Decision an element of safety for sex-trade workers 0
A man who was a potential client contacted my office to schedule an appointment for sexual health services. When my assistant advised him I was in private practice and there was a charge for my services, the gentleman started screaming, suggesting they should be free.
This screening process is helpful and I’m comforted in knowing I can turn down clients if they seem inappropriate and I’m afforded a variety of safety measures in my workplace.
Unfortunately, not all women in our province or our country have those same safety measures in place when they go to work.
On Thursday, it was safety that was at the core of the decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada. Its announcement was that will review the lower court decision giving Ontario sex workers the legal right to work indoors in bawdy houses and also work with an assistant.
Since prostitution is not limited to destitute women, many sex trade workers who can afford it will now be allowed to hire drivers and even bodyguards. Sadly, sex-trade workers won’t be able to communicate for sex, preventing them from screening clients who may pose a threat to their safety, as I do in my business.
“The decision is not a surprise and is the final step in what needs to happen in this safety provision case for sex-trade workers, which affects the whole country,” said lawyer Katrina Pacey of the Pivot Legal Society. Many other public interest groups, such as HIV, women’s rights and human rights, will likely apply for intervener status, Pacey said.
The existing prostitution laws prevent sex-trade workers from working with dignity and the security of personal safety. As Canadians, we value adult decision making about choosing sexual partners and exchanging sex for money is considered OK because we have an expectation that we all work for a salary for ourselves.
I’m comforted knowing provisions are in place at my place of business and it’s only fair all Canadians are afforded that very same security measure, or at the very least the right to put measure in place.
Exchanging sex for money is accepted in our society and we value adult-decision making around it. Some sex trade workers are in this business out of choice but others are doing it because it is the only way to fund their education or put food on their table. Depriving anyone of choices in life is simply not fair.