Susan Davis

Susan Davis
604-671-2345
susan.1968@hotmail.com
http://www.bccec.wordpress.com
http://www.tradesecretsguide.blogspot.com

As an active sex worker of 28 years with experience in both off street and on street sex work, I have a unique perspective on these issues. My work over the last 10 almost 11 years with City Staff, VPD, Vancouver Coastal Health, Victim’s Services, Ministry of Child and Family Development in advocating for the improved rights and safety of Vancouver sex workers has given me experience in working within mainstream systems towards changes that meet the expectations of all sex industry stakeholders.

I also have experience working with business improvement associations, residents groups and community organizations and the concerns they have regarding safety of communities as it relates to sex work.

Education

Grade 12- completed 1986- Dartmouth High School, Dartmouth Nova Scotia

Royal Conservatory of Music- completed 1984- Grade 9 piano- Dartmouth Nova Scotia

Trade School- completed 1988- Academy of Cosmetology, Dartmouth Nova Scotia- Hair dressing

Policy Development Work Shops- completed 2003-2005- P.A.C.E. Society- Vancouver British Columbia

Work Experience- Contract Work

1984-1988 – Chamber maid, piano teacher, red cross life guard, hair dresser, roofing houses, painting houses, yard work, baby sitter, camp counselor, catering, hot dog cart, preparing geological samples, ride operator at the exhibition, pawn shop counter clerk.

1986- present – actively working in the sex industry as an independent escort but with experience in many areas of the industry and as many sex industry workers do, has migrated across the industry and this country with the availability of work; has worked in micro brothels, businesses run from a residential space, escort agencies, massage parlors, adult film and on the street in Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Surrey, New Westminster, Burnaby, and Vancouver.

2004- Project coordinator- “Media Research Report- a broad perspective on the portrayal of sex workers in the media”- BC Coalition of Experiential Women.

2005-2006 – Media Spokesperson – P.A.C.E. Society Vancouver BC.

2003-2005- Policy development team- P.A.C.E. Society Vancouver BC-creating society policy manuals, employee manuals, volunteers manuals, community organization guidelines for engaging researchers and information for sex workers wishing to take part in research.

2005- Development team member/ author- “History of Sex Work Vancouver”- Simon Fraser University

2006- Data collection – “…From the Curb- sex workers perspectives in Violence and Domestic Trafficking in the BC/Yukon Region” – BC Coalition of Experiential Women report

2006- 2009 – trainer- Canadian School of Public Service Phase Three learning tour.

2006- present -cooperative development coordinator- West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals- Canada’s first sex worker cooperative.

* 2006-“Developing Capacity for Change”- cooperative development workshops report- author

* 2007-“Leading the Way”- cooperative strategic planning workshops report- author

* 2008-“ Building Choices for the Future”- cooperative consulting enterprise development workshops- coordinator, presentation and resource package author.

2006- Data collection- “Confronting Bad Dates- bad date reporting strategies” project. BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2007- Project coordinator- “Labor on the Margins- Sex Industry Safety and Stability” BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2007- Resource development team- “411- Supports, Services and Information for Sex Industry Workers who are Victims of Crime”- BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2007- Development team/assistant coordinator- “Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Workshops/ Community Consultations and report”- BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2007- Project coordinator/ report author- “Cease and Desist- Response to City of Vancouver By-Law Review”- BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2008- Data collection/ development team member- “Trade Secrets- Sex Industry Occupational Health and Safety Guide” BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2009- Development coordinator/author- “Canadian Adult Entertainment Commission- Draft Terms of Reference”- vision, goals and rules for Canadian sex industry association organizing.

2010- Report author/ development team member- “Opening the Doors- Building Transparency and Accountability in the Sex Industry” BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2011- Report author/development team member- “Proposed City of Vancouver By-law Revisions 2011” BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

2011- Report author/ development team member-“ Opening the Doors- Revised Strategies Draft”- to create greater occupational health and safety in the sex industry. BC Coalition of Experiential Communities.

Volunteer Work, Committees

2003-2005-P.A.C.E. Society Board Member and Chair of the Board

2003 – present- Member of the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities. The BCCEC was formed out of two regional meetings of women in and from the sex industry in 2002 and 2003. Renamed the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities (BCCEC), members include men and women from across the province who have over 30 years combined experience in advocacy, research, service delivery and management, and well over 50 years experience in all facets of the sex industry. Members have founded, operated or significantly contributed to eight sex worker organizations including the BC Coalition of Experiential Men. The B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities works to inspire experiential leadership toward the elimination of oppressive systems and forces that create harm within the sex industry.

