Pro-prostitution lobby wages war on Salvation Army

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susan davis susan davis's picture
Pro-prostitution lobby wages war on Salvation Army 
Pro-prostitution lobby wages war on Salvation Army
Protesters will target prayer vigils
Mark Hasiuk, Vancouver Courier

Published: Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Name the greatest threat to Vancouver prostitutes toiling on street corners and in storefront brothels:
A) pimps B) abusive, disease-carrying johns C) an apathetic public D) the Salvation Army
According to Vancouver's pro-prostitution lobby, the answer is D, the Salvation Army. Tell them what they've won, Regis.

The Salvation Army launched its local anti-human trafficking campaign last September after working on global sex trade issues for years. The charitable organization joins a growing movement of feminist and church groups who fear a spike in trafficking as the 2010 Winter Olympics draw near.
Human trafficking is among the world's fastest growing criminal industries, rivalling the illegal arms industry and drug trade in scope and impact. According to the U.S. State Department, approximately 800,000 victims are trafficked annually across international borders. Victims include women and children from Asia, South America and Eastern Europe.
In Vancouver, where brothels bloom like dandelions in some neighbourhoods, the magnitude of the problem is unknown. Due to a lack of law enforcement, Vancouver's sex trade industry--fuelled by domestic and international trafficking--remains a mystery.
Like most other anti-trafficking campaigns, the Salvation Army campaign targets the demand side of prostitution--pimps and johns. Last month the Salvation Army hung posters, depicting young women being beaten and abused, above urinals in downtown bars.
"This is a bold step for the Salvation Army," says Brian Venables, a Salvation Army spokesperson and chief architect of the campaign. "We've stepped out of the shadows and said this isn't going to happen anymore, and we're going to do what we can to stop it."
The pro-prostitution lobby is not amused.
The Salvation Army received several threatening emails about the campaign, but Venables says the criticism is misguided. "Our campaign is not against or about prostitution, it's about people who are forced into sex slavery," he says. "The issue is about those who don't have a choice."
But according to Susan Davis, a vocal member of Vancouver's pro-prostitution lobby, anti-trafficking campaigns are dangerous. Such campaigns, she says, prompt law enforcement to raid massage parlours--which she describes as "safe work places"--and drive the industry underground.
However, according to the city's licensing department, no massage parlours have been shut down this year.
Davis, a 41-year-old career prostitute, also claims that "Vancouver police are raiding Asian massage parlours" in a "racist and anti-immigrant" assault on the industry.
While the VPD cited "ongoing investigations," no massage parlours have been raided this year.
In fact, more than 50 de facto brothels--officially known as health enhancement centres--operate in Vancouver. Countless other unlicensed establishments operate with tacit approval from city hall.
Davis also attacked UBC law professor Ben Perrin, Canada's foremost expert on human trafficking. (The Salvation Army crafts its campaign on information complied by Perrin and others. The Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada and the U.S. State Department have confirmed Perrin's findings.) Perrin, she says, uses "fear mongering" and "demonization" to promote his anti-trafficking agenda.
Perrin dismisses the attack, noting Davis unsuccessfully lobbied in 2007 for legalized brothels in Vancouver. "This a pro-brothel lobby group," he says, "whose business is threatened by individuals who try to help people exit the sex trade and who try to confront exploitive pimps and traffickers."
Davis plans to mobilize other pro-prostitution activists and protest the Salvation Army's upcoming day of prayer, scheduled at churches and Salvation Army sites for Sept. 27.
She also targets Salvation Army volunteers who will visit Downtown Eastside street corners to pray for the anguished and abused. Davis plans to produce pamphlets warning street prostitutes about the Salvation Army threat. The pamphlets, she says, will be distributed by the publicly funded Mobile Access Project--also known as the MAP van. MAP van spokesperson Kate Gibson says she was unaware of Davis's plans but didn't rule out distributing the pamphlets.

