Editor’s note: Tania Fiolleau, a former victim of prostitution and former Madam who employed over five hundred women, warns Canadians that they are “headed for a catastrophe” with last week’s ruling in Ontario that legalized brothels. Special to LifeSiteNews.
April 2, 2012 (savethewomen.ca) – There are many reasons why prostitution and brothels should be made illegal in Canada.
First, it cruelly subjugates vulnerable migrant women into the dreadful darkness of sex-slavery. Migrant trafficking is an estimated $32 billion business, annually exceeding the sales of Google, Starbucks and Nike combined. Prostitution in Vancouver, B.C. accounts for roughly 16,000 people arriving illegally through Vancouver ports per year, making the city a major hub for human trafficking. This goes a lot deeper than your typical prostitute on the street corner soliciting drivers. People from all different nationalities are trafficked into Canada each week under the guise of being a ‘visitor’ or having a ‘work permit’ and then are sold into prostitution for the profit of criminal organizations. Many of these women are ‘tricked’ into coming on work visas under false pretenses and then forced into prostitution. These women are forced to work in brothels disguised as therapeutic massage centers, nail pedicure places, karaoke clubs, etc. These women do not want to become prostituted. They did not grow up with dreams of one day becoming a sex slave or being pimped.
Another reason why prostitution should be illegal in Canada is that sex consumers demand the flesh of young naive girls. The average age of entry into prostitution in Canada is 13 to 14 years old. Customers prefer the services of adolescents for their own sick reasons. This preference is partially formed by the perception that younger prostitutes are more clean and less likely to harbor sexually transmissible diseases. Young vulnerable teens are unwittingly recruited into prostitution by friends who are already part of the ‘human flesh trade’ or by pimps who target youths who have run away from broken or abusive homes. Young unsuspecting girls are preyed upon by prostitution recruiters at malls or even on Facebook. Teens from broken homes are especially susceptible to a pimp’s offer of shelter, food, and emotional support. While young girls are usually tricked into prostitution, it is not uncommon for them to be forced into the practice through brutal beatings.
A further reason to make prostitution illegal is that it utterly destroys the mental and even physical integrity of the prostituted woman. Approximately 80% of women entering into prostitution have been victims of rape. Prostituted persons, however, are literally raped multiple times daily, as much as 8 to 10 times per day. They are the most raped class of women in human history. One study found that prostituted women exhibited many of the same characteristics as soldiers returning traumatized from war. More than 75% of prostitutes surveyed in the study met the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The average number of prostitutes suffering PTSD from sex slavery was seen to be 14% higher than the average number of soldiers suffering PTSD after returning from intense combat on the front lines.
As a forward-moving nation, we Canadians should make prostitution illegal. We should not, however, make the laws as tough for women caught prostituting as we should for the pimps, Johns, and recruiters, since most women caught in prostitution did not choose that lifestyle nor can they easily escape from it. Where there is a demand, there will always be a supply. To reduce the demand for the prostitutes, we need to throw the book at the Johns, recruiters and the pimps. Making stiff laws for the Johns, recruiters and pimps will greatly lower the number of prostitutes.
Canada should follow the Nordic model, which proved very effective in cutting down prostitution in Sweden by approximately 45%, with hardly any of the trade going underground. The buyer was one who was criminalized. As prostitution dropped in Sweden, so did the accompanying social ills of human trafficking, drug use, and organized crime.
The recent ruling in Ontario legalizing brothels really makes our cities and our government into pimps. Brothels in Canada are charged roughly $4400 annually for business licenses, money that fills the treasury of the city and the government. Most other businesses are charged approximately $176 per year. The city and the government knows that there is big money in prostitution and they want their slice of the pie. Legalizing brothels just puts more tax money in the government’s pocket, which really makes the government the biggest pimp of all. Of course to make Canadian’s swallow the legalization of brothels, the new business title for a pimp will be entrepreneur, body-guard, or driver. Canada needs to wake up about how the government with its laws is not only sanctioning, but benefitting, from the sexual slavery of vulnerable women in legalized brothels.
Some people think that legalizing brothels will make the prostituted women safer and allow them to lead better lives. This is far from the truth. Many of the women working in brothels have already been abused by human trafficking, enslavement to pimps, or by being controlled by criminal organizations through fear and oppression.
Whether brothels are legal or not, a prostituted woman will always be the one who loses out in the end. The vast majority of prostituted women that work in brothels eventually end up working on the street. This happens once the signs of a woman’s sex slavery start to show on the outside of her body. She become too worn out and haggard-looking to appeal to the Johns that frequent the brothels. Not being able to keep up with the younger sexier recruits, she is eventually cast out on the street like garbage. Many brothel managers will throw out a prostitute when her drug addiction becomes too much for her to handle. Legalizing brothels does nothing for the problems faced by street prostitutes as virtually no brothels will hire drug addicted street walkers. Research shows that less than 3% of prostituted women ever get out of the sex industry.
