Wendy Babcock, Canadian advocate for the rights of prostitutes, died from suspected suicide she was , 32.
Wendy Babcock was a Canadian activist for the rights of sex workers. Born in the city of Toronto, Babcock became a sex worker at the age of 15 died from suspected suicide she was , 32. From 2004 to 2007 she was a key member of Sex Professionals of Canada,
an advocacy group whose main objective is to promote the rights of sex
workers and the decriminalization of Canada’s prostitution laws.
Babcock was recently the chair of the Bad Date Coalition of Toronto, a group that produces a monthly Bad Date Book which publishes reports of violent acts committed against sex workers, including details of the attacker. She testified in Alan Young’s Constitutional Court Challenge to decriminalize the prostitution laws.
Babcock co-initiated a partnership with Toronto Police
Services to ensure sex workers can report assault without fear of
persecution or prosecution, and being a member of the advisory group to
the Special Victims Unit. Other projects that Babcock helped to create
include Safer Stroll Outreach Project, Regent Park Community Health
Centre’s Sex Worker Drop In, the Health Bus Sex Workers Stop and Wen-Do safety training for sex workers.
Babcock took a leave of absence from sex work after her friend and co-worker Lien Pham was murdered on October 13, 2003. In 2002–2003 Babcock began sex worker advocacy while working for Maggie’s, a peer run organization for sex workers. From 2003 to 2010, Babcock worked at Street Health as a Harm Reduction Worker.
In 2008 Babcock received the Inaugural Public Health Champion Award for her work with sex workers.
The award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding
contributions to protecting and promoting the health of Toronto’s
Babcock participated in three films: Sluts: The Documentary, the 2007 documentary Where I Stand, and the 2010 short film Every Ho I Know Says So. Babcock also appeared on television including the CBC’s Connect with Mark Kelley twice, and Global TV’s 16:9 The Bigger Picture. Babcock can also be seen in a video on a website for Eva’s Phoenix homeless shelter, where she lived during her youth.
Wendy Babcock worked as a sex-worker consultant to Kat Dennings for her role as a sex worker in the 2009 film Defendor, starring Woody Harrelson. That year, she also began to pursue a J.D. degree at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Wendy joined Lover Magazine (North America’s first women’s sexuality magazine) in 2011 as a writer on sex work issues.
On August 9, 2011, Babcock was found dead at home; foul play was not suspected. At the time of her death, Babcock was at work on a memoir, to be released in 2013 to coincide with her graduation.
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