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Prostitution is the oldest form of violence and exploitation in the world. It began with slavery. It feeds on the trivialization of the purchase of sexual services and the hypersexualization of the human body. It consists of selling one’s body in exchange for money, material goods or services.
In Quebec, the average age of entry into prostitution is 14 years old. Nearly 80% of adult women in the sex industry started these activities when they were minors. The vast majority of prostitutes are under the control of pimps.
Pimping is the act of compelling a person, by force, manipulation or persuasion, to sell their sexual services with the intent to obtain a profit. The pimp commits a criminal act, according to sections 286.2 and 286.3 of the Criminal Code, if he or she attempts to benefit materially from the commercialization of the sexual services of others, to advertise them or to induce a person to sell his or her sexual services. These offenses carry maximum penalties of 5 to 14 years of imprisonment.
Pimps are of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. They are mostly young men between the ages of 18 and 34. However, girls and teenagers are also involved. The pimp is usually someone known or close to the victim. He uses manipulation, seduction and persuasion to get his target into prostitution. Violence occurs when the victim resists his control. He will use all means necessary to isolate his target to gain control, and gradually desensitize her by dissociating her from her body and better exploit her sexually.
In Canada, prostitution is not legal. Since 2014, under section 286.1 of the Criminal Code, it is strictly forbidden to purchase sexual services and to communicate for this purpose. Violators face 6 months to 10 yearsof imprisonment and risk having a criminal record as well as being placed on the Sex Offender Registry.
The consequences of prostitution are numerous: physical and psychological violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, loss of self-esteem, dropping out of school, drug and alcohol use, isolation, anxiety , phobias, depression, suicide, dissociative disorder, fear, hypervigilance, anorexia and/or bulimia, insomnia, gynecological problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia, vaginal and anal injuries, difficulty in resuming a healthy sex life, etc.
If you think you are under the control of a pimp, ask for help. Do not live in fear and silence! Free yourself, you’re better than that!
Need quick help?
Sexual violence helpline
Bilingual, free, anonymous and confidential service, everywhere in Quebec.
Canadian human trafficking hotline
Multilingual, confidential service, open 24/7.
Free and confidential service offered by phone, text message, email and ch@t
Free and confidential service.
SOS violence conjugale
Free and confidential service.
Designated Sexual Assault Centers
For a sexual assault dating back 5 days or less, go to the emergency room (ER). If you have a doubt, dial 811.
Intervention and mutual aid group for parents of victims of sexual exploitation
Service for parents of minor victims under the influence of a pimp. Free and confidential.
514-277-9860, ext. 2020
Want to remove intimate content from the Internet?
Remove an intimate photo or video from the Internet. Confidential and free.
There is an intimate image of you online and you don’t know what to do?
The Sexto Project
Want to know more about sexting?
Take It Down
Looking for support?
La Sortie (Montréal)
Quebec Coalition of Sexual Assault Help Centers (CALACS)
CALACS L’Ancrage (for people 12 and older)
L’Élan CALACS (for people 12 and older)
Centre d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (CAVAC)
Free and confidential.
Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) – Montréal
Y des femmes
La Piaule Centre du Québec inc.
Projet Z: No to exploitation!, is aimed at young people between the ages of 12 and 24, residents of Laval territory, who are victims or at risk of sexual exploitation.
SPHÈRES aims to support young Montrealers aged 12 to 24 who are being sexually exploited.
Le Centre de prévention et d’intervention pour les victimes d’agression sexuelle (CPIVAS)
Centre d’entraide et de traitement des agressions sexuelles (for people 6 and older)
Centre de ressources et d’intervention pour hommes abusés sexuellement dans leur enfance (CRIPHASE)
Counseling service and help line for men.
Support, accompaniment and help services for anyone 18 years of age or older who identifies as a man and has been the victim of assault, abuse or sexual touching.
Support organizations for men in difficulty
La Sortie (Montréal)
Accommodation and support.
Refuge for 12 to 21 year olds.
En Marge 12-17
Refuge for 12 à 17 year olds.
Accommodation and psychosocial follow-up.
450-396-6426, ext. 222
Maison de Marthe (Québec)
For a report
Canadian centre for reporting cases of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children on the Internet. Confidential service.
Échec au crime
Free and anonymous.
Report by phone : 1-800-711-1800
Director of Youth Protection (DYP)
For legal advice
DPCP domestic and sexual violence info line (DPCP)
Free and confidential. Information line from the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions specializing in handling domestic or sexual violence cases.
Help line for legal advice
Buying sex and want to quit?
Free and confidential telephone consultation service.
Call 811, option 2
Ça suffit !
Intervention Centre in sexual delinquency
Services for adults or adolescents, of any gender identity, having or not having committed a sexual offense and for people struggling with deviant fantasies without acting out.
Centre d’entraide et de traitement des agressions sexuelles (CETAS)
Service to victims, families and perpetrators of sexual offences.
Le centre d’intervention en violence et agressions sexuelles (CIVAS)
Psychotherapeutic services for sex offenders or people fearful of committing a sex offence.