Trafficking In British Columbia
How does this happen?
- Poor early emotional attachment experiences
- Abandonment, and or rejection
- Emotional, physical and sexual abuse
- Running away from home
- Dropping out of school
- Extreme vulnerability, desperation and hopelessness
- Seeking love, and selling their bodies to survive – going back to “normal”
- Average age of entry into sexual exploitation/prostitution: 12 -14
Why does this keep happening?
- Internet pornography
- The media and pop culture that glamorizes the abuse, rape and enslavement of women
- Feelings of power, control and entitlement – “I paid for this”
What are the effects of prostitution?
- Prostitution facilitates the abuse, rape, and murder of women and girls. A study of prostitution in nine countries found that prostitution leads to threats, assault, and rape; results showed that 64 percent of respondents had been threatened with a weapon while in prostitution, 73 percent had been physically assaulted while in prostitution, and 57 percent had been raped while in prostitution
- 70% of women in prostitution have a clinical diagnosis of dissociation (compared to 1-2% in the general population)
- Prostitution leads to post-traumatic stress disorder: this study found that 68 % of respondents met the criteria for a diagnosis of the disorder (compared to 8.3% life time prevalence in the general population).
- Prostitution causes STDs and even localized STD epidemics.
- Prostitution leads to a much higher risk of suicide. One study found that 75 % of prostituted women had attempted suicide and that prostituted women comprised 15 % of all completed suicides.
- 80% to 90% of those in prostitution experience verbal abuse and social contempt which adversely affect them.
- The answer to the question, “why do prostitutes stay with their pimps?” is the same as the answer to the question, “why do battered women stay with their batterers?” (Melissa Farley, 1996). In order to survive captivity, humans bond with their abusers.
- Prostitution reinforces harmful cultural beliefs that females are a disposable commodity, and it further mires women and girls in already difficult economic situations.
- 85% to 95% of those in prostitution want to escape it, but have no other options for survival.
How has Canada responded to prostitution?
- Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, received Royal Assent on November 6, 2014.
- Bill C-36 treats prostitution as a form of sexual exploitation that disproportionately impacts on women and girls.
- Aiming for the Nordic Model (adopted by Sweden, Norway and Iceland)
- Decriminalizes those in the sex industry – promotes gender equality.
- Penalizes those who attempt to buy sex – an attempt to curb demand.
- Provides support services to those wishing to exit.
- Why the Nordic Model is best: While critics say it harms (pushes prostitution underground), countries where the Nordic Model has been adopted report less prostitution, sex trafficking, illegal brothels, and criminal activity, unlike in countries that have legalized/decriminalized prostitution.