May 21, 2019

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Women charged more often, expert says

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/7/2010 (3225 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A young woman leans into a driver's window, furtively discussing an exchange of sex for money, when they're surprised by a police officer. Who gets charged? The prostitute? The john?

During a sweep in Winnipeg earlier this week, police charged four women with communicating for the purposes of prostitution. The johns were not charged.

Police warned Thursay the men who use prostitutes shouldn't think they're above the law. In November, police arrested 30 men for buying sex during a three-month sweep and they impounded 30 vehicles.

But Prof. Karen Busby, a University of Manitoba law professor who has researched prostitution in the Prairie provinces, said women who sell sex are charged more often than men purchasing it, and women are "way more likely" to receive a jail sentence.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/7/2010 (3225 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Karen Busby: women seen as problem

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Karen Busby: women seen as problem

A young woman leans into a driver's window, furtively discussing an exchange of sex for money, when they're surprised by a police officer. Who gets charged? The prostitute? The john?

During a sweep in Winnipeg earlier this week, police charged four women with communicating for the purposes of prostitution. The johns were not charged.

Police warned Thursay the men who use prostitutes shouldn't think they're above the law. In November, police arrested 30 men for buying sex during a three-month sweep and they impounded 30 vehicles.

But Prof. Karen Busby, a University of Manitoba law professor who has researched prostitution in the Prairie provinces, said women who sell sex are charged more often than men purchasing it, and women are "way more likely" to receive a jail sentence.

She said charging johns is effective at deterring some men from reoffending, but doesn't deter women who sell sex because they don't have other options.

"Women are also perceived as the presence and the problem, so it's easier to do that kind of sweep and take them away than the men," she said.

The police project this week targeted women and girls working on Kate and Juno streets, near Bannatyne Avenue.

Police said the project wasn't traditional and, working with social workers, they tried to connect women and girls to resources that can shift them out of the sex trade. Two teenage girls — one of whom was only 13 years old — were returned to their families after police picked them up.

The project was an "alternative" way of dealing with prostitution, said a police spokesman, dealing with "root issues" of the social scourge.

"That's why we have other resources or other agencies with us, as well as diversion," WPS spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said.

"Hey, maybe we can make contact and provide some resources to these individuals so that they will make a change in their lifestyle.

"It's not about arresting people always and forcing them through the judicial process. It's bigger than that," he said.

The Salvation Army helped with Tuesday night's project.

"We were there whether they were arrested or not, so we could provide a resource for them," said Dianna Bussey, the Salvation Army's prostitution-diversion program co-ordinator.

The organization runs separate prostitution programming for johns and sex-trade workers, in which they attend programs aimed at stopping their behaviour.

Three staffers from the Child Protection Branch were present when police made the arrests. They took the teenagers and returned them to their families.

"In my experience (with) the WPS, there has been a good balance of men charged," said StreetReach outreach co-ordinator Jennifer Berry on Wednesday. "It's not often out there, but the diversion programs are often just as full with men as they are with women that are diverted and charged."

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

 

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