Victoria Vice [updated]

October 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Victoria Police and PEERS did separate canvassing to determine the number of underage sex workers on the Downtown stroll.

Two former sex-workers conducted the survey at various locations and times in the first week of September. They finished the second part of the survey last week.

“It’s been the last while that it’s really skyrocketed,” said Kelly Ransome, 32, a night outreach worker and former sexually exploited youth.

But Victoria police only found two underage youth in a three-week survey they conducted from Aug. 14 to Sept 4.

Both were between 16 and 18 years old.

The numbers don’t agree but both would concur that there are sex workers under the age of 19 working Victoria’s streets. This comes on the heels of the recent conviction of a customer who killed a Duncan-born prostitute in Vancouver. Meanwhile we seem to be no closer to improving life on the streets for sex workers. B.C. prostitutes remain prey for the disturbed, whether it be the simple-minded pig farmer or the international billionaire.

Maybe it’s time to look seriously at Victoria artist Bob Wise’s The Office: A Portable Amenity Kiosk for Female Outdoor Sex Workers.

I discussed Amsterdam’s experiment with cracking down on “vice” here.

UPDATE: Jody Paterson examines our outdated laws on prostitution in an Op-Ed piece in today’s Times Colonist.

Sex work is legal in Canada, yet everything required for a sale to take place is illegal — location, marketing, even the earnings. That renders the work just legal enough for men to be able to acquire paid sex anytime they like in any city, and just illegal enough to continue the pretense that Canadian society is hard at work trying to eradicate prostitution. What exactly IS the purpose of laws like that?
Read the research. Prostitution doesn’t increase when it’s decriminalized, because it’s already so well-entrenched in every community that there’s no increase in demand just because it’s legal. All the men who buy sex are already buying it.

Entry filed under: architecture, arts and culture, social issues.

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