2005 – 2011 – Member of Living in Community Steering Committee, a city wide collaboration between residents, business improvement associations, police, city staff, sex worker support services and sex workers. Also, was a member of the communications subcommittee for part of this time.

2006 – present- member of 4 on-line communities for sex industry stakeholders; where sex workers gather alone as well as with clients on-line. This work includes;

* moderation of private worker only spaces,

* mediating personal conflicts between individual workers or sex industry businesses.

* supporting workers in reporting violence should they wish to,

* alerting police of youth and other workers at risk,

* reporting violent clients and pimps on behalf of workers who wish to remain anonymous,

* supporting workers during their recovery from violent crimes,

* monitoring “review boards” for malicious reviews and holding “fake reviewers” or those who use “reviews” to extort workers in anyway accountable through advocating for the workers who are targeted by such actions

* supporting and advocating for workers during engagement with the Ministry of Child and Family Development,

* supporting and advocating for workers in civil and criminal court,

* supporting and advocating for sex industry business owners engaged with City of Vancouver Licensing

* educating and building trust with sex buyers to increase reporting of exploitative sex work environments and youth at risk

* educating and building trust with sex industry business owners to increase reporting of exploitation of youth or any person in the sex industry,

* actively seeking sex industry community input on issues related to sex work

* posting project reports and proposed actions to allow community input

2007 – 2011 – Member of the City of Vancouver’s Four Pillars Coalition

2007- Member of the Vancouver Police Chief Constable’s Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC)

2008 – present- Member of the West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals; a cohort of sex industry community members who work: To create labor standards to improve the occupational health, safety and capacities of sex industry professionals as employees and contractors within a legitimized profession, To empower and unify sex working communities inclusive of diversities to increase the economic security of adult sex industry workers, To provide worker-specific training/ education/empowerment/ capacity building, ownership of skills and leadership in developing policies within the sex industry.

2008 – 2011 – Member of the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group(SIWSAG), a collaborative action group connecting Vancouver Police, Sex Industry Workers and Community Organizations to address the safety concerns of sex workers.

Presentations, Media

I have lectured at many local colleges and universities including;

* University of British Columbia,

* Simon Fraser University,

* Fraser Valley University

I delivered training to over 200 new recruits for the VPD, federal employees in middle and upper management for the Department of National Defense, Revenue Canada, immigration and border services and the RCMP.

I have taken part in and presented to Women’s Health Research Conferences and Meetings.

I testified to the parliamentary subcommittee on prostitution in 2006 and gave testimony and evidence in both the Ontario and British Columbia Supreme Court charter rights challenge.

I worked with the Missing Women’s Commission delivering the collective voices of sex workers through 10 years of community based research to inform them on other areas of the Criminal Justice System such as Victim’s Services which should be held accountable and best practices emerging in this regard and critical to informing the findings of the commission. I also gave evidence of a personal nature to the commission.

I was invited to join the advisory committee overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry Report, “Forsaken” chaired by Steven LaPoint.

I have been in the media advocating for sex workers rights over 400 times including appearing in “Herizons”, “ELLE” and “Chatelaine” magazines and once even on the BBC World news.

I have met with politicians from across the lower mainland from all 3 levels of government including the Governor General of Canada and delivered presentations to the BC Federation of Labor, BC Government Employees Union, Canadian Public Service Employees Alliance, the federal liberal women’s committee, the provincial NDP women’s committee, representatives from 200 victims services organization from across British Columbia and even have traveled throughout the region consulting with sex workers and sharing our ideas with communities struggling with these difficult issues and the failings of the approaches employed in the past.

Christal Capostinsky

I have been a member of the BC Coalition of Experiential Women and Communities for two years. I am a Peer Support Worker at Positive Living North, the founder and executive director of PG New Hope Society (the only active street level sex worker organization in northern BC) and a full time student at the University of Northern BC doing my 3rd year in the BSW program. I grew up in Prince George, but eventually see myself moving up north into a smaller isolated community where my education and life experiences can be used to help others. I am a former survival sex worker and drug addict who was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS 12 years ago. I am driven by helping other PHA’s who need support and advocacy around HIV/AIDS issues and women, both adult and youth, who need support in and out of the sex industry. My passion gives me the courage and the strength to help improve the lives of others. When I am not working, I am at home with my son. I like reading, writing, and spending time with my family and friends.

Raven Bowen

Raven Bowen immigrated from England in 1980.

Raven left Alberta to escape violence in late 1994 and became involved with Prostitution Alternatives Counselling & Education (PACE) Society.   She became a volunteer of the society and eventually worked as an outreach worker and a one to one counselor for individuals involved in the sex industry.

