As you know, International Women’s Day is on March 8. We are extremely grateful for your support because thanks to you, Montreal women who are victims of sexual exploitation have a home as of September 2018. That being said, we would like to bring to your attention the fact that many of the women trapped in the sex industry are recruited at 13 or 14 years of age. When taking this into consideration, it is obvious that they need adapted and extended support in order to properly reintegrate into society.
Since 2016, we have regularly been supporting around forty women who are in the process of social reintegration. Some have been victims of sexual human trafficking for decades. Of these, a third were in need of housing that included support. This is why we founded a housing centre for women in the Montreal area wanting to leave the sex industry. This service quickly proved to be a necessity when just two weeks after its opening, all 5 available spots were filled.
The only service to offer housing and social reintegration
We are currently the only service in the entire province of Quebec that offers housing alongside social reintegration specifically for young women who are sex trafficking victims. Consequently, The Council on the Status of Women (Conseil du statut de la femme) states that “surveys conducted in various countries show that a least 89 % of women in prostitution seek a permanent way out”. Providing adapted housing is therefore imperative, as it is a first step in leaving such a destructive environment.
Most victims are approached and seduced with gifts and affection, then gradually introduced to the sex industry in order to become a source of income for others. This reality is portrayed in the popular television series, “Fugueuse”. According to renowned Quebec sociologist Michel Dorais, the victims are young, vulnerable girls searching for love and often suffer from a lack of self-esteem. They are often vulnerable young women who have recently left a youth centre in their home province, where they resided many years, because they are orphans or they come from dysfunctional families.
Montreal is considered to be a major hub for sexual tourism by the American Department of State (DOS, 2009) and the United States embassy has recommended that Canada “increase its reintegration services and specialized services and care offered to victims of human trafficking in partnership with civil society and designated funding”.
Costs of housing
The housing costs amount to $35 per day for each resident. It all adds up to around $1000 for housing that we would pay for ourselves. We believe they deserve the same quality of housing as all of us. Therefore, we petition you invest to in a tangible way into the lives of these women by giving them one more day of freedom from human trafficking and take a step in ending sexual exploitation. I invite you to review the housing options listed below. We are available and very willing to answer any questions you may have.
1 day = 35$
7 days = 250$
30 days = 1,000$
90 days = 3,000$
180 days = 6,000$
365 days = 12,000$
Thank you for your continued support
Ronald Lepage, Director
**A tax receipt will be given in February 2020 for donations made in 2019.