"There's potential for a violent clash between sex workers and Salvation Army people, who have no comprehension of the way that we live," says Davis. "They assume we need rescue when in fact what we need is rights."
Davis may not need rescue. The vocal members of Vancouver's pro-prostitution lobby claim to live charmed lives.
But considering the widespread misery and abuse associated with the sex trade, her opposition to the Salvation Army campaign is desperate and her intentions are small.
Nevertheless, when she waves her placard in protest outside a Salvation Army church, she'll be included in those prayers--whether she likes it or not.

susan davis susan davis's picture

courier printed my letter, perrin lied about me, big surprise! it makes it sound like i profit from trafficking women. also MAP will not distribute andy infor to warn street workers due to political pressure from funders(government) and so may be triggered or upset by follows


my name is suan davis and i am a sex worker. while i respect and believe all people have a right to hold any opinion politically including abolition of prostitution i would like to clarify a few points in mr. hasiuk's recent article. ben perrin is quoted as stating i am a legalized brothels lobbiest and had lost my battle in 2007.untrue.
we already have legal brothels in vancouver and so no need for a lobby.
i did however lobby for public support of the development of one, cooperatively run safe work space for workers in the DTES known as the cooperative brothel enterprise and was successful as in seen in the Living in Community Action Plan action #21.
we are currently working on a cooperative cafe as a way for workers who wish to exit to gain valuable work experience and provide them with an alternative income source. early estimates indicate our brothel enterprise will cost between $600,000.00 and $900,000.00 and we are considering our options in tis regard.
susan davis

susan davis susan davis's picture


"Lies ARE Sexy"

The Salvation Army's 'The Truth isn't Sexy' anti-trafficking poster campaign has set a new standard in 'low' featuring pictures of women being abused, a young Asian girl being kicked on the street and an under aged sex worker being stomped on the head on the floor.

Anti trafficking campaigns such as the Salvation Army's "the truth isn't sexy" campaign have escalated fears about the sex industry and prompted police services all over Canada to raid massage parlours in particular businesses employing workers of Asian decent. The racist and anti immigrant tone of these raids is clear in the targeting of mostly Asian businesses and workers.

No one supports exploitation of youth or any person, but that does not make it ok to contribute to perceptions of sex workers as dirty, broken, abused victims who need rescuing. The photos are extreme and unnecessarily sensational and clearly are a fund raising tactic. Information on their website related to numbers of victims is skewed and been disproved by many credible sources. Salvation Army are deliberately capitalizing on society's fear of the sex industry and doing it to make money.


Apparently lies ARE sexy....and they are exploiting it......


On Friday September 25,2009 Salvation army members all over canada are being asked to take part in a "prayer walk" to raise awareness about the victims of human trafficking. Members are asked to set up "prayer stations" in areas where street sex work takes place, massage parlours, exotic show lounges and police stations. Suggestions for prayer stations included a "bloody and stained" dress members are encouraged to create depicting violence against sex workers.

And I quote;



  • Put water in the basin and pitcher. Set the basin and the pitcher on the table.
  • Set up the mannequins / coat racks on either side of the basin.
  • Take the old dress, and use the paint, chalk and scissors to make the dress look worn and tattered and as if there are blood stains on the dress.
  • Hang the tattered and stained dress on the left of the basin, and the white dress on the right of the basin.

• Set the cracked mirror to the left of the basin, and the full mirror to the right of the basin.



As if we are broken, dirty and need to be cleaned.

Sex industry community members are no longer willing to stand by quietly while groups like the Salvation Army perpetuate myths about our lives and jeopardize our safety. As a community we are completely offended by this campaign and are working to hold accountable those responsible.


We will meet them in the street and challenge their actions. We will take the fight to them since they refuse to meet with us. We will disrupt every one of their events and challenge them to justify what they have done.

We respectfully request the Salvation Army end the "truth isn't sexy" campaign and that members of the public do not contribute money to this harmful action.



