Light works with two groups of women
who are prostituted: high track and low
Cassells explains: “We go to build
friendships with the high-track girls.
Those are the girls who are usually not
dealing with mental health issues. It is
an opportunity for them to be with some-
one who treats them with dignity, who
knows about their life at street level. The
low track girls are literally homeless, usu-
ally drug addicted and often have mental
What the two groups have in common
– besides almost always being fatherless –
is “that they are victims of violence. When
you look at, not just the dangers, but the
harm that comes to girls in prostitution,
you can only conclude that it is a very
violent and harmful environment,” says
Julia Beazley is a policy analyst with
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
(EFC). In 2011 its Centre for Faith and
Public Life in Ottawa published the discussion paper Selling Ourselves: Prostitution in Canada, Where Are We Headed?
(available at www.theEFC.ca/prostitutionlawreform).
Beazley says Cassells is right about the
violence. “Their stories are all the same
once they’re in. Stories of degradation,
dehumanization, violence and abuse.
It’s horrific. The majority have no say, no
choice. How can we call ‘choice’ a decision made out of desperation, for survival,
or for utter lack of good, healthy choices?”
Last fall it was almost impossible to
look away as Terri-Jean Bedford, a
dominatrix clad in leather, stood in
front of media cameras and declared
it “emancipation day” as three key
provisions in Canada’s anti-prosti-tution laws were struck down by
an Ontario court.
Bedford and her two fellow
constitutional challengers pre-
sented prostitution as a busi- P h