Local Sex Worker Serving Consortium Launch Report on Services for Those Who Wish To Exit the Sex Industry


Press Release

For Immediate Release

May 4, 2015

Local Sex Worker Serving Consortium Launch Report on Services for Those Who Wish To Exit the Sex Industry

Vancouver, BC – In an effort to respond to the existing gaps and effectively meet the needs of those who do sex work, five community organizations with a vast range of expertise in delivering services to individuals engaged in the sex industry have formed a Consortium to oversee the design, development and implementation of a transition, retiring and exiting program. The report they launch today is the first step in the development and implementation of transitioning programs and other related services for sex workers that would be undertaken by the consortium organizations.

Aboriginal Front Door, Battered Women’s Support Services, HUSTLE at HIM – Health Infinitive for Men, PACE Society, and the WISH Drop-In Centre Society each have a variety of expertise in working with different groups and individuals engaged in the sex industry, including self-identified female and male sex workers, survival/street sex workers Indigenous women, Migrant and Immigrant indoor workers, and victims of violence.

“This report lays a foundation from which to work to initiate programming for individuals seeking transitioning from sex work.” said Kate Gibson, Executive Director, WISH Drop-in Centre Society “We are working together to effect structural change and personal change for people involved in sex work.”

“We work to support people by meeting them where they are at. When people have expressed that they are ready for change, we support them in their change journey. Some people don’t like what they’re doing, but they do it because they’re addicted. Some people do it to get money to feed their family, but mostly it’s addictions; there are many factors, including but not limited to: Residential school abuse by authority figures, childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and cultural disconnect.” said Thelma Jack, Interim Executive Director, Aboriginal Front Door “We work holistically to support people with their healing and cultural reconnection.”

Since the closing of PEERS Vancouver in May 2012, there has been a significant gap in services to support the diverse needs of individuals engaged in sex work. Sex work exiting programming was one of the recommendations in Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (MWCI).

“Sex Work is work, but we can’t ignore how one’s position of privilege and power disproportionately shapes their experience in sex work, and we definitely cannot provide effective support without the active participation of Sex Workers”. said Laura Dilley, Executive Director, PACE Society.

The Consortium has worked within the City of Vancouver’s Task Force on Sex Work and Sexual Exploitation which was formed in September 2011 with the mandate to prevent sexual exploitation and protecting vulnerable adults and neighbourhoods affected by sex work.

“As a program of the Health Initiative for Men Society, HUSTLE continues to develop and expand to meet the growing needs of self-identified men in sex work, many of whom are now online, and as a member of the consortium we have a unique opportunity to work collaboratively and address the needs of sex workers in our community and restore a critical option for individuals wishing to make significant change in their lives.” said Matthew Taylor, Outreach Program Manager at HIM.

“We recognize there are layers and complexities to how people move into, within and out of the sex economies and throughout those experiences and decision making processes, through this initiative, we seek to build on existing supports to extend to options for transitioning, exiting and retiring.” said Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director, Battered Women’s Support Services.

Read the full report here

For more information:

Laura Dilley, Executive Director PACE Society –  604-880-5913

Kate Gibson, Executive Director, WISH Drop-in Society – 604-669-9474

Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director, Battered Women’s Support Services – 604-808-0507



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