Maybe sex workers would be better off working for starvation wages at the Sally Ann.

susan davis susan davis's picture

ya, we can work for slave labour wages and be greatful after they wash us clean....dirty career prostitutes!!


i just sent a letter to the editor at vancouver courier, as follows;


after many converstaions and alot of damage control....
it is my understanding that if a reporter misrepresents himself as to who he is and the purpose of the interview it is considered unethical.
my.hasiuk did not identify himself, only as a reporter from the vancouver courier ( i guess it's ALMOST being honest- he likes to skate the line doesn't he)  and when i asked him his position on decrim he lied out right stating he was undecided.
in my opinion, and others, this is a breach of ethics and any news paper would be questionable in working with him. as a result i will no longer be accepting interview requests from any reporter at the vancouver courier. it saddens me a bit as i have read some balanced reporting on these issues in the past from your paper.
i must protect my emotional health from violent attacks which violated my human rights and originated on the pages of your paper. violence in words is extremly difficult to hasiuk set out to delberately hurt me. it worked. i am recovering now but am a trauma survivor and was severly triggered.
it is my beleif that the vancouver courier should seriously consider it's actions in this regard and whether or not mr. hasiuk's violation of my rights will have any consequences. in my opinion it sets a dangerous precedent to allow violent words and mistruth to be published.
how will your paper feel if i am killed by a religious zealot beleiving i am a trafficker of women as portrayed?
i would appreciate a reply.
susan davis

Article 20

  1. any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law
  2. Any advocacy or national, racial, cultural or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.


Article 12.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. 


Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. 
  • the excercise of this right carries with it special duties and responsibilities and maybe subject to certain restrictions.(a) for respect of the rights or reputation of others;(b)for protection of public health and order

Susan I feel your passion however prostitution is against the law so the Charter doesn't really apply here in the capacity you're trying to claim.

I'm all for leagalizing prostitution and taxing it accordingly, making the women and men be licensed in order to ply their trade but as it is now it's illegal.

susan davis susan davis's picture

prostitution is NOT illegal in canada darling, sorry. and many cities already license it. also, sex workers for mostly DO pay taxes as doing things in life requires a declared income, mortgage, up a little and you will find lots of info on all of this


susan davis wrote:

prostitution is NOT illegal in canada darling, sorry. and many cities already license it. also, sex workers for mostly DO pay taxes as doing things in life requires a declared income, mortgage, up a little and you will find lots of info on all of this

Hrm, so it would it appear you're right but living of the avails is illegal which makes it near impossible to do it legally. So it's illegal to have a brothel and illegal to conduct the business on the street as well.  Making it very hard to make a living from it.  I don't think that hookers on the street are licensed or pay taxes.

  • owning, running, occupying or transporting anyone to a bawdy house (ss. 210 [6] and 211 [7]); a "bawdy house" means a brothel and is defined as "a place that is kept or occupied, or resorted to by one or more persons, for the purpose of prostitution or to practice acts of indecency" [4]
  • procuring or living on the avails of prostitution (s. 212 [8]),
  • paying for sex from anyone under the age of 18,
  • public communication for the purposes of prostitution (s. 213 [5]); a public place is defined as "any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation..... and any motor vehicle located in a place.... open to public view"
  • bringing someone to Canada to work as a prostitute,
  • bringing someone from Canada to work as a prostitute outside Canada.

I'd like to see this profession made more legal but take the hookers off the streets and make brothels legal.  At the same time make sure all the hookers are licensed with a clean bill of health(no diseases and such) and make them pay for these licenses and tax the johns on the services before they leave.  PST/GST the whole nine yards.  This would bring a great deal of revenue into the government coffers and could be quite benficial.

Gettng the hookers off of our streets is priority number one.  Plus they'd like it better as well if they had a warm place to conduct their business.  This would cut down on court costs as well.  I don't know why some smart politician doesn't do it.

susan davis susan davis's picture

sex workers on the street are for the most part surviving moment to moment and should not be paying taxes. after stabilizing their lives if they choose to continue as a sex worker sure taxes... please don't say hooker, it is a very derogitory term and offends me. i am a sex worker.
check out our coop brothel and industry associations thread for info on our plans for decriminalization. you are absolutely correct it would cut costs and allow desperatelu needed funding to flow to agencies adressing issues around the dangerous and disorderly street level industry and exiting opportunities for workers in need.


susan davis wrote:
sex workers on the street are for the most part surviving moment to moment and should not be paying taxes. after stabilizing their lives if they choose to continue as a sex worker sure taxes... please don't say hooker, it is a very derogitory term and offends me. i am a sex worker.

check out our coop brothel and industry associations thread for info on our plans for decriminalization. you are absolutely correct it would cut costs and allow desperatelu needed funding to flow to agencies adressing issues around the dangerous and disorderly street level industry and exiting opportunities for workers in need.


