News & Updates > Letter Template for Richmond City Council

Letter Template for Richmond City Council

Jan 31, 2024 | News

TO: mayorandcouncillors@richmond.ca
SUBJECT LINE: Crackdown endangering massage parlour workers
 

If you’re a Richmond resident, please fill out what community you live in by writing it in the space below. All other supporters can delete the contents in brackets. Remember to also write your name in the area indicated at the bottom of this letter.
______________
 

Dear Mayor and Councillors, 

My name is ______________ [I’m a Richmond resident living in the ___________ neighbourhood] and I have serious concerns about the safety of women working at massage businesses in Richmond after the Community Safety Committee decided to increase bylaw enforcement at these establishments.   

These inspections will only push women underground, to apartments and condominiums where they are more at risk of violence. As representatives aiming to keep constituents safe, you cannot ignore evidence that shows women engaged in sex work are safer when they’re working together at licensed commercial businesses.  

SWAN Vancouver supports many women engaged in sex work in Richmond and has noted several workers have left massage parlours after being present at “traumatic” enforcement operations. The organization said workers reported a heavy handed RCMP presence, blocking of doors and detaining individuals during the inspections, among other things. I urge you to think about how these recent raids have inadvertently replicated the harms you say you want to prevent or address.  

Many of the women engaged in sex work in Richmond are immigrants and newcomers who already face stigma and criminalization because of Canada’s prostitution laws. I’m urging you to learn about the women working at massage parlours, accept the choices they’ve made for themselves and stop the heightened enforcement at their workplaces. These women are members of your community, Richmond is their home, and they deserve the same compassion, respect and protection as any other resident.   

I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience,  

Best regards, 

[Your name here]   

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