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REPORTING · 10th June 2014
Walter McFarlane
Defend Dignity held a forum in Kitimat on Saturday, June 7th to raise issues and awareness of sexual exploitation and prostitution. They are advocating for changes in how this issue is governed.

“We have worked a lot with encouraging people to write their MP’s to say, this is how we would like to see Canada governed with the prostitution laws, and that they were thrown out in December,” said Julia Ellergodt.

She explained they want the purchaser, the pimp and the johns to be criminalized with severe fines and penalties. The prostitute is not criminalized. In addition, exit strategies would be provided. On June 4th, the new legislation was presented for the first reading. There is also $20,000,000 set aside to help women exit prostitution.

They want to see full decriminalization of Prostitution so they will work to ask the law to target the demand and not the prostitute.

Speaking at the forum was Trisha Baptist who had been sexually exploited in her past. Also speaking was Sergeant Graham Morgan of the Kitimat RCMP who talked about what are the sexual exploitation realities in Kitimat.

Morgan told us the escort services are mostly done online. “There is no street level prostitution visible right now. We also do look at the liquor establishments and activity around that to see if there is prostitution. It is something we do monitor,” said Morgan.

Further information on this can be got from Pastor Don Read, who helped coordinate the event. Further information can be found on http://defenddignity.ca/.