Hrm, I had no idea.  It's not an area I spend a lot of time thinking about.  Thanks, I will look into this.  I learn something new everyday.  Hopefully with some regulation and licensing the sex idustry can fund itself and not put further strain on our system.   Hopefully you can get some forward thinking politicians on your side.

remind remind's picture


Mods can this thread be moved to the feminist forum?

martin dufresne

In Chicago, where reform advocates also push for overhaul of prostitution law, advocates target customers, and seek help for women
...Johns and pimps are severely underrepresented on arrest logs, but starting Thursday, reform advocates will push for an overhaul of state law to give police departments the resources to go after leaders and customers of prostitution rings. They also want prostitutes to be eligible for protections and benefits afforded to victims of sex trafficking because many of the women suffer from the same elements of recruitment, harboring and force.
The belief is that by holding the men accountable who are fueling the demand for the sex trade -- and by helping the women escape it -- prostitution would plummet.
"What we're doing right now does not work. And we don't need a Rhodes scholar or a rocket scientist to tell us it does not work," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, whose office presides over a special prostitution intervention team. "The general public opinion on this is not in step with everything we know about this issue, and that really needs to be challenged and changed."...

In Vancouver, Buying Sex is Not a Sport holds a meeting ths evening at 7:00pm - 9:00pm, Location: Tenth Avenue Alliance, 11 10th Avenue West, Vancouver, 604-725-3838
"The flesh trade is a sophisticated, multi-billion dollar industry based on the buying and selling of sexual access to the bodies of poor women and children. Women are routinely trafficked both domestically and internationally to serve as the "supply" for this "demand.""


Yes, I'll move it.  And Mr.Canada, I think you should probably stay out of any discussion about prostitution on babble since you don't seem to have wrapped your head around such basic respect as not referring to sex workers as "hookers" or referring to "our streets" as if they belong to you only and not sex workers.

In other threads, you've demonstrated an inability to understand the basics around anti-oppression too, by going on about reverse discrimination.  So when this thread is moved, you will stay out of it, and the feminism forum, entirely.


I still don't understand why the Olympics would produce such a demand for prostitutes. Who are the customers? Who actually goes to the Olympics? Corporate ticket buyers give tickets away to employees and clients as gifts or bonuses. Many of those seats are never occupied. Who else can afford the Olympics? Families may want to take their kids as a treat, but chances are, there's no time or need, in those cases, for seeking out a prostitute. I guess I'm just wondering what or who creates this supposed demand? And is it real?




These people and their entourages would be a major part of the problem.

remind remind's picture

Volunteers and workers from across Canada perhaps?


martin dufresne

The demand is real. Johns are men with disposable income looking for sexual opportunities and male bonding experiences, with no accountability to partners, community or the women they exploit. Like prostitution havens (Thailand, Costa Rica, Las Vegas, Tijuana...), big sport events such as the World Cup and the Olympics provide such an opportunity, the sexual version of maquiladoras, and pimps/governments press mostly impoverished women into service. Donna Hughes is good on this dynamic.


Brian White

My sister and her husband live in New Zealand. There prostitution is legal and they seem to think that the system is working well. They know a guy who's girlfriend is a prostitute. So depending on the situation, love can conquer a lot of things.

Here in Vic, I have done a few jobs on government street. It is really sad to see aneroxic young ladys, wired on some or other shit, being picked up by pigs and then giving their money to the guy who supplys them with their fixes.  Surely legalization would help fix that situation?  At very least, having been with the pig, shouldnt the girl get to keep the money?  I once saw a cop trying to move a lady on.  For once she had normal body weight so i did not even think she was a prostitute. He was really rude.  Why do they not move on the sleeze bags that hide in the bushes and supply the girls with low grade cocaine? why do they not bring the girls in for drug withdrawal treatment?     I am sure many prostitutes are not hooked on drugs. I do not think society should allow drug addicted young ladys to be offered up to pigs by scumbags.


martin dufresne wrote:

The demand is real. ...big sport events such as the World Cup and the Olympics provide such an opportunity, the sexual version of maquiladoras, and pimps/governments press mostly impoverished women into service. Donna Hughes is good on this dynamic.