Miss Bowen also worked in a number of youth shelters in Vancouver. As of August 2000 she became the Executive Director of PACE Society. There she was nationally and internationally recognized for developing programming and advocating for the safety and respect of individuals involved in sex work and survival sex.

As an Award-winning community advocate with over 12 years experience, Raven works to involve sex industry workers in community development and social change and fights for sex worker leadership and inclusion in decision-making.

Miss Bowen ran for Provincial office in 2005 to bring issues of poverty to the forefront. With skills as an alliance builder among community groups, law enforcement, sex workers, policy makers and senior government officials, she inherited the coordination of the BC Coalition of Experiential Women and Communities. This group awarded her the ‘Ho of the Year’ award in 2006 for her commitment and dedication to sex work issues and to recognize her work in creating many sex worker led projects and initiatives.

Raven is now a full time student, currently completing her degree in Sociology at Simon Fraser University and desires to continue her focus on policy development and social change through sex worker led research and community engagement.

Values and Principles

 

  • Creating a supportive network for sex worker activists to have opportunities for leadership and action on issues that impact their lives and the well being of their communities;
  • Ensuring the fundamental recognition of human rights for sex workers including their right to dignity, safety, equality and empowerment;
  • Supporting and promoting experiential leadership, the development of essential services and a continuum of services for active sex workers through class advocacy;
  • Supporting and advocating for enhanced prevention, education, health and healing for women in and from the sex industry.
  • Opening dialogue for the reduction of harm and abolition of the social economic and political conditions cause harm in the sex industry;

Background

The B.C. Coalition of Experiential Women (BCCEW) was formed out of two regional meetings of women in and from the sex industry in 2002 and 2004. In 2005 we became a consortium of sex worker activists mandated as a mechanism for the voices of experiential women to support the development of legislation and policies; peer driven programs and services; and work toward the elimination of oppressive systems and forces that create harm within the sex industry.

The BCCEW has since become the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities to include members representing male and transgendered sex workers.

BCCEC is currently project driven and consists of members who have over 40 years combined experience in advocacy, direct service delivery and management, as well as over 60 years experience in all facets of the sex industry. The BCCEC remains grounded in the issues of individuals in and from the sex industry and may serve as a:

  • consultative body of perspectives on sex work issues;
  • a host organization for sex worker workshops, events and initiatives;
  • research body to increase sex workers’ participation in knowledge development by and for workers

BCCEC members have been major contributors to sex worker organizations in Vancouver BC, Kamloops, Prince George and Surrey/Whalley, most notably the Mobile Access Project, The Naked Truth (an online forum for dancers who also do events like “Dancers for Cancer”), New Hope (Prince George drop in program), among other organizations.

The British Columbia Coalition of Experiential Communities (BCCEC) is a consortium of sex worker activists who work to eliminate the oppressive systems and forces that create harm for individuals in the sex industry.

We support diverse perspectives and experiences in the sex industry however we do not support enforcement or rehabilitation models that promote the continued criminalization of sex workers or perpetuate sex worker dependency on social programs.

Our Mission

The BCCEC is a mechanism for the voices of experiential communities to:

  • influence legislation and policies that provide for sex workers inclusion;
  • advocate for a continuum of peer driven programs, initiatives and services to support those who are forced into the sex industry to transition safely;
  • Advocate for the rights of sex industry workers to work free from harm and enjoy the benefits of their labour.
  • The BCCEC may also serve as a:

-consultative body of expertise on sex industry work issues;

-Host organization for sex worker workshops, events and initiatives; and

-Research and data collection body.

Trina Ricketts

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Trina Ricketts aka Annie Temple

 

 

Trina Ricketts is a former exotic dancer who started www.nakedtruth.ca, a resource and advocacy website for exotic dancers. 

Through The Naked Truth, Trina has been involved in all kinds of sex industry advocacy and community projects, including: founding the annual Exotic Dancers for Cancer fundraiser in memory of Jocelyne Soui; successfully lobbying for changes to the Liquor Primary Guide regarding exotic dancing in British Columbia; responding to media requests; engaging with law enforcement, health service agencies, and government ministries to improve working conditions for sex industry workers in Surrey and Vancouver, BC; and maintaining an informative blog expressing “Adult Entertainment News and Views” at www.yonilicious.blogspot.com.

Trina Ricketts is currently coordinating “Trade Secrets: Health and Safety in the Sex Industry.”  A project funded by Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Provincial Health, and innumerable volunteer hours by sex industry workers and their allies to create a health and safety guide.  Trina is in the process of writing the guide and collecting information to distribute to sex industry workers.  The guide is planned to be finished in the Fall 2009.