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Thread: The Sex Safety and Security Project

  1. #1

    The Sex Safety and Security Project

    Good day.

    You may be aware of the recent successful challenge to Canadian laws relating to various aspects of prostitution. While these legal challenges have opened up a unique opportunity for important changes to be made to enhance the health and safety of ALL people involved in the industry, there are certain advocacy groups who are calling for the implementation of the "Nordic model" - a regulatory approach that effectively criminalizes the purchase of sexual services. These groups argue that people who pay for sexual services pose a "risk" to the health and safety of sex workers. One of the most prominent campaigns currently making this claim is the Salvation Army's "The Truth isn't Sexy" which implies that people who pay for sex are responsible for the trafficking of women and children.

    We believe that the generalizations that groups seeking the abolition of prostitution make about the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of ALL people who pay for sexual services in Canada are based on moral convictions and speculation as opposed to actual evidence. We also believe that these generalizations are dangerous. The reason we believe this is because of the invaluable information that almost 1000 people who paid for sexual services in Canada (many of whom are members of this forum) graciously shared with us during our 2009-2010 Johns' Voice study (http://www.johnsvoice.ca/).

    Results from the Johns' Voice study played a central role in shaping the legal, political and social debates that surrounded the recent successful legal challenge. They also helped us make it clear to the various groups involved in ongoing legal, political and social debates about the future of Canada's prostitution law and policy that it is absolutely vital that people who pay for sexual services have an opportunity to be listened to and included. The Johns' Voice project was just the beginning.

    In our ongoing effort to present a more complete and accurate picture of the diversity of attitudes, beliefs and experiences of people who have paid for sexual services in Canada we are inviting you to be a part of the largest and most ambitious study of Canada's sex industry undertaken to date. The Sex, Safety and Security Study, which is part of a larger research initiative funded the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), seeks to provide a safe, secure and non-judgmental environment for people who have purchased sexual services to have your voices heard and respected and the details of your experiences acknowledged.

    If you or someone you know want to take this opportunity to have your voices, opinions and experiences included in this important project please visit our website http://www.SexSafetySecurity.ca or contact Chris Atchison directly to find out more about the project.

    We very much respect the MERB community and your right not to have this forum littered with spam. We have made a number of attempts to contact the board MODS for approval before posting this but we have received no responses. Having said this, since the Sex, Safety and Security project has been designed specifically to provide people who have paid for sexual services with an opportunity to have your voices respected and included in important discussions that may directly impact the social and legal status of members of the community, we felt that we could not put off posting any longer.
    Thank-you in advance for your understanding and support.

    Chris

    Chris Atchison
    Department of Sociology
    University of Victoria
    PO Box 1700 STN CSC
    Victoria, BC
    V8W 2Y2
    email: info@sexsafetysecurity.ca
    web: http://www.sexsafetysecurity.ca
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sex-S...05611512938349
    Twitter: @SexSafetySecure

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2
    Research gets me so wet! Thank you for your post Professor, I'd love to see more of the clients' voice represented in prostitution research.

    For those interested, a University of Portland study published March 22 by the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology explores the "average" John, and discovers that he seems like a pretty normal guy. The study suggests this may be thanks to the internet. Here's to naked truth!

    http://ijo.sagepub.com/content/early...80487.abstract

    Pigeon (the dirty dove)

  3. #3
    Hello Chris,

    I do not know what attempts you made to contact the Mods here, but I received no communications from you by PM or email and as far as I am aware no other moderator was contacted in any way either. This being said, I will allow your post to remain as I believe it is of interest to the members of the MERB community.

    In the future please contact the mods by PM or email before making such a post.

    Thank you,

    Mod 8

    EDIT: I have been in contact with Chris and we cleared up the little communication glitch. I encourage any member who is interested in participating in this survey to do so.

    M8
    Last edited by Mod 8; 04-03-2013 at 08:31 PM.

  4. #4
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the board who have taken the opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences with me either directly or through the questionnaire. I would also like to thank all the service providers on the board who have either contacted me directly with your kind words of support and/or helped out by passing information along about this important project to your clients. With all of your help we are on track to include an even larger group of people’s voices than we did with Johns’ Voice (htttp://www.johnsvoice.ca)!

    While each and every person’s individual opinions and experiences are vital, it is the collective voices of people who pay for sexual services that have the most influence when it comes to presenting a more fair, honest and complete picture of the diversity of the patrons of this industry for making arguments about how to ensure that the industry and ALL people involved in it remain safe.

    For those of you who are still on the fence about participating in this project or for those of you who are not convinced of the need or don’t fully understand why we have placed so much emphasis on context (i.e., why we ask all the questions we do), I would encourage you to take a look at another project that recently began that is designed to present ‘information’ about people who purchase sexual services. The project is called “The Invisible Men” and you can find it here http://the-invisible-men.tumblr.com/ For those of you on Twitter, you can also check them out @InvisibleChoice This project is being heavily publicised by prohibitionist and abolitionists here in Canada that are advocating for the Nordic model. I guess the question I would ask is would you rather the image of people who pay for sexual services that makes the 5 o’clock news or that is used by policy makers and legislators in discussions about how Canada’s sex industry should be regulated post-Bedford be the salacious cherry-picked quotes that the group behind “The Invisible Man” project or self-proclaimed ‘authorities’ such as Victor Malarek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6Mj2haletE ) use?

    Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions, comments or concerns or if you want to contribute one-to-one (either in-person, on the phone or through Skype).

    Chris Atchison
    Department of Sociology
    University of Victoria
    PO Box 1700 STN CSC
    Victoria, BC
    V8W 2Y2
    email: info@sexsafetysecurity.ca
    web: www.sexsafetysecurity.ca
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sex-S...05611512938349
    Twitter: @SexSafetySecure

  5. #5
    Thanks Chris for doing this study. I responded to the survey a few weeks ago. It is very well done.

    It is important to say that many sex workers do this business in complete isolation because of the stigma. Many would not even tell their doctor, even less their immediate entourage. Many are also shy to talk with sex workers groups like Stella. For them, clients are the only one who know about their activity and this is crucial security wise. I am convinced that clients can play an important role in the protection of sex workers. How? Simply by being sensible, asking questions if they feel something wrong and offering (not imposing like the rescue industry does) help.

    The two most important contributors to security are police and clients attitude. For both to work, we need a legislation that stops criminalizing people. The idea to criminalize clients is catastrophic in that regard. It reduces considerably their ability to help.


    Quote Originally Posted by pigeon View Post
    For those interested, a University of Portland study published March 22 by the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology explores the "average" John, and discovers that he seems like a pretty normal guy. The study suggests this may be thanks to the internet. Here's to naked truth!

    http://ijo.sagepub.com/content/early...80487.abstract
    The full text is available for free here.

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