Toronto legalizes brothels

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Isobel - posted on 03/27/2012

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ummm...Sherri, where in Canada is your husband going???????? Cause this is revolutionary here in Toronto (other than if you go to VERY specific neighbourhoods seeking it out)

Johnny - posted on 03/29/2012

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We have plenty of illegal brothels here with those exact problems. Except the women don't even have the option to go to the police because they would be considered the criminals instead of the victims. The majority of women working in the brothels here are illegally trafficked in the country. If they were caught, they would be sent home by the government adn their families would be punished by the trafficker. Perhaps the answer isn't having it as illegal, but close monitoring and regulation? If men know they will run the chance of arrest by frequenting an illegal, under the table place, they will be more likely to choose an a legal place where their pecadillos won't be so likely to be broadcast. I also agree that brothels should be owned and run by the women working them, I have serious concerns about allowing it to be done by pimps and madams.

Krista - posted on 03/28/2012

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There's no way to completely eradicate the exploitation that these women (and girls, sadly) suffer. However, I think that by legalizing brothels, it WILL accomplish two things: the pros won't be scared of the cops anymore, which will make them more likely to report abuses. As well, it will free up police time and resources to go after abusive johns or pimps. ('Cause there WILL still be streetwalkers, make no mistake.)

Isobel - posted on 03/27/2012

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but again, you seek them out...they are not readily available for anybody walking down the street

Johnny - posted on 03/27/2012

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Actually Sherri, it isn't legal here. Soliciting for the purposes of prostitution has always been illegal and still is today. However, soliciting under our definition means in a public place, not a private business. Those prostitutes walking up to him were still breaking the law. It is just not that common (at least here in Vancouver, I'm guessing Toronto is similar) for police to arrest prostitutes for solicitation. They are trying to go after the pimps and johns, not the women.

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[deleted account]

I think it's a good idea because brothels are going to exist regardless and when they are illegal it places the people who have to work in them at more risk for violence and abuse.

Sarah - posted on 03/30/2012

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see to be honest, if woman want to sell their body as its their body clearly and men want to pay as its their money, i dont really see what its got to do with anybody else.

some people have no choice but to turn to this profession to make ends meet, i never understood why it was illegal.

its the same with drug taking if people want to take it and people want to buy it from dealers why not make it legal, then it wont be so thrilling. i know ill be shot down for this comment, but i dont care its my opinion and thats that

[deleted account]

I know sex slavery will exist whether brothels are legal or not, it's just that legalizing brothels does more to protect the pimps and suppress the prostitutes than it does to protect prostitutes. They say that legalizing brothels will help protect these women, but it won't.



I don't mind prostitution being legal--if you think it's immoral or whatever, don't buy it, and don't become one--what I have a problem with is the law basically allowing women who DO NOT want to be prostitutes to be enslaved and forced into that career choice.

Aleks - posted on 03/29/2012

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Well, that is a policing matter. Our law enforcement agencies do care. They do investigate, catch and prosecute. How often, I do not know as I don't watch the news regularly enough.

However, the sex slave industry will exist whether things are legal or not.



To be honest, I don't defend legalised brothels. I am not really for them, but I am also not against them. I used to get all angry over this issue (brothels, porn, the sex shows hiding under the banner of "stripping", how its frequently degrading to women and taking advantage of poor, and/or troubled women etc) and now I have more pressing matters and besides I feel like it is a lost battle since most people and public opinion seems to sway with liberating sex, sexuality, sex economy in every way and form and just generally sexualising everything in sight. And if you show opposing views to the current trend you are termed old fashioned and backwards, etc etc....

[deleted account]

I knew they were legal in Australia. I have a friend who is fighting the sex slave industry there. Does no one care that these brothels often enslave the women, force them to perform against their will?



They set up bank accounts in the woman's name and give her a pay check every month, but she has no access to the account. They debit money from that account to pay "her" bills--as in "rent" for the brothel rooms, pimp fees, food, etc. until there is nothing left. Even if there were anything left in it, she can't get to it because she does not have a check book, bank card, or even know the account number. The women are forced to live where the pimp tells them to live, usually in a building he/she owns, and have no way to contact anyone outside their circle. It all looks legal, but it's not, which is why they don't get caught. The women wouldn't dare tell, even if the place was raided because they fear for their lives.

Aleks - posted on 03/28/2012

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Meh, had legal brothels here in Melbourne for probably more than 10yrs if not longer, to be honest I cannot remember how long it has been.

Amanda - posted on 03/28/2012

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Toronto didnt just get this all off ontario did. Thank god! To bad it will take a year to go into effect I will already be moved by the time the hookers get off my front lawn.

Jenny - posted on 03/28/2012

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Oh yes, East Hastings in Vancouver is quite the experience. I have been through many times. The streets are covered in the down and out. There are literally thousands of them. There are several women who have been picked from the East Hastings area to never be seen again. I'm sure you have heard of Robert Pickton and Piggy's Palace? He is trying to get interviews and says he did not act alone.



