Surveys conducted by housing charity Shelter and ComRes show that as many as 30,000 women were propositioned with “sex for rent” offers across the UK since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020. The website Craigslist was singled out as the most notorious source with advertisements offering propositions including “very low rent for females only” and “no cost option available for females”.
Kevin Stewart, the Housing Minister for Scotland, told Scottish Housing News:
“Any exchange of sex for accommodation is exploitation and forcing someone to engage in sexual activity without their consent is criminal under the existing law. Anyone at risk of coercion should seek advice and contact the police immediately.
“Offers or expectation of sex for rent is one of the issues being addressed by a multi-agency group set up by the Scottish Government to tackle the harms caused by commercial sexual exploitation.
“We have previously written to Craigslist, Gumtree and Vivastreet regarding adverts like these. Gumtree committed to removing adverts of this type wherever reported.”