A staggering two-thirds of children born to prostituted women end up imitating their mother’s lifestyle or entering into a life of crime. For the sake of protecting children alone, brothels and prostitution should be made illegal.
Approximately 80% of all prostitutes murdered are killed by their Johns, pimps, or through the abuse of drugs. Most prostitute homicides are never resolved and the Johns and pimps are never brought to justice.
By legalizing brothels, we are only enabling a serious social problem to fester and grow worse for our future generations and entire nation. Making brothels legal will only act as an incentive for women who are lured by the prospect of easy money. The number of women entering the so-called ‘sex trade’ will climb higher every day. Once they enter the trade, it become almost impossible to exit. The prostituted woman becomes addicted to the fast money, the comfort provided by the pimp, and to the drugs. The younger ones who lack education hardly stand a chance of ever getting out. I know this first hand as an ex-prostitute who works tirelessly to rescue these poor abused women from their dire situations.
In a 1998 report of prostituted persons across five countries, 92% of women said they wanted to escape prostitution immediately if they had the resources. Women who sell themselves are often coerced, forced or drugged into it—sometimes even at gunpoint. They feel they have no other skills or abilities to succeed in life. The thought of trying to escape is often not a reality when fears of being caught and killed or severely beaten start to kick in. Many times the exploited and demoralized women simply lack the self confidence or education to think and act for themselves.
Many of these girls that come on working visas, and then are forced into sex slavery, can’t go to the police for help for fear that their families will be murdered back home. It is very hard to escape the industry, since most girls have no sense of purpose other than what they do. They are ashamed. Without resources or knowing where to go, these women become society’s lost women.
We live in a country where women are very important. Many women are honourable doctors, chief executives, lawyers and judges. Legalizing brothels and calling prostitution a ‘trade’ has done nothing to elevate the status of women in this country. It has only demeaned them and turned them into expendable chattel that can be bought and sold.
In reality, prostitution is not a trade. It is a criminal enterprise. We need to keep our young women in school and encourage and empower them to strive towards good careers instead of taking the fast, easy approach of prostitution whereby they become uneducated and spiral down in a dehumanizing pattern that can only end in their ultimate desolation. Sadly, most women are liberated from the slavery of prostitution through death.
The diseases that are spread through prostitution are vast. Although the law will make the prostituted women undergo testing for diseases, this will only keep the Johns safe, not the prostitutes. Our Pharmacare system, which is also government run, stands to make a large profit from the medications used by prostitutes that become ill from their sex-slavery as they develop drug habits, succumb to AIDS, STDs, depression, or other mental illnesses. Legalizing prostitution only fosters the growth of sex slavery rather than doing anything to eliminate it.
Shame on you Justice Susan Himel and your entire court of appeal. You are the real criminals for authorizing the sexual slavery of women and children who are at many times forced into their abject situation of misery and suffering through no fault of their own.
We don’t need laws permitting brothels. We need laws that instill the fear of long jail sentences and stiff penalties into the pimps and brothel owners who are making dirty money off of vulnerable women and children. Many brothels lure unsuspecting women through advertisements such as: “Female owned and operated. Earn up to $2000.00 daily. Fun friendly, safe environment”. This is how I got lured into it. It is all a lie that conceals the horror of the trade in human flesh for sexual exploitation.
Let us not forget that prostitution includes young girls and boys being sold for sex to pedophiles, something that we rarely hear in the mainstream media.
In conclusion, it is a tragedy for any young girl or women to enter into the hell of prostitution. They become our nation’s lost women. They become victims of a dark and sinister sex enslavement. Their life is one of agony and horror. Jail-time and social humiliation is too little of a punishment for those who engage in or perpetrate the crime against women that is now to be legally sanctioned in brothels by Justice Susan Himel.
What we need is more organizations to help women exit prostitution. As a society, we need to drastically focus on prevention. We need serious legal deterrents for the Johns and pimps. We need to raise awareness on the effects prostitution has on society. We need to get into the high schools and colleges to do preventative work with our nation’s children before it is too late.
The women of our country are worth it. Our young girls are worth it. The future of our nation — which now stands at a cross road — is worth it. Legalized Brothels and prostitution cannot be an option.
Tania Fiolleau, foundress of Save The Women, is looking for financial support to continue her important work in helping women leave prostitution. You can find out more about her work and her ministry at www.savethewomen.ca.