What’s Current: Prostitution survivors challenge UK government to expunge solicitation-related criminal records

Fiona Broadfoot, one of the prostitution survivors bringing a challenge against the UK government. (Image: The National)

Sex trade survivors are bringing a legal challenge against the UK government in an attempt to expunge all criminal records for solicitation.

Two Ontario police officers have been charged in the 2016 death of Debra Chrisjohn, an Indigenous woman of the Oneida Nation of the Thames . The officers, Ontario Provincial Police Const. Mark McKillop and London Police Const. Nicholas Doering, are facing charges of criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life. Both officers remain on duty.

Pregnancy remains the number one cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19. Worldwide, nearly 30,000 girls die each year; that’s one girl every 20 minutes.

New report from Statistics Canada shows that sexual assault rates have remained steady over the last 10 years, and more than eight in 10 women still decide not report their assaults to the police. Holly Johnson, a leading researcher on violence against women, explains:

“The reporting rate just keeps dropping and it can’t drop much lower, and the prevalence stays the same. So we’re not making any progress here….I think we just minimize it. We minimize it and we hold women responsible. And until we start holding men responsible and men start holding each other responsible and accountable for intervening, for preventing this, for becoming allies for women working on sexual assault prevention, we’re going to continue to have that battle.”

Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.