Group calls to decriminalize prostitution
The Quebec Council for the Status of Women is calling on the government to decriminalize prostitution, and instead go after the clients and escort agencies profiting from women.
They say that women in the sex trade often fall victim to abuse and society needs to take action.
"Prostitution needs to stop being trivialized," said Nancy, a 44-year-old who fell into the sex trade because she saw an opportunity for fast-cash. "I decided to get into prostitution, I was working for myself, with nobody, all the money was going to me. But then it was very dangerous that way, so I started to work for an escort agency, and there were lots of people using drugs...and I started using heroine."
Nancy had to cover her arms to hide the marks left by the intravenous needles.
Lt. Martin Valiquette with the Longueuil police was at the presentation on Thursday. He told CJAD News that officers are trained to deal with prostitutes, and that often, they're trapped in the industry by their pimps.
A report released by the Quebec Council for the Status of Women says the average age young women become involved in the sex trade is between 14 and 15 years old. Many, they say, have been sexually abused as children.
The report says that bodies need to stop being objectified, including in strip clubs.
"Bodies need to be loved instead," said Julie Miville-Dechêne, president of the council.
- 80% of prostitutes around the world are women or girls
- 80% of prostitutes in Canada started in the sex trade when they were less than 18-years old
- In Montreal, there are an estimated 200 massage parlours and 30 strip bars "with contact"