Violence Against Sex Workers

“Nobody asks to be assaulted. Violence is not inherent to the sex industry, however Canadian sex workers do experience extremely high rates of physical, sexual and economic exploitation and violence because [the] work is criminalized and stigmatized. For example, many sex workers are hesitant to report acts of violence against them, and perpetrators know this. To hold sex workers responsible for violence is victim-blaming and plays into anxieties around women’s sexuality and the sexuality of men who have sex with men”( POWER Toolkit, 2011)



Some facts about violence against sex workers in Canada:

  • 45% of sex workers in Vancouver experienced sexual assault (PACE Society, 2001)[1]

  • Over 80% of sex workers in Vancouver experienced harassment and 68% of these go unreported to police (PACE Society, 2001).

  • 1 in 5 sex workers experience physical and sexual violence (Gender & Society Health Institute, 2014)[2]

  • 45-75% of sex workers experience violence in their lifetime (Gender & Society Health Institute, 2014)[3]



Reports & Toolkits


Resources and Links