A former Vancouver prostitute will fly to Parliament Hill next week to testify before the Senate in a response to a bill that would criminalize the buying of sex.
“I thought he was reaching underneath his seat for his wallet, but it turns out it was a crow bar, and I remember it kind of cracking into my chest.”
Trisha Baptie recalls more than a decade of exploitation and violence as a sex trade worker on the DownTown Eastside.
Now she plans to advocate in favour of new laws that would target the buyers of sex.
“By criminalizing and finding men who partake in prostitution will be setting a new trajectory for their behavior.”
She adds “It was never the location we were in that was unsafe, it was the man we were with that made it unsafe. There is no reason prostitution needs to continue. Just like violence, just like rape, we need to stand up to male privilege.”
Some advocates for women’s rights want the federal government to do better on its new prostitution law.
Keira Smith-Tague with Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter will also testify before the Senate on September 11th.
She says they take most issue with the part that makes it illegal to sell sex in public places where children could be present.
“We think that it is further criminalizing the women in prostitution, and it’s just going to put them more at risk.”
The federal government has until December to rewrite the laws deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada.