man. I think people often think it’s the
Robert Picktons and the guys who lurk
in dark alleys. It’s any man. We use the
statistic of one in nine men in Canada
buys sex. That’s a statistic we found from
the journalist Victor Malarek [author
of The Natashas:
The New Global Sex
Trade (Penguin Canada, 2004) and The
Johns: Sex for Sale
and the Men Who
Buy It (Arcade Publishing, 2011). I’ve
got a number of survivor friends. They tell
me it is the dads with the three car seats
in the van, to the judge, to the policeman.
It can be anybody.
FT: So how did a nice minister’s wife get
so involved in this issue?
GG: It started with my own engagement
with God’s Word. Fifteen years ago we
were pastoring in an affluent prairie
church. As I read verses on justice issues,
I realized God was getting a hold of my
heart. I started praying Micah 6: 8 pretty
much every day and asking God who was
out there. At the time, that wasn’t part of
my day to see “those types of people.”
A few years after that we moved to Re-
gina. I pored over a whole bunch of books.
Within a couple of weeks, I read that a
food shelter was looking for volunteers in
the office. That’s where I met a prostitute
for the first time. I started to pray. I em-
braced the challenge. God said in my ear,
“This is who you’ve been praying about
for ten years.”
FT: The Church seems to be adjusting its
take on the issue of prostitution. It feels
like we’ve moved from seeing women as
“bad” to the prostituted woman as the
victim. A shift from an issue of morality
to one of justice. Is this what’s happening?
GG: It’s about knowledge. Our audience
is church people. When people come to
understand the face of prostituted women
in our country, they move to compassion.
The number one reason a woman is in
prostitution is poverty. And that becomes
a huge factor as to why she can’t get out.
Most girls who start
are 12 or 13 years
old. People who are
working on the front
lines tell us there are
now girls as young
as seven or eight.
That’s not child prostitution, that is child
sexual abuse. What
kid is making a choice at that age?
FT: Is sexual abuse in the past a common
GG: I don’t know of any prostituted woman
who would say that it hadn’t been a part of
their background. They have come to see
themselves as good for nothing else. Sexual
abuse and poverty both factor in. It has be-
come the only bit of income they get. They
don’t have an education. How do you put
it on a résumé to get a regular job? First
Nations women are the face of prostitution
in Canada. You’ve got all those factors of
colonization and racism.
FT: How do we help the Church move to
a place of actively helping women?
GG: When the Church realizes these
women are really oppressed and vulnerable, than I choose to believe the Church
will act. I think we are turning a big corner on church engagement on this. They
are seeing it as a Canadian issue, in every
FT: For the Nov/Dec issue of Faith Today, we trailed Christian workers doing
outreach to prostituted women. There
was evidence of a lot of addiction. What
role does that play?
GG: It can work two ways. Sometimes it
Dignity of Women Who Are Prostituted
can be when the pimp tries to get the girl
completely dependent on him. So, she
doesn’t enter it addicted, but that becomes
a part of it. It’s another form of exploita-
tion. Some gals are addicted because it’s
the only coping method to endure what
“Prostituted women in our country have a
mortality rate 40
per cent higher than
the national average.”
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