by Sister Nancy Brown
Vancouver Collective against Sexual Exploitation is a non-partisan group of diverse individuals and organizations united as a single voice to end all forms of sexual exploitation. VCASE advocates with survivors of sexual exploitation in prostitution, pornography and human trafficking. Its primary focus is the retention, strengthening and enforcement of the Canadian federal law (PCEPA-Protection of Community and Exploited Persons Act) that holds sex buyers and those who profit from the sale of humans for sex accountable for the harm they cause while at the same time it protects the vulnerable persons. VCASE amplifies the voices of survivors and supports their liberation.
Collaboration within this collective of primarily women is not only essential but advantageous. There is greater synergy, recognizing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Working together, including everyone’s voice, experience and expertise creates a richer synthesis and superior result.
This year’s goal is to focus on demand, the root cause of sexual exploitation. One strategy is to collaborate with a men’s group, Buyer Resist. Encouraged by VCASE, a young man from Victoria, BC built a website targeting men looking to buy sex and leading them toward recovery from their sex and power misconstruction. Five developers formed a team and built Wilber (named after William Wilberforce), an Artificial Intelligence chatbot that reaches sex buyers seeking escorts online and helps them recognize their need for help. From Dec. 2021 to Dec. 2022, volunteers reached 2000+ buyers and made 250+ referrals for resources. (In the USA, www.epikproject.org )
VCASE will provide Buyer Resist with volunteers, encouragement and support to keep addressing the demand side, stopping buyers, one by one. Through this collaboration we will affect change in our society. Sex buyers, pimps, and traffickers roam freely worldwide sexually abusing millions of our women and children with near complete impunity. This must stop!
Members of VCASE (Nancy Brown, Gwendoline Allison and Evelyn Vollet) chat during a break at a presentation on Human Trafficking.