Australia: Is it OK to bash women if they are selling sex?

March 16, 2010

NO DOUBT there are some readers who don’t much care about the welfare of women who engage in street sex work in our cities. Street prostitution is a reality that middle Australia prefers to ignore, or just to condemn outright. And that’s where the trouble begins.

If the subject is raised at all, the debate tends to focus on how this highly visible form of prostitution lowers the tone of a neighbourhood (subtext: how it threatens the inexorable rise of property values).

Such is our disregard of the issue that in Melbourne, while the media has been strident and hysterical about rising levels of street violence, the continuing issue of violence towards street sex workers has been all but ignored. Yet violence – sexual and physical assault, verbal abuse and harassment – is a ceaseless, daily part of the lives of the women who work our streets. I suspect that many mean-spirited moralists out there actually believe that ”working girls” deserve no better.
Continue reading

The numbers of sex trafficking victims are exaggerated

Figures relating to sex work and trafficking have been fudged by mainstream media, conservative feminists and career politicians. The numbers of people who are victims of sex slavery and trafficking are far lower than what is generally reported, writes Elena Jeffreys.

A startling report by investigative journalist Nick Davies for The Guardian last October, Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution, has shocked English policy makers and created a new war of words over migration, sex work and exploitation. Numerous opinion pieces, first hand accounts and rampant moralising followed The Guardian’s coverage of the issue between October and November last year, but Davies’ articles remains an important contribution to understanding the figure-fudging in relation to sex work and trafficking.

Davies writes that politicians and the media have been exaggerating the numbers of sex workers who are victims of sex slavery and trafficking. He goes on to compare the exaggerated numbers of trafficked sex workers with other government lies including weapons of mass destruction, and the sexed up policy dossiers that rationalised UK’s hawkish actions in relation to Iraq. Continue reading

AZ: Man pleads guilty to hiring hit man in prostitution case

20 comments by Michael Ferraresi – Feb. 9, 2010 03:58 PM
The Arizona Republic

The founder of a Web site known for its reviews of prostitutes pleaded guilty to two felonies in a case in which he was accused of hiring an undercover Phoenix police officer to assault a business rival, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

David Elms, 38, the California founder of The Erotic Review, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, a Class 3 felony.

The charge stemmed from the Phoenix police investigation into Desert Divas, a sex syndicate that purportedly provided expensive prostitutes to high-profile clients.

Elms also pleaded guilty to illegal control of an enterprise, a Class 3 felony, a charge the county attorney’s office said was related to Elms allowing The Erotic Review to be used in promoting the Valley-based Desert Divas prostitution ring, officials said.

Desert Divas prostitutes earned as much as $375 per visit, including $750 for two girls, in some cases. The organization earned an estimated $18 million over six years, police said.

Based on an informant’s tip, Phoenix detectives arrested Elms in February in northeast Phoenix after arranging a meeting where they said Elms contracted an undercover officer as a hit man to assault a woman in California.

Elms’ sentencing is scheduled for March 8.

See original on AZ Central

‘Kill hookers’ Facebook boy dealt with: school

14:56 AEST Fri Feb 12 2010

A Facebook page which advocates killing prostitutes has been condemned by sex industry workers.

A Catholic school student has been “dealt with” after he set up a Facebook page that appeared to advocate killing prostitutes.

The page, called “Killing your hooker so you don’t have to pay her”, has now been removed by Facebook but not before almost 18,000 people joined the site.

The principal of St Laurence’s College in Queensland, Ian McDonald, confirmed a student from the school had been disciplined over the creation of the page.

“It has been sorted out and the boy has been dealt with,” Mr McDonald told AAP on Friday.

“The student told us, of course, he didn’t believe what was on there and he did something stupid. Continue reading

Canada: There are warnings, but not all hear

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Lori Culbert
p. A8

Hitchhiking, once considered a normal means of transportation, is
blamed for many disappearances

NEAR STELLAKO, B.C. he slight figure has pulled the hood of her white
sweater over her head, for some feeble protection from the cold
late-November wind, and nearly blends anonymously into the snowy
background of this barren stretch of Highway 16.

Liza Nooski, 19, trudges along the tarmac where it turns due north to
curve around the west end of Fraser Lake, the bottom of her pants
covered in the brown sludge that lines the road after sanding trucks
cover the previous night’s snowfall. Continue reading

Canada: Mother’s death a puzzle with missing pieces

Monday, December 14, 2009
Lori Culbert

Mary Jane Hill died on Highway 16. Thirty years later, a daughter who
was six months old at the time seeks answers

PRINCE RUPERT — Vicki Hill was just six months old when her mother
was found dead along Highway 16.

[photo caption]
Memories of her murdered mother, Mary Jane Hill, displayed by daughter
Vicki Hill. Over a period of more than 40 years, more than two dozen
women have vanished or been found murdered along Hwy. 16. Many of the
young women were hitchhiking.

Thirty years later, the case remains unsolved. Continue reading

Canada: Murder meeting drew investigators

Monday, December 14, 2009
Neal Hall
p. A9.

About 40 detectives turned out to compare notes on Highway Murders in
B.C. and Alberta

In 1981, a Kamloops RCMP investigator named Mike Eastham organized a
conference to compare notes on the growing number of unsolved female
homicides along highways in the Interior of B.C. and into Alberta.

[photo caption]
Sgt. Mike Eastham of the Kamloops RCMP detachment (left) discusses
information on unsolved slayings of 28 women on B.C. and Alberta
highways with Cpl. Ray Munroe of Edmonton and Cpl. Dwight Hoglund of
Calgary in Kamloops, on Nov. 18, 1981. Continue reading

Canada: Possible suspects haunt detectives

Monday, December 14, 2009
Neal Hall

There has never been an arrest in the Highway of Tears mystery

Aformer Kamloops detective got excited about a possible break in the
murder of Colleen Rae MacMillen, 16, when a U.S. man confessed to
killing her.

An artist’s sketch showing the suspected Highway of Tears killer and
his hitchhiking victim. The drawing was released in June 1981. Continue reading

Canada: VANISHING POINT: The highway murders

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Lori Culbert and Neal Hall

The official list of missing o[f] murdered young women on B.C. and Alberta highways contains 18 names. But many more victims may have left anguished families behind.

In their hunt to determine whether a serial killer is preying on girls and women along B.C. roadways, investigators have identified 2,000 “persons of interest” in the so-called Highway of Tears investigation.

Project E-Pana, the joint RCMP-Vancouver police unit probing missing and murdered women along B.C. highways, previously has been tightlipped about the high-profile investigation. Continue reading

Memorial for Catherine Lique


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