OK, but this is soccer. No offence to any soccer fans here, but we already know how soccer spectators behave in the stands and the streets, at least in Europe. The Olympics is a little more high-brow, if you can use that term. Both male and female athletes compete. It is a somewhat cultural event as well, bringing "the world" together, supposedly, and attracts spectators of all ages and backgrounds, both male and female. So it wouldn't have quite the same ruffian vibe as soccer does. But perhaps I'm splitting hairs, I don't know.



Well, certainly the Olympics probably costs more, and there is definitely a class difference between your "typical" soccer spectator and "typical" Olympics spectator.  But I wouldn't extrapolate from that, that male soccer fans are any more likely to use the services of a prostitute than male Olympics spectators.  Seems to me that yuppie guys have a lot more disposable income to spend on prostitutes than working class guys.

martin dufresne

From Newropeans magazine - "The unfairness behind the Olympic Games fair play", April 2004:

Athens' authorities promoting "sexual tourism" for the Olympics

North European countries have protested at what they say are plans to increase the number of brothels in Athens, during the Olympic Games. Gender equality ministers from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania issued a joint statement expressing their "abhorrence" at an alleged request by Athens City Council to boost permits for brothels to meet demand during the Games. Athens' Mayor, Dora Bakoyiannis, denies the charge, saying she is only trying to regulate illegal brothels by making them apply for licenses.

Prostitution is legal in Greece and registered prostitutes undergo regular health checks and pay social security. Presently only a few of the brothels in Athens have permits. Officials said they will give 230 permits while the law provides for 200.

But ministers from the Nordic and Baltic countries said the plan was incompatible with Olympic ideals. "This will lead to more women being exploited and abused."

During the last Olympic Games in Sydney, thousands of sex workers packed the streets and bars, taking advantage of a massive boom in the trade.

Catalin Gherman
Maastricht (The Netherlands)

For me, the substantive issue isn't the contradiction between our lofty image of the Olympics and men's socially-ordained privilege to sexually exploit women without choice. The latter is enough itself to justify action for change. starting with substantive support for the women - instead of essentializing them as "sex workers" - and seguing with ending that male privilege.

remind remind's picture

brian, the police use those exploited and addicted sex workers just as much as the drug dealers and pimps do. It is how they get information on the drug dealers.


martin dufresne

More likely explanation: politicians get so much money from the sex and drug trade that they tell police authorities to hold off from significant action against dealers, pushers and pimps. And we all know that cops use sex workers in other ways...


susan davis susan davis's picture

i would also like to express, anti trafficking campaigns are promoting the idea of BIG money from olympic visitors and workers are migrating to vancouver as a result. not trafficked but looking to earn $500 an hour. unfortunately olympic construction and subsequent financial boom are over. as more and more workers migrate to van looking to cash in, workers here are relying on regular/local/limited clientels and each new worker divides our income. i predicited it would happen and it is happening. an extreme economic crash for sex workers in vancouver and under cutting abound. desperation is driving down rates and increasing risks workers are willing to take to earn money. anti trafficking campaigns harm, not doubt in my mind.

susan davis susan davis's picture

also, no sigificant increase in sex consumerism or trafficking occured at the world cup of soccer. a 1500 bed safe work space was created and no one used it!!


studies support our findings and assertion , no increase in sex trafficking or sex consumerism will occur during olympc games.we called all previous host cities and people there expressed no increase in trafficking or sex consumerism.


from GAATW website....alliance of org.'s in 90 countries.....


Today, there are many more organizations working on trafficking than before and a significant increase in funding for anti-trafficking work. Research has been conducted and reports written on the situation of trafficking virtually in all parts of the world. In 2000, an internationally recognised definition of human trafficking was created, and today many countries are working towards national legislations in accordance with the Palermo Protocol.