I beleive in harm reduction. If a woman choose to live off of her body then it is our duty to allow her to do it in the safest manner possible. They should also be given the opportunity to participate in our social safety net system. This could give them opportunties to access EI for example should they become pregnant. It will also give them oppotunities to stop with the exploitation and more control over themselves.

[deleted account]

I'm torn, If a woman wants to do be a prostitute on her own, I have no problem with it, but most of the brothels "legally" operating in the US have some pretty disgusting business practices.



When I was 6, my mother was forced into the sex slave industry. She worked in a "legal" brothel for 3 years before she escaped, and she had to kill to do it. The rooms have "panic" buttons to protect the women, but they also have cameras and audio recorders, she couldn't tell anyone. If she tried to rebel or didn't "act up" to their standards, she was beaten severely with a rubber whip (great because the whelps don't last long, so the girl can get back on the floor quickly after her lesson is learned).



Having a legal brothel didn't do anything to protect my mom (who was not even a prostitute to begin with) it just made it easier for pimps to exploit her. A better solution, rather than legalizing brothels, which really does more to protect the pimps than the women, would be to regulate prostitution to eliminate pimps--forbid any company from employing more than one prostitute at a time, and forbid more than one prostitute from doing business in the same brick and mortar as another prostitute. Big pimps would still manage, but it would eliminate a lot of the smaller ones and still protect women without making it more difficult to be a prostitute.



ETA: Also prohibit one person from owning more than a set number of prostitution businesses, a small number, like 5 or 10. And require they be sole proprietors, not corporations.

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2012

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Some of the most beautiful views in the world with one of the biggest street level contrasts I've ever experienced in North America.

Isobel - posted on 03/28/2012

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I actually HAVE heard that about Vancouver...that the nice parts are beyond beautiful but the nasty parts are also beyond nasty

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2012

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Naw Laura, I was talking about my old neighbourhood in Vancouver (they called it "Hastings Sunrise"). There was a lot more pros there, I found, than on Jarvis...but maybe I was just lucky to live next to a few regular ladies of the night in Van.



Jarvis can be a bit sad too, but I find the drug abuse isn't as out in the open as in Van. In Van it seems like the pros are just a lot more messed up, you know a lot of meth mouth and they are so thin you don't understand how they are even standing up. It is really sad and seems more dire than Toronto's worst corners.

Isobel - posted on 03/28/2012

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Toronto's the only part of Ontario that matters...haven't you heard? ;P

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/28/2012

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It is not a readily available thing in Halifax either. They are around but you don't see them, unless you go to the specific streets they hang out. Even then they are few and far between.



It is not legal in Canada. Far from it. They legalized the Brothal and Pimp service only so that the prostitutes can be safer. I actually think, it is more to get them the hell off of the certain corners they stand on... ;)



I think it should be legalized though. It could then be regulated, taxed and make the "hookers" take mandatory testing for drugs and STD's. ;) You would still have the odd one that did it under the table but they would be much easier to catch and charge. The way it is done now is very unsafe, not only for them but for anyone that has to live in the same area they frequent.



ETA:

It has actually been legalized in ALL of Ontario, not only Toronto... ;)

Mother - posted on 03/28/2012

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It's the oldest profession in the world and it's alive and thriving!! My hopes are.....if they are in that profession....that it keeps them safer. :)

Mrs. - posted on 03/27/2012

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Oh yeah, I used to listen to the pros heels click down the alley every night from my window, listen to the car door shut, wait about 5-8 min, then listen to the door open and the heels click right back down the alley. Those girls worked hard, in a really, really dangerous situation.

Mrs. - posted on 03/27/2012

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I saw a lot of pros in my old neighbourhood in Van, but they never approached my then bf all that much. The same can be said in Toronto recently as far as what I've heard.



Of course, most of the guys I know who are into that kind of stuff go in for the ole rub and tug or strip club thing and those are alive and well in TO.



I

Kate CP - posted on 03/27/2012

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Sherri: There are legal brothels all over the US. The most famous (infamous?) one is Mustang Ranch. Been in operation (legally) for over 30 years.

Sherri - posted on 03/27/2012

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This is such a foreign concept to me living in the states. My husband visits Canada to play hockey every year and he always comes home with the stories of the prostitutes walking right up to you, because it is legal there.

Mrs. - posted on 03/27/2012

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Hey, I think it is always good to bring this stuff out in the open so that those most vulnerable to exploitation will now be making a legal living off the streets.



I'll be interested to see if there are, indeed, brothels on every street, I'm interested to see how much more visible they will be.



I lived across from one of the legal rub and tugs in my old Toronto neighbourhood. It was pretty low key because it was a neighbourhood that has a lot of families, but man, it never, ever went out of business. I'm pretty sure it is still there. It is a "growth" business.

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