Today was an interesting day. We collected a few phones and talked with students and staff while collecting signatures. We did learn a few lessons regarding how to go about our business on campus that in my last 5 years at SFU, I did not know about…
I was a bit naive and did not realize how much bureaucracy was present that would slow down our progress for doing our work. However, now that that is over, we can move on with our project and collect as many phones as our greedy little hands can handle.
I talked with Susan Davis on yesterday and she mentioned a great project that is being undertaken with support of the Vancouver Police Department. This project is tentatively called the Community Policing Partnership Car. This car(s) will have one officer and one current/former sex trade worker and they will answer calls for help from sex trade workers. Susan mentioned that one of the biggest obstacles in getting help for workers in need of it is a distrust for the police or fear that they will be judged. Hopefully, this initiative will make workers who need help feel safer and supported.
This project can also have the added affect of detering predation of women working in the DTES. People who target these women no doubt count on their distrust of the police and what is seen as police indifference.
The good news is we have support for our idea from individuals from WISH, individuals at the VPD, and almost everyone we have spoken to who can be thought of as stakeholders in this issue. Even students at SFU seem generally supportive of our mission.
It feels good to know that we are on the right track.