Welcome to The Archive. Here, we catalogue information relevant to the sex trade. This includes literature on legislation and policies related to the sex industry, a compilation of local and online resources that promote personal and professional safety and responsibility, and more.
LOCAL RESOURCES. The following organizations offer a range of services from hot meals to beds to sleep in at night. BRUNSWICK STREET UNITED CHURCH (423-4605) FEED NOVA SCOTIA (457-1900) METRO TURNING POINT – MEN (420-3282) METRO NON-PROFIT HOUSING SUPPORT CENTRE (423-5479) HOPE COTTAGE (429-7968) PARKER STREET FOOD & FURNITURE BANK (425-2125) MI’KMAQ NATIVE FRIENDSHIP CENTRE (420-1576) ARK (492-2577) PHOENIX CENTRE FOR YOUTH/HEALTH PROGRAM (420-0676) LESBIAN, GAY, BI-SEXUAL YOUTH PROJECT (429-5429) FEEDING OTHERS OF DARTMOUTH (464-2919) SAINT MATTHEW’S UNITED CHURCH (423-9209) SAINT GEORGE’S ANGLICAN CHURCH (423-1059) SUNDAY SUPPER (492-2577) ST. MARY’S BASILICA DROP-IN
2107 Brunswick Street, Halifax
Drop-in: Mon-Fri, 9:00am to 2:00pm
Meals: Mon-Sat, 7:00am to 8:00am
Food Bank: Thu, 9:30am; distribution 10:30am to 12:00pm
(pre-register on Wed during drop-in for food bank)
Food bank/food assistance resources
2170 Barrington Street, Halifax
2330 Gottingen Street, Halifax
Drop-in: Mon-Fri, 8:00am to 12:00pm
Food bank: Mon-Fri, donuts, fruit, snacks, etc
2435 Brunswick Street, Halifax
Mon-Fri, 10:00am to 11:00am, 5:00pm to 6:00pm
2415 Maynard Street, Halifax
Mon., Wed., Fri., fill food orders, 8:30am to 11:30am; registration starts half hr before order times.
2158 Gottingen Street, Halifax
Mon-Fri, 9:00am to 4:00pm
2177 Gottingen Street, Halifax
Youth, ages 16-24
Mon-Fri, hours vary
6035 Coburg Road, Halifax
Tue & Fri, 2:00pm to 5:00pm
2281 Brunswick Street, Halifax
43 Wentworth Street, Dartmouth
Lunch: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm to 12.30pm
Supper: Mon, Tue, Wed, 4:30pm to 5:00pm
1479 Barrington Street, Halifax
Breakfast: Sun 8:30am to 10:00am
2221 Maitland Street, Halifax
Supper: Sat 4:00pm to 5:30pm
6036 Coburg Road, Halifax
5221 Spring Garden Road, Halifax
Mon-Fri, 1:30pm to 3:30pm
BRUNSWICK STREET UNITED CHURCH (423-4605)
FEED NOVA SCOTIA (457-1900)
METRO TURNING POINT – MEN (420-3282)
METRO NON-PROFIT HOUSING SUPPORT CENTRE (423-5479)
HOPE COTTAGE (429-7968)
PARKER STREET FOOD & FURNITURE BANK (425-2125)
MI’KMAQ NATIVE FRIENDSHIP CENTRE (420-1576)
PHOENIX CENTRE FOR YOUTH/HEALTH PROGRAM (420-0676)
LESBIAN, GAY, BI-SEXUAL YOUTH PROJECT (429-5429)
FEEDING OTHERS OF DARTMOUTH (464-2919)
SAINT MATTHEW’S UNITED CHURCH (423-9209)
SAINT GEORGE’S ANGLICAN CHURCH (423-1059)
SUNDAY SUPPER (492-2577)
ST. MARY’S BASILICA DROP-IN
CANADIAN RESOURCES. Not in Halifax? No problem! Here is a list of Canadian organizations that provide services and support for sex workers.
ONLINE RESOURCES. The resources featured here promote safety, personal care and well-being. If you do not see what you’re looking for, feel free to drop us a line!
GENERAL SAFETY HEALTH SAFETY MISCELLANEOUS
Border Crossing Tips: Published by Maggie’s Toronto, this information page is intended to make border crossing from Canada to the US safer for sex workers.
Law Matters: Information about laws pertaining to sex work, advice for how to deal with police and tips for reducing risk of being targeted.
The Protect Yourself Handbook: A handbook developed on the principle of harm reduction by SCOT-PEP.
Security Matters: Advice on how to deal with clients, how to secure your workspace and what to do between dates.
The Dope Guide: A guide created by Chez Stella to provide information about drug types and how to reduce the harms of said drugs.
Health Matters: Discussion of common health concerns as indicated by sex workers and tips on how to deal with them.
Safe Sex and Safe Work: Information about how sex workers can help to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy, and more.
Dancing Matters: Discussion of common health and security concerns as indicated by dancers and tips on how to deal with them.
Dear Client: A manual intended for the clients of sex workers, it answers questions and promotes the safety of both the client and the sex worker.
Money Matters: Information about money management, filing income tax, government insurance and private insurance.
Sex Work, 14 Answers to Your Questions: Created by Chez Stella, this booklet answers 14 frequently asked questions about sex work.
POLICIES & LEGISLATION. To ensure that those who are affected by given policies and/or legislation are informed, we have compiled the following collection of literature.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: BILL C-36
Here is a link to the full text of the bill.
Q&A on Bill C-36: Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: For a bill to become law it typically goes through a series of readings in both the House of Commons and the Senate. The bill can be accepted as is, approved with amendments, or rejected in its entirety. On October 6, 2014, Bill C-36 passed third reading in the House of Commons with some amendments. This document is an addition to Reckless Endangerment.
