In Aboriginal Women's Action Network, Bedford decision, Educating Voices, LaCLES.org, Law, Max Waltman, prostitution, SexTrade101 on 2012/07/21 at 8:12 am
Max Waltman, a legal scholar who has been published in the New York Times, has concluded that the ruling in the Bedford case misrepresented evidence, while contravening case law and the charter. Michelle Brock discusses his breakthrough paper at Hope for the Sold. Here’s an excerpt:
A paper concludes thatBedford v. Canada erroneously rewrote the law against “living on the avails of prostitution” on basis of misrepresented as well as faulty evidence, and contravenes prior Supreme Court cases and the Charter by making prostituted persons more vulnerable to exploitation.
To date, living “on the avails of prostitution of another person” has been illegal in Canada. That law was challenged in the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Bedford v. Canada on March 26, 2012. The court essentially found that the law prevented prostituted persons to benefit from third parties such as brothel management, escort agencies, bodyguards, or drivers — all whom were perceived as able to enhance the safety and well-being of prostituted persons. Hence, the avails provision was rewritten by the court, stating that it “applies only to those” who live on the avails “’in circumstances of exploitation.’”
Now, a recent working paper from Stockholm University penned by Max Waltman, a PhD Candidate at their Department of Political Science, concludes that the Court of Appeal for Ontario erroneously rewrote the law against “living on the avails of prostitution” on basis of misrepresented as well as faulty evidence, and as a result made prostituted persons more vulnerable to exploitation. The paper highlights how the Bedford ruling contravenes previous Supreme Court cases on prostitution, and is inconsistent with equality guarantees under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Waltman suggests a different decision based on the notion of equality under the Charter’s case law, which would effectively endorse the Swedish prostitution law in Canada that criminalizes purchasers and pimps, and decriminalizes prostituted persons. The case will now head to the Supreme Court. (If you are new to the Bedford ruling, and want to get caught up on the basics, you can read a clear description of the decision here.)
Download Waltman’s ground-breaking paper here
Read the rest of the article about this breakthrough legal scholarship at www.HopefortheSold.com
In Holly Austin Smith, Tina Frundt, trafficking, trauma on 2012/07/05 at 9:54 pm
Powerful survivor/advocate and Founder of Courtney’s House Tina Frudt, has said, pimping and trafficking is one and the same.” Brilliant survivor/writer Holly Austin Smith has written an exceptional post which shows how building a false separation between the idea of being pimped and the idea of being trafficked harms girls and women who are or have been in the life. Here’s an excerpt of Holly’s tour de force:
Not only does the word prostitute imply choice but it carries with it centuries of stigmatization. At 14 years old, I began to believe that I was a prostitute. I couldn’t understand that I was victimized because I believed I must have chosen to be a prostitute. I initially refused to testify against my traffickers because I believed they were now the only people who accepted me.
“[The trafficker] might beat you, he might sell you…but at least he accepts you,” stated Rachel Lloyd while explaining the mindset of a victim, “society doesn’t have a lot of empathy for girls who have been in the life.”
Rachel explains that traffickers will tell young women and children that the police won’t believe them, that their family will no longer want them, and that nobody will treat them nicely.
And, unfortunately, this is often true. This is the reason why many girls, including myself, chose to return to the traffickers; I felt shunned by society.
The answer to this problem is to stop labeling child victims as prostitutes! These children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking.
“When you talk about a young person being trafficked or exploited,” explained Rachel Lloyd, “the edon the end makes it something that was done to that person; it’s not who they are.”
For nearly 20 years I carried a sense of guilt and shame with me, and I can trace it back to one single word: prostitute.
Read the rest of this moving article here.
In prostitution, trauma, Rebecca Mott, trafficking on 2012/07/05 at 9:32 pm
But there was a part of me … that was reaching for another life – that found it loved Phillip K Dick. I found his universe made sense of my prostituted soul.
Another brave, honest post from extraordinary survivor writer Rebecca Mott. Here’s an excerpt:
I, like most exited women who were in the sex trade long-term – I am slowly finding what it is to be human.
When exited women speak of trauma – they speak of be utterly lost to how humans communicate, lost to the simple routines of being human, lost to be outside the role of appearing human.
It is trauma that is embedded in us – and we have learnt to be like a human, but only as androids are in a Phillip K Dick short story.
I learnt to be human by copying.
It is why I love films, it is why I read fiction, it is why I love to be in a crowd – it is why I am watcher.
I can repeat the actions of what I think it must be to be human – but more often than not, I do so without emotion or able to stop the emptiness inside in me.
I have no idea what it is to be unique – for by copying and being the role that pleases, I have no idea if I am any more than an empty shell.
With the logical side of my brain, I know I am more than a copy, more than a role – but there is always the constant fear that I still am nothing but what makes others feel makes me human.
Many years ago I read or had read to me by a punter – ”Do Androids Dream of Sheep”.
At the time, it was the beginning of a small voice saying you are more than a role.
Read the rest of this powerful piece at Rebecca’s blog www.rmott62.wordpress.com.
In Alexis at Spilled Perfume, prostitution, sex work, trafficking, trauma on 2012/07/05 at 5:40 am
Alexis, who blogs at Spilled Perfume, just posted a beautiful piece about how survivors encourage each other, about her realization that she wants to devote her life to helping people exit prostitution, and about her new book, which will soon be available on Amazon.com — Hooray!! Here’s an excerpt:
On Thursday night last week, I made a big decision: I will give myself and my life fully, 100% to helping people escape prostitution, and helping survivors recover. This decision has been four years in the making. I think it is good idea that God gave me this desire years before I was ready; this allowed me to ponder it intensely and get prepared. My wounds were too fresh before so it was not really an option for me to help other victims (not to mention that I had no courage whatsoever), but it seems that the timing is right somehow.
