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Synopsis du rapport final de la commission Oppal sur les femmes disparues.

Synopsis du rapport final de la commission Oppal sur les femmes disparues.

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Published by Radio-Canada
Synopsis du rapport final de la commission Oppal sur les femmes disparues.
Synopsis du rapport final de la commission Oppal sur les femmes disparues.

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Published by: Radio-Canada on Dec 17, 2012
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10/30/2014

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Survival sex trade work involves exchanging sex for money to meet basic
substance needs. It is street-based sex work in which women solicit clients
on the street. The women who went missing from the DTES were caught
in a cycle of distress and were further marginalized by their involvement in
the survival sex trade.

The Commission’s mandate does not extend to an assessment of the validity
of prostitution laws in Canada, which is the subject of ongoing debate and
judicial consideration. I do not take a position for or against the current
legal regime and nothing contained in this report should be interpreted as
commenting either directly or indirectly on this point. While my mandate
restricts me from considering its validity, at the same time, I cannot ignore
the reality that this legal regime played an important role in shaping the
relationship between the police and women in the DTES, potentially
affecting the police investigations into the women’s disappearances.

In Volume I, Part 4, I provide a brief overview of the prostitution laws
and set out the evidence concerning the nature of the survival sex trade,
the violence experienced by women and the law enforcement strategies
employed by the Vancouver Police Department in the years leading up to
and during the terms of reference. The overview and evidence includes:

• Prostitution laws and law enforcement strategies;
• Characteristics of the survival sex trade; and
• Relationships between street involved women and the police.

Women engaged in the survival sex trade all fear violence and its pervasive
infuence on their lives. They experience violence at the hands of almost
everyone with whom they come into contact with. The relationship between
police and sex trade workers is generally marked by distrust, so they tend to

Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry

16

under-report crimes of violence. There is a clear correlation between law
enforcement strategies of displacement and containment of the survival sex
trade to under-populated and unsafe areas in the period leading up to and
during the reference period and violence against the vulnerable women.
This was an unintentional but foreseeable result.

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