Research-to-Action

Police harassment put prostitutes at high risk

The Province
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some Vancouver cops forced street prostitutes to engage in sex with them on the promise the prostitutes wouldn't be arrested, a witness at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry charged Tuesday.

"One of the problems faced by street-level, sex-trade workers was that Vancouver Police Department members would force them to engage in sexual services in exchange for not arresting them or fining them," said Kate Shannon.

She said the police harassment drives women to even riskier behaviours, making them three times as likely to suffer violence and twice as likely to be raped.