I often feel that I’m not in the driver’s seat of my own car. My life is so random and unpredictable. So check out these VERY CRAZY THINGS which have been going on in the past eight days.
First of all, I met a survivor of child sex trafficking just 24 hours after my car accident which should have killed me. I’ve never had the courage to find out about how to apply for positions working with sex-trafficked survivors, but by the time I read his story (which took me and hour and a half) I was completely resolved. This is the reason I did not die last Monday. This is the reason I’m alive. Again, I’ve known this for four years, but I did not have the courage or the resolve until Thursday night.
Second, I’m realizing that this decision I made will have its rewards and joys but it will also have its challenges and tough times. I cannot express the joy I feel from hearing my new friend – who was trafficked as a little boy from age 6 until age 10 – asking me, “How did you get to where you are today? I’m having trouble in my recovery. I don’t know if it’s possible to recover. I don’t feel that I deserve to recover.” This is a flicker of hope, a flicker of life inside someone who is somehow still alive against all logic and all reason. He wants to recover. He’s not sure how, but if there is any flicker of hope out there he wants to grab hold of it.
So this is an exciting thing about being involved in the lives of survivors!
Read the rest of this beautiful post at www.ragamuffinalexis.wordpress.com.
In sex work, trafficking, trauma on 2012/07/04 at 7:19 am
Rebecca Mott’s clear unsparing voice describes how it feels to be in prostitution. She will move you. Here’s an excerpt from her blog www.rmott62.wordpress.com.
Do not have pity for me – I am lucky I have exited and I am finding my way back to my humanity – save your anger, grief and desire to make a change for the millions of the prostituted being tortured as you read this.
I will reach into my pain, into the places I had to block out to keep some sanity or the will to live.
I want to write for you to know who those men really were – write to say what being tortured means. Write to the place where you so lose that you could be human – that you forget what being human is.
I want to write into the rotten heart of what it is to be prostituted. I want to write to free my prostituted self, I want to write for freedom for me and all my prostituted Sisters.
To understand and be on the road to destroying male violence, we must see through the eyes and hearts of exited women – these women know and feel and understand the cynical nature of male violence. We know how it is pre-planned, how it is seen as a non-event, how violence to the prostituted is just leisure – nothing more nothing less.
Listen and truly hear our agony, our rage, our ways make deep connections – and used us as teachers to understand male violence and dismissive attitudes to all women and children.
I shall use a few common ways of how I was torture, how normal it became for me – to show that it the structure of the sex trade that must be destroyed.
I was gang-raped often – for any or no reason, because it was exciting for punters to push their boundaries with a whore, because it was branded as punishment for made up reasons, because I was classed as the whore who did not care or feel pain.
Read the rest of the article at Rebecca’s blog www.rmott62.wordpress.com
In Angel K, sex work, trafficking, trauma on 2012/07/04 at 5:54 am
Sometimes you can’t move, sometimes you can’t speak, sometimes it’s like he’s shouting at you but there’s actually no one there.
Breathtakingly honest post by Angel K at Surviving Prostitution and Addiction about how what bgins as domestic violence can turn into being pimped. Here’s an excerpt:
He breaks your boundaries one by one
. He wants anal sex. He wants to use toys. He wants to take pictures. There are certain points where lines are crossed and power shifts to him. You both know it though it’s unspoken. After the pictures he has it in his power to humiliate you publicly.
Now he brings in other people.
These ‘friends’ of his, his dealer plus entourage, he wants you to ‘look after’ them, and you’ve learned what that means. Outsiders will say if it was that bad you would have left, but it’s not that simple. Just because you’re still here doesn’t mean you want to be. If you could walk away, you would, but the last time you tried that, you got caught and by the time he’d finished with you, you weren’t walking anywhere anytime soon. He tells you he’ll finish the job off if it ever happens again. He doesn’t let you leave the house. He has the money and the car keys. You have a serious addiction and you’re in trauma. You have PTSD
and it makes you easy to manipulate.
Sometimes you can’t move, sometimes you can’t speak, sometimes it’s like he’s shouting at you but there’s actually no one there.
In boys, Holly Austin Smith, sex work, Tina Frundt, trafficking, trauma on 2012/07/04 at 5:32 am
Brilliant sister survivor Holly Austin Smith has a written an important post about the desperate need for services for trafficked boys. She discusses the issue with amazing survivor Tina Frudt, a pioneer who founded Courtney’s House, one of the very few providing services to both trafficked boys and girls. Here’s an excerpt:
As celebrations for Gay Pride Month come to a close, I’d like to take a moment to point out a troubling gap in services for gay and transgender youth who have been commercially sexually exploited.
In March of this year, Project Q Atlanta reported that Atlanta drag queen personality Pasha Nicole received a 14-year prison sentence for “forcing a transgender teenager into prostitution,” among other offenses related to trafficking.
Nicole, known legally as Christopher Thomas Lynch, was charged alongside her 35-year-old roommate and gay bar go-go dancer, Steven Donald Lemery. WSBTV reported the following pending charges against Lemery: five counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of human trafficking, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, and pandering by compulsion.
What’s most troubling in this story is the trauma inflicted on the victims.
The Georgia Voice reported
that Lemery used social networking sites
to lure teen boys to his house, and then he would not allow them to leave. Furthermore, it is alleged that Lemery did not feed the victims and that he kept them locked in a closet.