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décembre 2005

Prostitution is Violence Against Women

par Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers (CASAC)

Écrits d'Élaine Audet

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Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers (CASAC) stands in solidarity with all those who are sexually exploited.

    • We believe in a world free from prostitution and all forms of sexual exploitation.
    • We declare that the prostitution system is profoundly sexist and racist. It is based on the existing inequalities between men and women, adults and children, rich and poor, between countries of the north and south and racialized inequalities.
    • We declare that the root cause of prostitution is the demand for women and children for sexual exploitation that is those men who see it as their unlimitable right to purchase and sexually exploit women and girls.
    • We declare that prostitution is usually the consequence of women living in economic and affective misery, as well as different forms of sexual violence and social and political inequalities. It is linked to the sexualization of young women and girls. It is therefore not a "choice" of work or a "right" to dispose of one’s body as one wishes.
    • We believe that sexually exploited women are drawn into a prostitution culture by buyers, procurers and traffickers over a period of time due to the violence of men, to poverty, to the terrible cycle of drug addiction, and to the precarious status of immigrants in this country.
    • We believe that sexual exploitation based on the commercialization of women’s bodies and is situated on a continuum that includes : pornography, prostitution, all forms of sexual violence (pedophilia), domestic and international sexual trafficking and sexual slavery.
    • We believe that the globalization of sexual trafficking feeds the sex industry’s constant demand for "new blood" and "exoticism". It touches the life of millions of people, mostly women and girls from southern countries, Eastern Europe, but also within Canada.
    • We denounce the sex industry which in the context of globalization exploits the misery and the vulnerability of the most fragile members of society and those made vulnerable due to war, armed conflicts and economics, social, political and environmental crises.
    • We reaffirm that the struggle against all the forms of sexual exploitation is an integral part of the battle for the respect of human rights, sexual equality, and the equality between all peoples.

    Therefore be it resolved :

    • We consider prostitution a form of violence against women and demand the criminal prosecution of all procurers and traffickers.
    • We demand that the Canadian government respects the commitments that it made signing and ratifying the United Nations Palermo protocol by ensuring the security, protection of and assistance to trafficked persons and people, and ceasing all detention and deportation of victims of trafficking.

No Restorative Justice/ADR in cases of Violence Against Women

Whereas :

    • Current Canadian Restorative and Alternative Justice models do not effectively or adequately address women’s equality issues ; use of these programs in cases of male violence against women is dangerous and counterproductive to women achieving safety and justice after rape.

    Be it resolved that

    • There are no Restorative or Alternative Justice programs in Canada at present that the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres will support for use in cases of male violence against women.
    • We as an Association do not support the decriminalization of sexual violence : we acknowledge that current Restorative and Alternative Justice programs have the potential to effectively decriminalize sexual violence.
    • The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres will not consider supporting any Restorative or Alternative Justice Programs for use in cases of male violence against women unless the following criteria are met :
    • Women have control over whether their case of male violence is addressed through Restorative or Alternative Justice measures.
    • The program has a structure and philosophy that reflects a demonstrated commitment to women’s equality. Specifically, the program is developed in collaboration with women’s equality seeking groups, and is based in narrative research conducted in collaboration with women’s equality seeking groups.
    • The program treats all forms of male violence against women with equal seriousness. The program does not assume that any category of offense or perpetrator is more amenable to resolution by restorative justice means.
    • The program is adequately resourced to address the extensive support necessary for women to go through a Restorative or Alternative Justice process.
    Note : CASAC agrees we are not in favour of prosecuting boys the same as adult men.

CASAC in solidarity with Native Women in Canada

We, members of CASAC, in solidarity with and respect for the rights and demands of our Native sisters all across Canada.

We denounce and we are deeply angry about the disappearance during the last 20 years of 500 Native women from various Native communities in Canada.

We deplore that Native women remain the target of violence and hatred based on race. Unfortunately, they continue to be objectified, disrespected, dishonoured, ignored and killed- very often without any punishment.

We support the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s "Sisters in Spirit" campaign, which is asking for $10 million in fundraising to :

    • Research and document the number of circumstances of the Native women who have disappeared and been killed in Canada.
    • Public education about the causes of violence against Native women.
    • Public workshops about the missing women and their families.
    • An emergency telephone line and official registry to report the disappearances and keep statistics.

We are asking our federal government to provide this funding for research and education as asked for by NWAC.

Women’s Poverty

Given that poverty is completely unnecessary and unacceptable reality ;

Given that poverty is disproportionately imposed on women, and in a particular fashion on indigenous women, women of colour, immigrant and refugee women, women with disabilities, and single mothers ;

Given that poverty increases the vulnerability of women to being attacked in their homes, on the job, and on the street ;

And given that poverty creates barriers to women’s autonomy which are difficult to overcome ;

And given that poverty prevents women’s access to health and justice after attacks of violence ;

And given the CASAC sees hopes in the analysis and attitude of the Pictou gathering ;

Be it resolved that CASAC supports the Pictou Statement as a starting point for a feminist economic theory.

A call for an integration strategy for CASAC members (coming from the Women of Colour Caucus)

Whereas when women gain equality, equality will be achieved for all.

Whereas when women’s organizing may look different in different communities, locally and world wide, and

Whereas the major reason women flee their countries is because the forces of patriarchy, including capitalism, this requires global feminist solidarity with poor women, indigenous women and women of colour worldwide,

And whereas the majority of the people in the world are women, women of colour, indigenous and poor women,

If the world were fair there would be no poor and women of colour and indigenous women would hold 75% of the world’s power,

And whereas we want liberation for women inside and outside Canada, any affirmative action strategy will have to work on a world wide scale that would mean more power held by indigenous and women of colour world wide.

And whereas we see the uprising of the women of the global south as an integrated uprising,

Therefore be it resolved :

We will support and ally with existing organized women of colour and indigenous anti-violence women’s groups locally and globally.

Be it resolved that CASAC members support the emergence of autonomous groups of women of colour and indigenous women and race integration of CASAC members. This requires extra resources tactics, strategies and commitment on the part of our centres in order to achieve this.

Further be it resolved, that in our demand for a guaranteed livable income, and our demand for the redistribution of wealth, we include and support the call of the World March of Women to cancel debt of Third World Countries.

On Sisyphe, December 28, 2005.

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