Media Release Why do men buy sex? Find out at the next FIRST Forum: Nov.23rd, 2009

November 22, 2009 at 7:02 pm (Uncategorized)

 

VANCOUVER:
Ever wondered why men buy sex? Ever wondered what sex workers think about men
who buy sex?

 

The
public forum “Sex Workers, Clients and the Law,” by FIRST, a sex worker advocacy
organization, promises
to answer those questions and more on November 23rd.

 

“Our
forum focuses on the men who buy sex, and the experiences of sex workers with
their clients. It will make clear why criminalizing sex workers or their clients
will only make things worse for sex workers,” said forum moderator Scarlett
Lake, a madam who has been involved in the sex work industry for over 20 years.

 

Chris
Atchison, a Simon Fraser University criminologist, will report on his
groundbreaking “Johns’ Voice” study. With almost 1000 respondents, it represents
the largest study of sex buyers ever completed.

 

“The
study opens what has been a tightly closed door”, said Atchison. “Men reveal
their experiences in the sex industry: they talk openly about their attitudes
and beliefs.”

 

Atchison’s research reveals that the nature and scope of violence
perpetrated by sex buyers against sex workers is far more complex than typically
presented.

 

“The
vast majority of sex buyers who participated in my research indicated that they
have not, and would not, resolve conflicts
with sex workers by resorting to violence,” he said.

 

Former sex worker
Jody Salerno, currently Director of Women’s Services for the BC/Yukon Society of
Transition Houses, will
speak on how her family and the child welfare system failed her, while the men
she sold sex to
honoured their agreements.

 

“The men who
paid me asked permission to spend time with me and negotiated with me,” Salerno
said. “They asked for and received my consent. They were respectful and honoured
their agreements. These men were not criminals.”

 

Sponsored
by FIRST, the “Sex Workers, Clients and the Law” public forum will be held
Monday, November 23, from 7–9 pm, at the Vancouver Public Library, Central
Branch, 350 W.
Georgia St. (Alma Van
Dusen & Peter Kay rooms).

 

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