Some years ago, RQCALACS's members made their position known about prostitution. "It is clear to us that it is a form of violence, alienation and sexual assault, since we consider it as sexual exploitation."
In the spring of 2005, the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres (CASAC) passed a resolution requesting the decriminalization of prostitutes and traffic victims. The Government was asked to take action against clients, pimps and traffickers. As a member of CASAC, we support the abolitionist trend that advocates for measures to fight the prostitution system.
RQCALACS supports female prostitutes and those connected to prostitution and fights for their decriminalization, but not that of clients and pimps.
Most women enter prostitution because they lack other options and they often start very young. "According to estimates, the average age of people of both genders starting in prostitution is 13 or 14 years old and this average tends to get lower." (Yolande Geadah, La prostitution, un métier comme un autre?, 2003). Many studies show that most female prostitutes want to get out (Élaine Audet, Prostitution, perspectives féministes, 2005). Governments should offer them true alternatives to meet their needs, for example by putting in place concrete measures to fight poverty.
Prostitution has many consequences, for the individual and for society. Our work is to help women overcome them. In society, prostitution maintains inequalities between men and women. Women are affected by this reality by living in a society where pornography and prostitution are trivialized, even encouraged. We believe that another world is possible: a world free of prostitution and all forms of sexual exploitation.
For more information, please visit Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle
Hypersexualization in society and sexist advertising are closely related to the problem of sexual assault. The ever presence of sexuality and women bodies is not without consequences.
Be it through magazines, advertising, Internet, videoclips or other media, sexualized images of women and girls feed the stereotype of women as object.
This social representation does not build gender equality and trivializes violence against women and girls.
These phenomena influence greatly both adults and teenagers. The images send the message that women should be sexy, provocative and sexually available, thus blurring the notion of consent and justifying the actions of sexual offenders.
For more information and to learn how to react to hypersexualization, please consult:
- Le guide pratique d’information et d’action – Hypersexualisation published by the CALACS of Rimouski
- La publicité sexiste
Other tools are also available on the site:
Outiller les jeunes contre l’hypersexualisation
As a group for the defence of sexually assaulted women, we face the deficiencies of the judicial system regarding the handling of sexual assault cases.
Even with improvements over the years, the victim is still often put on trial, with all the prejudices and stereotypes attached to sexual assault in the mind of the people in the system. Light sentences, delays for victims filing complaints and low retention rate of complaints are a few examples of the shortcomings of this system.
The Act on assistance and compensation for victims of crime also shows gaps. Not all forms of sexual assault are included on the list of criminal acts covered by this law. There is a two-year limitation period from the time of being cognizant of the crime, to file a request for compensation which penalizes sexual assaults victims. Sexual assaults suffered in a foreign country are not covered. And there is a 30-year limitation period for any civil lawsuit. There are some provisions in the law for termination of a lease.
To learn more, please visit the site of IVAC Indemnisation des victimes d'actes criminels (Compensation for victims of crime) and the site of Association québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes
As a network of sexual assault centers, the RQCALACS works towards increasing funding for sexual assault centers by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec. The goal is to reinforce our response to the increasing needs of women and girls victims of sexual violence in each region. We have established the level of the increase in funding we seek by calculating the gap between the present funding and the needs of the sexual assault centers in each region. We estimate a global amount of 3,4 M
The work on this issue is to influence the Comité ministériel de coordination en matière de violence conjugale, familiale et sexuelle set up by the government of Québec. Our recommandations regarding a third action plan were reached after an assesment of the first and second action plans. The first action plan goes back to 2001. The recommandations for the third plan insists on a return to a social analysis of sexual violence which has lost ground in the past years. There is also recommandations about the reinstatement of sexual education classes in schools and the importance for the government to invest in a new campaign to raise awareness in the public about sexual assaults.
Le RQCALACS offre un contrat de travail à temps partiel à une chargée de projet qui coordonnera le déploiement du programme Empreinte- agir ensemble contre les agressions à caractère sexuel, destiné aux jeunes de niveau secondaire, à leurs parents et au personnel scolaire.
The Calacs launche the campaign #WeBelieveYou : « a plateform to commemorate the courage of thousands of women who at the time of the movement #BeenRapedNeverReported a year ago in November 2014 chose to tell their story or to denounce the sexual violence they had experienced. It is also a way to send a clear and unequivocal message to the victims: we believe you and to the relatives and loved ones: believe them», explains Nathalie Duhamel.