Montreal Murder Suicide Victim Was Sex Worker, Violent Client Suspected: Advocates – Montreal | The Canadian News

The woman who died in what police said was likely a murder-suicide in Montreal’s Mile End area in early November was a sex worker, and the suspected man who died by suicide was known as violent, advocates say. .

According to Stella, a Montreal organization by and for sex workers, the 25-year-old female victim was an escort who was likely working independently and met the man whose name had been circulating in the community as a client to avoid or monitor. Out for.

“We had heard from workers who had seen him become more aggressive, denigrating and violent,” said Sandra Wesley, Stella’s CEO.

READ MORE: Sex Workers Say Canadian Laws Put Them In Danger And Demand New Government Fix Them

Wesley said workers also informed the organization and escort agencies that the 31-year-old suspect had been showing signs of unstable mental health and often “appeared to be passed out.”

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As word of his increasing behavior spread, many women had decided to stop seeing him as a customer, Wesley said.

The incident occurred on November 5, shortly before 3:15 a.m., when police responded to a 911 call from an apartment on Saint-Urbain Street near Fairmount Avenue in the Plateau-Mont-Royal district.

Police found both victims at the residence. Both the man and the woman had marks of violence on their bodies and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The woman had gone to see the man that night in the context of his work, according to Wesley.

READ MORE: 30% of sex workers do not call 911 for fear of the police: study

Montreal police say they cannot yet qualify the incident as femicide because the investigation is still ongoing, but they believe the male suspect killed the woman and then committed suicide.

“What we’re seeing in sex work is women working more and more independently, without an escort agency, which diminishes protection,” Wesley said.

According to Stella’s spokesperson, when workers work with an agency, they get a driver who also acts as security to drop them off at their destination.

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READ MORE: Defender Says Murder of Quebec Sex Worker Reveals Hypocrisy of Prostitution Law

Then that driver waits for the woman to tell him that she feels safe and that she has been paid, and then he stays near the place and picks her up when he is done.

“There are several security protocols when working with an agency. A driver is often a major impediment to these incidents. “

Wesley also added that when women work with agencies, they have access to a list of “bad clients” that is constantly updated as workers report incidents.

When escorts work independently, which they mostly do for more pay and freedom, they don’t necessarily have access to that safety information.

Sex Work Laws in Canada

Canada’s current prostitution laws came into effect in 2014 (Bill C-36) under a conservative government with the Exploited People and Communities Protection Act and the enactment amended the penal code. The provisions of the legislation decriminalized the sale of sex but penalized all other aspects.

Purchasing sexual services, communicating for the purpose of offering sexual services, receiving financial or other benefits from the purchase of sexual services, advertising the sale of sex, and hiring a person for sex work are declared illegal under criminal law.

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Sex workers and legal experts argue that Canadian sex work laws are prohibitive and do the opposite of what they are supposed to do, rather than protect “human dignity”, laws push sex workers into dangerous situations by criminalizing almost every aspect of their work.

One-third of sex workers say they don’t call 911 for fear of police, study finds

A 2021 study found that 31 percent of sex workers in Canada do not report violent incidents and crimes to the police due to the current criminalization framework.

Conducted by the UBC Center for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) and the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa, the researchers interviewed 200 sex workers from five Canadian cities: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Sudbury and Surrey , BC.

In each city, they found that current federal law discouraged sex workers from calling the police to report a violent or dangerous situation.

The most commonly reported source of assistance in an emergency was other sex workers, followed by friends, family, and other clients.

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– with files from Laura Hensley and Claire Fenton, Global News

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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