Even with such progress, we are still a long way from achieving human rights protection for trafficked persons. Year after year, every report on the situation of trafficking claims that the problem is getting worse. Anyone working on the ground knows that it is incredibly difficult to identify a trafficked person, so how do we actually know or monitor the problem? Reliable statistics on trafficking are scarce, due to the underground nature of the crime.

Migrants continue to take dangerous risks because of a lack of legal and safe channels to find work in another country or a lack of adequate information about the situation in the destination country. This means the risk for trafficking continues. However, many migrant workers whose experience has some elements of trafficking are reluctant to be labelled as a "victim of trafficking" for that would mean immediate or eventual deportation.

Many colleagues are of the opinion that unless a sustained advocacy for the rights of all migrants is launched, human trafficking will continue to increase. Another concern raised by human rights activists is the violation of the rights of migrants, trafficked persons or sex workers caused by zealous anti-trafficking efforts.

It is time we take stock of our work, consolidate the gains and find new strategies to address persistent problems.




susan, I respect your right to do whatever you wish with your body however I must take issue with your opposition to anti-trafficking campaigns. These are to keep those who unconsenting off the streets. And I also hope you respect my right to try and instill a desire in my husband, loved ones and friends to never ever purchase sexual services.

susan davis susan davis's picture

of course, but please read above describing "bloody dress"prayer station and offensive posters depicitng violence against women. i am always inclusive of person exploited in our industry and am still working to elminate the ways in which it happens. anti trafficking programs like support services and access to escape aree important and supported by myself and all i represent.

exploitation of any person is unacceptable. but senationalizing violence against us to raise money is also unacceptable in particular since data on SA website- ben perrin research has been proven skewed and unrealistic. we must work to find ways to support trafficking victims but do not compromise safety of adult consentual sex workers. we are always seen as a reasonable casualty in rescuing trafficking victims, or getting to organized crime. picutres in SA camapaign are unecessarily violent and would not be allowed in any movie or adult film so why is it ok for SA to make money off it?

 providing services is not my problem, but rasing money using skewed data and insiting fear sparking raids all over canada is.

as seen in GAATW reports we must work to find reasonable balanced ways to protect safety of ALL people, including adult consentual sex workers.trafficking is not seen as street sex work, it's mostly indoors out of public eye. so, don't confuse problems associated with street level trade and people trafficked into massage parlours or strip clubs as is described in SA campaign.

so, a better way to express your feelings about sex consumers contributing to harm of trafficked women is to be specific about it. tell men not to buy sex at all, cool. i understand your position and respect your right to it.

fear based anti trafficking campaigns based on skewed data are undoubtedly harming sex workers all over canada casting us all as trafficked, abused and in SA's case dirty and broken. we know ideas like these contribute to perceptions of sex workers as dirty, less, disposable and contribute to violence against us. we aren't like "real"women so it's ok to kill is...we aren't like real women so don't prosecute our killers sentence appropriately.

i and my community are no longer willing to "reasonable casulaties" we already gave enough blood. we will no longer be content to stand by while 1000's of sex industry jobs are lost or destabilized as a result of uninformed actions based on the words of a proven liar- ben perrin- who violated my human rights and basically named me a trafficker of women.

can you see there is a reasonable way to protect people and then there are ways that harm instead of protect?

Makwa Makwa's picture

I am quite dismayed at how some people try to deny the individual sex industry worker and those with substance dependency their selfhood and agency. This Victorian melodramatic portrayal of the suffering victim may well work to enrich the anti-neo-slavery activist campaigns, but it denies individuals their identify and portrays them as people who are unable to make informed choices. People who are substance dependent and those who depend on the sex industry for income do face specific health and safety risks, and are in genuine need of community based health and security measures, such as targeted harm reduction programs.  Ms. Davis has a clear awareness of many of these needs.

martin dufresne

ben perrin research has been proven skewed and unrealistic. (...) uninformed actions based on the words of a proven liar- ben perrin- who violated my human rights and basically named me a trafficker of women.


