Safety first for Downtown Eastside sex workers

Co-written with Tiffany Kwong.

The Missing Women’s Memorial in Crab Park is a tribute to the women murdered in the DTES

The Missing Women’s Memorial in Crab Park is a tribute to the women murdered in the DTES

Members of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside’s community have praised new police guidelines to protect sex-trade workers, but are also raising concerns about whether they will make a difference.

The police released an eight-point set of guidelines in January stressing that the department considers the safety and security of sex workers a priority and reinforcing that all cases of violence or abuse have to be treated as serious criminal matters.

“I think the new guidelines are a really important shift in the right direction,” said Katrina Pacey, litigation director of Pivot Legal Society. “Sex workers will be given the kind of protection they deserve by police who traditionally have not been there for them in the ways that they needed them to be.”

Read the full story here.

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