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Underreporting of Violence to Police among Women Sex Workers in Canada: Amplified Inequities for Im/migrant and In-Call Workers Prior to and Following End-Demand Legislation.

  • Author(s): McBride, Bronwyn
  • Shannon, Kate
  • Bingham, Brittany
  • Braschel, Melissa
  • Strathdee, Steffanie
  • Goldenberg, Shira M
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7762889/
No data is associated with this publication.
Abstract

Sex workers globally face high levels of violence. In Canada, im/migrant sex workers who work in indoor venues may be uniquely targeted by police due to immigration policies, racialized policing, and the conflation of trafficking and sex work. In 2014, Canada passed end-demand legislation that purportedly encourages sex workers to report violence to police; however, little research has evaluated its impact. Using interrupted time series and multivariable logistic regression, we examined proportions of reporting violent incidents to police among sex workers who had experienced workplace violence (2010-2017), including potential changes prior to and following end-demand legislation. We then modeled the independent effects of im/migrant status and place of work on reporting violence. Among sex workers who experienced recent violence during the 7.5-year study (n=367), 38.2% of all participants and 12.7% of im/migrants reported violence to police, and there was no significant change in violence reporting after end-demand legislation. Our results suggest that end-demand laws do not remove barriers to justice faced by sex workers and instead actually perpetuate harms, particularly for racialized im/migrant and indoor workers. Policy reforms to decriminalize sex work, address discriminatory policing, and promote access to safety and justice are urgently needed.

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