I imagine that "basically" is the operative word here.

At the risk of making Susan feel bad, is this anything like her wildly inaccurate smear here (post #16) against Farley and Perrin, where she alleged that "none of their research has been acedemically reviewed"?


susan davis susan davis's picture

you are not upsetting me, it is not a smear campaign. ben perrin lied about me personally in an interview as posted above. it is a lie, and isn't not up for debate. it's a 2 year smear campaign of me by perrin et al and finally caught in print. i never lobbied for legalized brothels, we have them and i won public support for one,cooperatively run safe work space know as the coop brothel enetrprise. so perrin is a liar. simple. perrins research was never reviewed by an ethics board, please show us a link and prove i am being inaccurate. don't diminish my voice with unsubstantiated allegations martin. i'm getting tired of repeating the same thing over and over. melissa farely did come to vancouver and did go to police board demanding raids....exactly what about my statements is inaccurtate? please back it up with something concrete, a link to ben perrins review board participation or proof melissa farely has any understanding of vancouver sex workers and issues facing them.....

martin dufresne

I am glad we can talk without you taking it personally.

...ben perrin lied about me personally in an interview as posted above. it is a lie, and isn't not up for debate. it's a 2 year smear campaign of me by perrin et al and finally caught in print. i never lobbied for legalized brothels, we have them and i won public support for one...

If one says something in a forum like this one, it seems to me that it is up for debate. You do acknowledge in the above sentence having lobbied for brothel legalization: "i won public support for one." The reason you had to do so is that brothels are not legal in Canada, not until Criminal Code ss. 210 [6] and 211 [7] are repealed. Your own enterprise is enviable but, unless I am mistaken, it is a brothel only in name at this stage, no? So I don't see how Perrin can be said to have lied.

You, however, claimed that Perrin and Farley's work had never been academically reviewed, which was false*. When challenged, you changed that to a claim that their work had not undergone "ethical review before, during and after" to the satisfaction of your colleagues, which is something else entirely - indeed, academia generally eschews such political control.

It seems to me that if you can prove that Perrin's quoted statement is a lie, you ought to sue him and the Vancouver Courier, but defaming him here as a liar begs substantive proof at this stage.

 *To complete my account of Farley's research publications, previously listed, here are Benjamin Perrin's academically reviewed research publications.


susan davis susan davis's picture

no REB mentioned....? so still i am correct....?is it a study under way...?you prove i am not a liar. we DO have brothels all over canada...?or are you splitting hairs again?

it costs $30,000.00 in court fees in BC to sue some one and i am extremely poor so you point would be.....oh yeah....MUTE. it is federal policy for rearch involving people to under go REB scrutiny as tamara odorerty and others did....not perrin....not yet anyway...research ethics board, as per tri council policy....

 martin, i am a person you know. i made my points and argued all points listed in other threads. please stop trying to defend people who with total complacency harm my community. i am NOT A LIAR. in spite of your efforts to undermine my voice, you prove nothing. your link goes no where. i never said acedemically reviewed, i said REB... for the umpteenth time

i lobbied for public support becuase we need money.....not because i need excemption.....$900,000.00 to be exact. we were already funded for exploring ideas around it as a result of my lobby  but not sure about finding funding for building it....

martin dufresne

you prove nothing. your link goes no where. i never said acedemically reviewed, i said REB... for the umpteenth time

Susan, the link works for me and for others I have asked. On August 26, 11:39 a.m., in "Feminist Men and Words that Wound", you wrote:

(...) bejamin perrin and melissa farely say different. what people fail to understand is none of their research has been acedemically reviewed or scrutinized not data collection methods nor sample population scrutiny. if you run a rape crisis line and only interview victims of violence of course you believe all sex workers are raped.(...)" (emphasis added)

I am sure you can make your points without defaming Farley and Perrin with inaccurate information.

