The program coordinator with the Safe Harbour Outreach Program says everyone deserves to be safe and part of a community. That includes sex workers.
Heather Jarvis says the group is hearing the increased concerns of those in downtown St. John’s who say their streets are being taken over the sex industry, crime, and drug use.
She says they understand those concerns, and are working to find solutions. Speaking on VOCMs Open Line with Paddy Daly, Jarvis says people must also distinguish between the issues that people are experiencing, too.
She says when you look at drug use and abuse, that’s a city-wide issue. Similarly, crime. She says that’s not just an issue within the sex industry.
Jarvis says SHOP will continue to work on a solution that fits.
She says the group does not encourage pushing these workers into a “designated area,” like a red light district. She says that’s the same as displacing and shaming these individuals.
Jarvis says it pushes these people into a very spotlighted area where they can be targeted. These areas, she says, are usually not near front-line services, further putting these people in harm’s way.