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With two young children, Stefen says she didn't see pathways for financial help while in the sex work industry. She said she often felt looked down upon and like she had to hide her work. The group is a newly certified peer-to-peer organization created to support sex workers in the Edmonton area. ANSWERS, which was first created in November, says it will also provide educational resources about sex work to help remove the stigma and negative stereotypes surrounding the industry. The new non-profit's goals also include building trust and respect with government, helping provide a better quality of life for sex workers, and working toward decriminalization of sex work along with labour rights for the industry.
Stefen said unlike other vulnerable communities in Canada, she and the other founders saw even fewer government supports for sex workers. Stefen said sex workers often face stigma when it comes to conducting business at banks, renting places to live or even when they try to receive proper care from counsellors and doctors. The group will provide education and training modules for partner groups. Stefen says they hope to offer those resources in the community through universities and police services, for example.
Such a group was needed in Alberta, said Mona Forya, another founder of the group. Forya is a sex worker and CBC has agreed to refer to her by a pseudonym out of concerns for her safety. The financial assistance is especially timely, Forya said, because many sex workers have faced even more difficulty in the past year as the COVID pandemic ificantly reduced their income.
Lilith, a sex worker for around three years now, says the introduction of ANSWERS helps relieve much of the stress and pressure she and others in her industry often face when accessing medical support.
So having this offered makes them feel more comfortable because now the organization that they're associated with is run by sex workers or people who advocate sex work. Elizabeth Eaton, an Edmonton-based psychotherapist, says they were immediately interested in working with the organization after being asked to be a part of their ally directory, noting the importance that anyone who is in a position to help marginalized communities to do so.
Eaton expects clients will be referred to their office, knowing it's a safe, supportive space for them. The psychotherapist will also receive education about sex work to better assist clients. Lilith said she's hopeful about the supports this group can provide, adding that she hopes it will help further foster a community in the industry.
Edmonton New Edmonton non-profit offers support for sex workers The Advocacy for Normalizing Sex Work through Education and Resources Society is a newly certified peer-to-peer organization that plans to support sex workers with mentorship as well as access to ing and counselling services.
Social Sharing. When Inna Stefen worked as a dancer, she felt she often had no support.
Vancouver advocates call for more protection of Asian women in sex industry after Georgia shootings For Canadian sex workers, CERB was a lifeline — if they could get it.Ads for sex Edmonton
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