I was so pleased to hear that my speaking at john school has made a difference and prompted Greg to stop seeking out women working on our streets.

I would like to add to my comments in the article. While my role is to enlighten the johns about the impact their actions have on community members, the reason I speak is not just for my children and the other children in our community, but also for the women who are often forced by others or life circumstances into this type of work.

I was fully aware when I moved into this community about the socio-economic realities of our neighbourhood. The women who work here are my neighbours and community members who deserve respect. One of the things I speak about at john school is how I have taught my children about the realities of sex trade street work. I had to explain it to them when they were very small in answer to their question, “What is that lady doing?” My answer: “That woman has the hardest job in the world and no one ever treats her with respect. If you talk to her, you must treat her with the (utmost) respect that she deserves.”

Those who work on our streets have incredibly difficult lives. I sincerely hope that the work that happens at john school engenders compassion for the difficulties they face. In my heart, they are my sister, my mother, my aunt, my daughter, my neighbour. CEASE is an amazing organization to help women who have found themselves in these circumstances and I am grateful to them.

Rebecca Lippiatt

Featured Image: Rebecca Lippiatt speaks at STOP (formerly known as john school), a program that helps people understand the consequences of buying sex. | Pixabay