the very cute Consuello the previous week (from the same stable), I had hoped for better. There seems to be a group of early twenties Spanish girls being rotated around the country on this well-known listing website, as the girls appear in Sheffield, Norwich, Peterborough, Derby, Nottingham etc.”

And instances of coercion are depressingly common, one comment boasts about making a woman cry. 

The use of Punternet as a means of control by pimps was revealed recently through interviews conducted by the Glasgow-based Women’s Support Project.

Evidence given by a prostitute from Edinburgh called Cassie form the basis of a series of podcasts, run by TFN.

In the most recent, Cassie describes her “humiliating and degrading” treatment after her pimp placed her details on the site as a means of revenge after she tried to break free from him.

Men use prostitution to act out behaviours on women’s bodies which would lead to criminal charges in a different context

She said: “My pimp went to these forums on punternet, pretended he was a punter and said I was trans. One of my clients texted me and said someone has written things about you that aren’t very nice on Punternet. I was like – punternet? I’d never been told about this.

“They are the most degrading forums. Punters go on and they name the girls, where she works, put her telephone number up, either warn guys off from seeing her or write really graphic things you don’t want to read about yourself.

“It’s really demeaning, really degrading. The girls that get the best reviews are the girls who will do absolutely anything for any money. If you refuse to do stuff... they’ll go on and slate you and if you get a bad review, your working career is done.

“I stupidly read my own reviews and read these posts that I was trans/ When you read it, it really angers you and you realise that you are just a piece of meat to them.”

Jan Macleod, manager of the Women’s Support Project, said it is now time for action to be taken against Punternet – and similar sites.

She told TFN: “Sites like this allow men to display hostile and abusive attitudes under the guise of being a consumer. Clearly for some punters this is all part of the excitement and attraction of buying sex – from choosing a woman to comparing, critiquing – it pretty much flies in the face of respectful behaviour. 

“The punters sometimes describe acts that amount to sexual assaults – behaviour that is criminalised but is presented on Punternet as either a good experience for the punter irrespective of what the woman had indicated was acceptable – or alternatively to teach her a lesson if she has been perceived by the punter to be unwilling or not doing her best to please him, or laying down too many rules, or not living up to what he expected based on previous  punter reviews or escort agency adverts.

“All of which highlights that some men use prostitution to act out behaviours and attitudes on women’s bodies which would probably lead to criminal charges if carried out in a different context.

“Punternet reviews can also have a very negative impact on the women involved. It is humiliating and degrading to be reviewed in such a fashion. It can also be used by partners or ex-partners, pimps and others to attempt to control women, for example to threaten to post information about her or to make up reviews.

“We support the campaign to shut down punternet – but it is not the only site of this nature, so we need to address the underlying issue which is that some men feel that buying sex from someone who is disadvantaged and in need of money is acceptable behaviour."

A campaign is underway – with a petition and an active Facebook page.

Trishna Datta, who posted the change.org petition, said: “Punternet is unlike any other sexual service provider because prostitutes are not advertising themselves – punters are advertising the prostitutes and exposing those that appear to be under-age, vulnerable and victims of trafficking.

“This makes it easy for these vulnerable women to be found, used, harmed and raped, with visible details of their locations and contact numbers.”

Punternet has previously been brought to the attention of law makers, with the Home Office replying to a petition three years ago that it had decided not to "ban the advertising of sexual services" and where a website is thought to be acting illegally it "would expect the police to investigate and the Crown Prosecution Service, where appropriate, to prosecute".

Meanwhile, the misery for those depicted on the site – and caught up in prostitution generally – continues.