Briefing Note – Bill C-36: An Act to amend the Criminal Code in response to the SCC decision in AG Canada v Bedford and to make consequential amendments to the act.
Sex Workers and Bill C-36: Analysis based on Social Science Evidence.
Bill C-36, what you need to know about the proposed law on sex work: Created in collaboration with Canadians for Choice and the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (CFSH).
Here’s What Amnesty International’s Sex Work Proposal Really Means by Hilary Hanson
Canada’s new prostitution laws: Everything you need to know by Josh Wingrove
Senate approves controversial Prostitution Bill C-36 by The Canadian Press
Bill C-36: No safety or security for sex workers by Cheryl Auger
Our response to the passing of Bill C-36 by the City of Vancouver
The sex worker’s perspective: An interview with Jessica Lee — video by the National Post
Bill C-36 hearings told not to conflate prostitution and trafficking by Laura Payton
Letter: Anti-prostitution Bill C-36 isn’t aimed at students by Emily Monaghan
MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES. Anything that lies outside of the other categories will be displayed here.
SEX WORK MYTH VS REALITY.
MYTH: Arresting sex workers prevents sex work from occurring in our community.
REALITY: Arresting sex workers usually only keeps them out of the business temporarily. It also pushes the industry further underground, making sex workers more vulnerable to violence. Crackdowns (sweeps, arrests of sex workers) results in the growth and expansion of sex workers throughout the city as they flee police from fear of arrest.
MYTH: Focusing law enforcement efforts on the customers of sex workers will stop the commercial sex trade.
REALITY: It is not the number of customers but economic trends and social conditions such as unemployment and a shortage of living wage opportunities that determine the number of sex workers at any given time. Studies of laws in Sweden that criminalize customers found that these practices push sex workers underground and subject sex workers to more violent situations
MYTH: Sex workers were abused or assaulted as children.
REALITY: One out of three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Like many individuals, some sex workers have been the victims of a sexual assault during childhood. However, there are other sex workers who have never been sexually assaulted in their lifetime. The majority of sexual assault victims do not work in the sex industry.
MYTH: Most sex workers are forced or coerced into street based sex work.
REALITY: Individuals enter into sex work for a variety of reasons. The number one reason for entering sex work is economic, not by trickery or coercion of an outside party. According to common stereotypes, a pimp is a man who controls a sex workers work and income. The reality is that many sex workers (including street based) work independently. Sex work may require maintaining professional relationships with third parties such as drivers, receptionists, and managers. The criminalisation of employers makes it difficult to perform sex work in safety. Sex workers who are under the control of another person are most often in a situation of conjugal violence within their working context. When sex workers want to file a complaint and break the cycle of conjugal violence, their efforts are difficult because of the criminalization of sex work.
MYTH: Sex workers are dangerous to the general population because most have diseases they transmit HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
REALITY: Sex workers are often more knowledgeable about sexual health – and practice safe sex more often – than the general population. Sex workers often act as sexual health educators for their clients and should be mobilized, not demonized, in the struggle to control HIV/AIDS. The ability to negotiate various sexual services depends on a sex worker’s working conditions. Criminalization and regressive policies create stressful environments that can hinder the ability to negotiate safer practices. This illicit context also limits sex workers access to services and health care because they fear being discriminated against. Where sex workers are not treated as outsiders or criminals, they are able to pursue health care that does not stigmatize them or violate their human rights. When sex workers know their human rights will be enforced and respected, they can – and do – seek health care and promote condom use by clients, safer working conditions and protection against violence. When sex workers are stigmatized, denigrated, jailed and forced underground, they live in the shadows without health care or legal protection.
MYTH: Raids of brothels are the best way to help sex workers and stop sex work from happening.
REALITY: Raids of brothels typically lead to the arrest, detention, incarceration and even the deportation of sex workers. Empowering sex workers to identify and assist those people who have been coerced is the most effective way to support sex workers. Pulling people out of brothels neither “saves” nor “rescues” them. Sex workers who work in the open continue to be preyed upon by violent clients and the incidence of violence against sex workers is greatly reduced (though not eliminated) when sex workers work indoors such as in massage parlours or through escort services.
MYTH: Sexual assault is just part of the job.
REALITY: No one ever deserves to be sexually assaulted. Whether there is payment or not, any sex act performed without consent is an act of violence. In addition, many sex workers are intimidated by the police and will not communicate violent attacks against them for fear of arrest. As a result, this makes sex workers an easy target. Sexually assaulted sex workers, whether at work, in their love life, or in their social life, fear not being believed by authorities or fear being categorized as sexually depraved, as if forcing a sex worker to perform a sex act was a normal situation and not an assault.
MYTH: All sex workers are drug addicts.
REALITY: For many people, sex work and drugs go hand in hand, so they assume all sex workers are drug users. Because of considerable stigmatization, many believe it is difficult or even impossible to perform sex work without using drugs. However, the reality is more complex. Some sex workers use alcohol or drugs recreationally, on an occasional or a regular basis, but some never use them at all. Those who use drugs while working or overuse them become much more vulnerable to abuse and risk having great difficulty setting their limits in regards to acts, prices and duration of services they offer. Drug addiction can put their health and security at risk, and more supports are needed in Nova Scotia (detox beds, education and public awareness) for sex workers who are harmfully involved with drugs.
Thank you to the program participants at Stepping Stone and to Stella (chezstella.org, 14 answers to your questions) for their contributions to Sex Work Myth. Sex Work Reality)
“We have feelings too. We are someone’s kids. We’re someone’s mother, someone’s sister. Don’t just look at us and say “Oh, that’s a whore.”