Local Rape Crisis Centre to make arguments in landmark prostitution case at the Supreme Court of Canada

Date: 
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

For immediate release

Vancouver Rape Relief to make arguments in landmark prostitution case  

at the Supreme Court of Canada

 

[VANCOUVER, B.C.]– On June 13, 2013, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter will argue before Canada’s highest court in the charter challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter—as part of the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution—granted leave to intervene in the case brings before the court the analysis of prostitution as reflection and reinforcement of women inequality.

The Women’s Coalition will argue to the Supreme Court of Canada that because the vast majority of women enter prostitution due to conditions of economic, social and racial inequality; laws that criminalize women involved in prostitution must be removed. However, laws that prevent men from buying, selling and profiting from prostituted women are important protections that must be retained.

Lee Lakeman, a collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter says: “In Vancouver we have suffered the over representation of Aboriginal women in prostitution outdoors and the over representation of Asian women indoors and often women pressed into prostitution by a lack of social programs to protect them from the desperation of poverty.”

Lakeman continues: “It is not acceptable to further punish these women with the law but neither is it acceptable to abandon them to the predatory behavior of johns, pimps and bawdy house owners. We wish to decriminalize those caught in prostitution and criminalize those who harm others with this cruel trade in women.”

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter is Canada’s first rape crisis centre, operating a 24 hour rape crisis line and transition house for battered women and their children. In the past year alone, Vancouver Rape Relief responded to 1,200 women escaping male violence including rape, battering and prostitution.

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Media contact:

Lisa Steacy, 604-872-8212

[email protected]

@VanRapeRelief