To address your other points, I am no specialist of these matters and I think if you are going to attack Perrin, you should be the one to establish that no REB has ever vetted his work. Beside, not all studies have to go before a research ethics board, as you suggest: this process concerns mostly research with individuals. See here, Appendix "Examples of Research that does not Require Research Ethics Board Review"

Finally, the fact that "we have brothels all over Canada" is absolutely NOT equivalent to them being legal. We also have speeders all over the place.



susan davis susan davis's picture

you are never going to be convinced and are entitled to your opinion, so am i. if you believe the article above is not defaming to me fine. i am truely done trying to reason with you. some people cannot admit they may be wrong. best of luck to you martin. i guess we'll see how it all plays out after the laws fall.


susan davis susan davis's picture

THE Salvation Army has apologised over an advertisement published in newspapers today which has outraged sex workers.

As the Army band trumpeted, sex workers with placards and red umbrellas stormed the launch of its Red Shield Appeal in Sydney.

The Australian sex workers association, the Scarlet Alliance, was protesting over the Salvos' ad in newspapers which drew attention to its rehabilitation efforts.

The ad told the story of 'Rick', saying: "To get Rick out of prostitution, we had to resort to smuggling.''

Scarlet Alliance president Elena Jeffreys said the Salvation Army had exploited the sex worker involved and was encouraging community discrimination against legal prostitution.

"The Salvation Army has shamefully chosen to capitalise on stigma against sex workers in its advertising for their Shield doorknock,'' Ms Jeffreys, who was allowed to speak at the event, said.

"This is a blatant use of the general community's unease and misinformation about the sex industry.''

Another member of the Scarlet Alliance, Kelly, said the Salvation Army failed to help sex workers when they needed help and 'Rick's story' was akin to kidnapping.

"The majority of sex workers do not need rescuing and the Salvation Army has not assisted sex workers when we have needed support,'' she said.

"Instead, they are using us to get donations."

Salvation Army spokesman Major General Philip Maxwell said the organisation apologised for the offence caused and had withdrawn the advertisement.

The doorknock appeal begins on Saturday.


Just moving some duplicate thread postings here - unfortunately, that means they'll be out of order from the date they were posted.  I just don't want to lose any posts.

susan davis susan davis's picture
Salvos apologise to sex workers over ads

Posted Fri May 22, 2009 9:42am AEST
Updated Fri May 22, 2009 10:27am AEST

Salvation army advert featuring the story of a prostitute, May 22 2009

Salvation Army advert featuring the story of a prositute. Sex workers were offended by the ad and demanded an apology. (newspaper)

The Salvation Army has issued an apology to sex workers for its newspaper advertisement featuring the story of a prostitute that the charity helped.

A row broke out after the Australian Sex Workers' Association, the Scarlet Alliance, claimed the charity was capitalising on prostitution in its latest campaign.

The Red Shield Appeal advertisement details the story of 'Rick', a prostitute who left a message on a computer screen inside the Salvation Army's Oasis van.

"Disguised as a client, we picked him up, took him to the airport and flew him interstate to one of our rehab centres, miles away from the heroin and hustling," it says.

It says that months later, Rick is living a new life.

Scarlet Alliance President, Elena Jeffreys, said her organisation received many calls from upset sex workers who had seen the ad.

"(We) are angry that the Salvation Army is capitalising on discrimination against sex workers, when sex work is not their core work," she said.

The Salvation Army, which is preparing to doorknock for its annual Red Shield Appeal this weekend, says the story featured in the ad is genuine, but is sorry for any offence it may have caused.

Major Phillip Maxwell says the advertisment will now be pulled.

"The potential was that it could seriously damage the relationship that we have in providing services," he said.

"Our priority is to look after the needs of people and we gain nothing if we marginalise or distance ourselves from the very people we desire to serve."

Sex workers had been planning to protest at the Appeal's launch, unless the charity said sorry.


Both of these posts of Susan's were from September 19th, I believe.

Brian White

I meant to post a link to a letter to the editor about 2 weeks ago. (one of the eastern (national) newspapers where a sex worker wrote in about some or other case that is going through the courts or through parliament. It might have been the globe and mail.  It was super excellently written and would change perople's minds perhaps. But  I got sick and got sent to hospital. (Just got out).  If anyone could find find it, I think it is probably relevent to this thread and probably some femanist threads too. Extremely well written and made its points very well.