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January 17, 2017

The Metro Vancouver Sex Work Exiting and Transitioning Consortium has received some media coverage as we prepare to launch the 5-year Transitions project.  While Bethany Lindsay’s January 16th article in The Province was a good one, we were dismayed to see an overly sensational and offensive headline.

Province Cover Story_Jan 16 2017Their choice to headline the newspaper with “Bad girls, dirty boys, exploited victims” perpetuates the victimization, targeting, stigmatizing, and even brutalization of sex workers – all the things WISH and our Consortium partners exist to combat. Read our full letter to The Province’s editorial team.







January 5, 2017


For Immediate Release

January 5, 2017

Consortium Formed to Support Sex Worker to Transition Exit or Retire from Sex Industry

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver has among North America’s largest sex worker populations, yet there are currently no services explicitly and exclusively designed to assist sex workers in transitioning from sex work involvement to other forms of employment.

See the link below for the full Press Release:

PRESS RELEASE: Consortium Formed to Support Sex Workers to Transition Exit or Retire from Sex Industry

December 20, 2016

As you may have heard, WISH suffered a flood late last night and into this morning.  [read more… letter-from-wish-board_dec-20-2016]

Dec 16, 2016

WISH Statement on December 17, Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers



Dec 9, 2016

A snowy afternoon at WISH…

We had two women pop in during the worst of the snowstorm this afternoon to drop off some coats. They told us the coats were clean and sorted and would be warm for the women.

As they started to leave one of the women turned around, “My daughter used to come here you know” she said “she died in 2014”.

“She liked it at WISH. One of her coats is in the donation. I hope it can keep someone warm. I’m ready to let it go and I like the idea of it coming full circle.”

Then she and her friend were on their way, out into the Vancouver snow storm.

When women stop coming to WISH we always hope for the best but we often don’t know what their next chapter is.

We were honoured this afternoon that this woman shared her story with us and that WISH was an important place for her daughter.

News Release


August 3, 2016

Coalition Calls Federal Plan for National Inquiry too Vague

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – August 3, 2016) Today a Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls responded to the Federal Government’s announcement of the national Inquiry.  The Federal Government has released the names of the Commissioners and the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Inquiry.

The Coalition continues to demand justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.  We have the following three main concerns with today’s announcement:

1.       The Terms of Reference do not include a robust and binding commitment from the provinces and territories to participating in the Inquiry or implementing any recommendations that may emerge. The participation of the provinces has been described as supportive but there is no legally binding mechanism to compel the production of documents or other evidence. Without proper disclosure, the national inquiry cannot do its work.

2.       Despite repeated calls for the explicit inclusion of policing in the Inquiry’s scope, policing is not mentioned in the terms of reference. The Coalition does not have confidence that the role of policing will be appropriately addressed.

3.       The Terms of Reference fail to provide families with redress for inadequate police investigations into their missing or murdered relatives. The TOR only provides the Commission with the authority to send families back to the local authorities whose very conduct is being questioned, providing no confidence that allegations of police misconduct will be meaningfully addressed.

Decades of ceaseless work by women across the country calling for solutions grounded in Indigenous laws, has culminated in this Inquiry. The Coalition is pleased that the federal government has mandated the Inquiry to examine systemic causes of violence and has taken into account the needs of vulnerable communities and witnesses. However, given the importance and the promise of the Inquiry, we are deeply concerned about the gaps in the framework that stand to undermine the good intentions that have led to the formation of the Inquiry.


The Coalition calls upon the federal, provincial and territorial governments to address the critical gaps in the Terms of Reference and make a legally binding commitment to addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls. Without concrete commitments from the provincial and federal governments to systemic change, the Inquiry risks being more about words than action.


For further information:

 Amnesty International Canada, Jacqueline Hansen, (613) 851-5436 Atira Housing, Janice Abbott, (604) 331-1420 Battered Women’s Support Services, Angela Marie MacDougall, (604) 808-0507 BC Assembly of First Nations, Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson, (250) 318-8527 BC Civil Liberties Association, Josh Paterson, (778) 829-8973Butterflies in Spirit, Lorelei Williams, (778) 709-6498 Carrier Sekani Family Services, Mary Teegee, (250) 612-8710Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, Tribal Chief Terry Teegee, (250) 640-3256 Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Alice Kendall, (604) 681-8480 February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee, Evelyn Youngchief, (778) 888-1687 First Nations Summit, Cheryl Casimer, (778) 875-2157 First United Church, Genesa Greening, (604) 681-8365 Lookout Emergency Aid Society, Shayne Williams, (604) 255-0340 Michele Pineault, family member,<>Neskonlith Indian Band, Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, (250) 319-7383 PHS Community Services Society, Patrick Smith, (604) 779-6837 Pivot Legal Society, Brenda Belak, (604) 537-0680 Poverty and Human Rights Centre, Shelagh Day, (604) 872-0750 RainCity Housing, Amelia Ridgway, (604) 662-7023 Spirit of the Children Society, Christina Coad, (604) 679-4631 Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, (250) 490-5314 Vancouver Council of Women, Rosemary Mallory, (604) 985-0878 Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Keira Smith-Tague, (604) 872-8212 West Coast LEAF, Kasari Govender, (604) 684-8772 ext. 212 WISH Drop-in Centre Society, Mebrat Beyene, (604) 669-9474 Women Against Violence Against Women, Irene Tsepnopoulous-Elhaimer, (604) 255-6228 ext 229


The Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls initially came together in response to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in British Columbia overseen by Commissioner Wally Oppal. The Coalition membership includes representation from families, survivors, Indigenous organizations, front-line service organizations, feminist and women’s organizations, legal advocacy sector, faith-based groups, and provincial organizations.  Our breadth of representation and our experience with the Oppal Commission of Inquiry make the Coalition well-positioned to respond to and inform the national inquiry.



June 2, 2016

Press Release

Read the full press release here: LIC press release Best Practices Forum 02Jun2016


Sex Work: Transitioning, Retiring and Exiting Report


Violence Against Women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Continues

Getting to the Roots

After a series of sexual assaults in a co-ed shelter came to light late in 2011, a group of women-serving organizations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside came together to denounce the circumstances surrounding this and other unreported sexual violence, including a culture of silence and complicity.

Read more:

Getting to the Roots




BILLC36 Information


The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry:    Transcripts of Testimony

Read the Living in Community Action Plan                                Click Here

Community Health and Safety Initiative Toolkit                         Click Here


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