Trisha Baptie

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Trisha Baptie
Born 1973
Nationality Canadian
Citizenship Canadian
Occupation Activist for the Abolition of Prostitution
Citizen journalist
Former Prostitute
Organization EVE
Home town Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Trisha Baptie (born 1973)[1] is a Vancouver-based citizen journalist and activist for the abolition of prostitution.[2]

Trisha was first prostituted at the age of 13.[3] This was the beginning of her 15 year period in the sex-industry, both indoor and outdoor, most of which was spent in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside area. At the age of 28 Trisha took the opportunity to exit prostitution.[4]

In 2007 Trisha became a citizen journalist for Orato, an online newspaper,[5] to cover the murder trial of Robert Pickton, most of whose victims were picked up from the Downtown Eastside. Many of Pickton's victims were known to Trisha.[6] During this period of time Trisha developed a more politicized perspective on her experiences in prostitution and began to speak out publicly on sex-industry issues.[7]

In 2008 Trisha won the Courage to Come Back award, and emerged as a vibrant activist seeking the implementation of the Nordic Model of prostitution Law in Canada.[4]

In 2009 Trisha founded EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating). EVE is a volunteer, non-governmental, non-profit organization of former sex-industry women dedicated to naming prostitution violence against women and seeing its abolition through political action, advocacy, and public education. EVE focuses first and foremost on ending the demand for paid sexual access to women and children's bodies[8] but also believes that unless social conditions are improved for women and children globally, exploitation cannot be eliminated. This belief is consistent with a radical women’s equality approach to the sex-industry and is shared by prominent and influential feminist theorists such as Julie Bindel and Catharine MacKinnon.

In 2009-2010 Trisha was a community mobilizer in the Buying Sex is Not a Sport campaign in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver.[9] She was a focal speaker in the Langara Dialogues, a public forum in which the subjects of prostitution, human trafficking, community responsibility, abolition, legalization, and their ties to the Olympics were discussed and debated.[10]

In 2010 Trisha appeared in the documentary film “Our Lives to Fight For”. She also joined Christine Barkhouse, Natasha Falle, Katarina MacLeod, and Bridgett Perrier in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in picketing the repeal of prostitution laws. All five women are survivors of human trafficking who had been prostituted in Canada.[11]

In 2011 Trisha was invited to speak at the TEDx event hosted by Simon Fraser University.[12] She was also a featured presenter in Women’s Worlds 2011 congress program in July in Ottawa-Gatineau.

In 2011 Trisha and EVE joined the Woman’s Equality and Security Commission (WESC) to contribute to the Missing Women Inquiry.[13]

Trisha’s life and work are central in the 2013 film “Buying Sex”, directed by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason and facilitated by the Canadian National Film Board. In Buying Sex, Trisha and her allies refute the notion that prostitution is a free and empowering choice for women from all walks of life.

Most recently, Trisha was featured in Janice Raymond’s book, “Not a Job, Not a Choice”.

References[edit]

  1. ^ James Stairs (February 2, 2007). "Ex-prostitutes report on serial murder trial". Independent Online. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ Patricia Paddey (October 6, 2010). "Legalizing prostitution a failure of compassion". National Post. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Lisa (August 9, 2010). "The Price Of Sex". Planet S Magazine. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Grindlay, L (April 21, 2008). "From drugs and sex to a life of hope". The Vancouver Province. 
  5. ^ "Trail-Blazing Citizen Journalists Tell Their Side of the Robert "Willie" Pickton". Newsblaze. December 14, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Women still missing from Vancouver amid Pickton convictions". CBC News. December 9, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ Baptie, Trisha (December 6, 2007). "At the Pickton Trial: A Personal Notebook". Orato.com. 
  8. ^ "EVE - About Us". 
  9. ^ Salkin, Miné (May 21, 2009). "Buying sex not a sport: Sex work activists". Metro Vancouver. 
  10. ^ "Campaign to raise awareness of potential sex trafficking at 2010 Games". CBC News. May 21, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ Connor, Kevin (October 6, 2010). "Former Prostitutes Picket Trade". The London Free Press. 
  12. ^ "TEDx 2011 Website Speaker's List". 
  13. ^ "The Women's Equality and Security Coalition Denounces the Missing Women's Inquiry Policy Forums". Retrieved April 10, 2012.