Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Protecting The Vulnerable

"I run a high-end introduction service. I screen the clients and set up dates. I encourage the women to pursue their education by providing bursary programs. I encourage them to think about their futures by doing RRSP matching, and I have plastic surgery discounts for those that want to feel a bit better about themselves. I ensure their security, I take care of their marketing, and make sure they're treated with the respect that they deserve."
"My head's been spinning for the past two weeks as I come to the realization of how this [Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act] will affect me. I find it ridiculous that the Conservatives [Government of Canada] want to create laws for us without even consulting us and how we feel."
"The majority of people don't understand what sex work is all about. People tend to think that most of us are abused and come from bad families. I came from an upper-middle-class family in the suburbs of Toronto. I was given every privilege imaginable."
"If Bill C-36 is introduced as law, I'm out of a job. My employees will all be out of a job. They'll have to find black market agencies to work for and they'll risk their lives if the clients are criminalized. Our society will become more repressed. Screening makes women safe. Screening stops women from meeting another Robert Pickton."
Jillian Hollander, owner of Cupid's Escorts, Toronto

Fetish and Fantasy: What does the fox say? Yiffing!

"I was trapped in the sex trade for fifteen years. In those years, I was subjected to all kinds of different abuse. I was anally raped, spat on, had my jaw dislocated, had my hair pulled, been punched -- and the list goes on."
Katarina MacLeod, founder, Rising Angels

"No one takes the time to delve deep and understand. The Tories have only talked to the people that support them. They haven't talked to us."
"Half the time I'm a therapist. They talk about their jobs, their lives, their kids. They're looking for a companion. We don't always have sex the first time and it progresses from there. If this stuff were more well-known then it wouldn't be scary."
"If people could walk a mile in my shoes and see how liberating this can be. I used to be so stressed about money. This changed our lives. I feel more confident since I've started in this business. I'm not a victim. It's my choice and now the government is telling me I can't have my choice."
Leigh, one of 40 escorts working at Cupid's Escorts

"I'm having a really hard time listening to the debate about using words like 'sex work'. When I go to work and I get punched in the face, held down and a gun held against my head, to the point that I have to go to the bathroom and lock myself in, hoping that someone will save me, I don't like to call that work."
Timea Nagy, former prostitute, now care worker

"The word I hear people use the most often is empowerment [how the women he drives describe their experiences working in the sex industry]."
Jay, driver for Cupid's Escorts

"I have no proof that Jesse's not alive or dead so I go on the assumption that she is alive. When we do find her, she's going to see that there has been fights in her name and changes brought about."
Glendine Grant, mother of disappeared teen, founder of Mothers Against Trafficking Humans

"It's kind of a funny story. I was a client before I was a provider. I was seeing this guy, and we had a pretty open relationship. One day, for his birthday, I hired an escort for a threesome. When we broke up, I got in touch with her [the escort] and asked about the industry."
"Because I'm established, I'm not worried. I'm not going to stop being a sex workers. It's like the gun thing -- if you're going to outlaw guns who's going to carry them? Outlaws! The men who are more risk-averse will stop and we'll be left with the dregs of society. I feel bad for the girls on the street because that's what they're left with."
Jessica Lee, free-lance sex workers, Muskoka region

At parliamentary hearings, former sex workers and members of their family spoke of their impressions of the sex trade. They are mostly stories of personal horror. The Government of Canada is set to introduce a bill to protect sex trade workers. The Supreme Court of Canada last December struck down Canada's prostitution law, claiming the law exposes sex workers to undue risks. As such it constitutes a violation of their basic Charter rights to security.

The new bill creates new offences for clients and pimps, without criminalizing prostitutes themselves, although they are prohibited from communication for the purpose of selling their services in a public place where children might be located. According to a spokesperson for Justice Minister Peter MacKay, Bill C-36 "will protect vulnerable Canadians and our communities from this inherently dangerous activity."

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