Living in Community

Living in Community

December 17, 2012 18:35 ET

Living in Community Responds to Missing Women Inquiry Report

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2012) - Living in Community (LIC), a Vancouver-based collaboration of community, sex work, government and business partners first extends its support to the families of the missing women for all they have had to endure through the past decade and longer. Recommendations in the Missing Women Inquiry Report such as a 24-hour drop-in centre in the Downtown Eastside and legislative changes at the Provincial level to protect women in the sex industry give an indication of movement in the desired direction. As noted in the report, the LIC Action Plan provides "a strong basis for enhancing the safety of women engaged in the survival sex trade" and provides a collaborative model for other communities to adopt.

As the report was just released this afternoon, LIC will take time to read and analyze it. LIC members are looking for recommendations that address systemic barriers to marginalized community members and improve safety in neighbourhoods. It is looking for recommendations that improve safety conditions for sex workers and reduce sexual exploitation of youth in a city where 67 women went missing and were murdered while virtually noting was done to stop the deaths.

"It has taken 10 years for this report to come out and it will take some time to review the findings and determine if the recommendations will address the culture that led to the deaths and disappearance of so many women from the Lower mainland," Kate Gibson, LIC Co-Chair and Executive Director of the WISH Drop-In Centre Society said. "It remains to be seen how the recommendations will be funded and implemented and if that will be done immediately."

"The report calls on the Provincial Government to increase the safety of sex workers and neighbourhoods by increasing funding for direct services for sex workers. The loss of Provincial funding for direct services has had a detrimental effect on the safety, health and wellbeing of sex workers," LIC Co-Chair and Hastings North BIA Executive Director, Patricia Barnes, said.

Barnes noted LIC is currently working with the City of Vancouver to support the implementation of the City's Sex Work Report and looks forward to working with the Province, as urged by Wally Oppal in his report today to implement recommendations in the LIC Action Plan.

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