Drawing Research – Safety for Sex Workers

Angela Sealy, CEO of the West Coast Facilitators group, convened a focused dialogue session for a research project. She asked a group of women working in the survival sex trade in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to explore what safety means to them. Angela worked with a community-based Communications Team for this project with members from the BC Coalition of Experiential Women, SAFERIn Collingwood and Atira housing managers. Together, Angela and the team identified that illustrations would be ideal to illustrate the research results.

I needed to illustrate the research in two ways.

Even though it wasn’t a class ‘requirement’, Angela felt that it was an ethical requirement to share the research/dialogue results with the dialogue participants, as well as with her class.

The results of the discussion session were made into a full-colour handout (top image) for participants. This handout asks clearly, “what do you need to be safe while you work?” and summarizes the discussion. It was the facilitators’ goal to be non-judgmental about any of the responses, and to maintain the integrity by accurately recording what the women contributed through their dialogue session.

A second image was also created for an academic context.  This illustration was a 6-foot banner for Angela’s academic class, and includes more detailed information about research methodology. (With apologies for the lower-quality image resolution on the bottom picture, I grabbed it quickly.)

There are a broad range of opinions about the topic of safety for sex workers, but I hope we can all agree that in the BC context of the Missing Women’s Inquiry, as a society we must address the causes of violence against women and protect vulnerable citizens everywhere.

Find out more about Angela and the West Coast Facilitators group here, providing facilitation services across Canada to a variety of organizations.

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“Working with Sam was a very pleasant experience. He quickly grasped my goals and how I wanted to use the visuals. The end product became the outstanding and memorable graphic in the class and this document has now gone beyond the classroom to receive high praise and admiration. I would certainly work with Sam again and would highly recommend his work and the benefits of working with him.”  Angela Sealy, CEO Westcoast Facilitators Group and Dialogue Centre

 

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