Press Release: Men do not have the Right to Buy and Sell Women

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

[VANCOUVER, B.C) -  In a press conference held today by Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating),  anti-violence workers and women who have left the sex industry called for the abolition of women’s inequality, poverty and prostitution.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter—as part of the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution—has been granted leave to intervene in the charter challenge of Canada’s prostitution laws that will be heard by Canada’s highest court on June 13, 2013.

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.

Summer Rain Bentham, a front-line worker at Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter stated: “We know that it is overwhelmingly women and girls, who are tricked, trapped, coerced, sold, and forced into prostitution mostly by men. We know that prostitution exists solely because of the male demand for the access to the bodies of women and girls. Prostitution exists as a last ditch survival strategy. Prostitution is not what we want for ourselves our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters or daughters.“

From left to right:

Trisha Baptie – EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating)

Prof. Janine Benedet  - Counsel for The Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution

Summer Rain Bentham – Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter