Melinda Tankard Reist

Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, media commentator and activist. She is best known for her work against sexualisation of girls, objectification of women, pornification of culture, sexual exploitation and violence against women.

Author and/or editor of five books, her third, Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (2009), is in its ninth printing and is the biggest-selling title for her publisher Spinifex Press. Her fourth, Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Pornography Industry (co-ed Abigail Bray), was Highly Commended in the 2012 Australian Educational Publishing Awards. Her latest title is Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade (2016, co-ed Caroline Norma).

Tankard Reist is also co-founder of the grassroots campaigning movement, Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, an ambassador for World Vision, Compassion and the Raise Foundation, and listed in Who’s Who of Australian Women and World Who’s Who of Women.

Available at Readings

Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade

For too long the global sex industry and its vested interests have dominated the prostitution debate repeating the same old line that sex work is just like any job. In large sections of the media, academia, public policy, government and the law, the sex industry has had its way. Little is said of the damage, violation, suffering, and torment of prostitution on the bodies and minds of mostly women and children, nor of the deaths, suicides and murders that are routine in the sex industry. This book refutes the lies and debunks the myths spread by the industry through the lived experiences of women who have survived prostitution. These disturbing stories give voice to formerly prostituted women who explain why they entered the sex trade. They bravely and courageously recount their intimate experiences of harm and humiliation at the hands of sex buyers, pimps and traffickers and reveal their escape and emergence as survivors. Edited by Caroline Norma and Melinda Tankard Reist, the book documents the reality of prostitution revealing the cost to the lives of women and girls. This book will strengthen and support the global campaign to abolish prostitution, provide solidarity and solace to those who bear its scars, and hopefully help women and girls exit this dehumanising industry.