Use the Fugueuse program to raise awareness
A team from the University of Sherbrooke will use the Fugueuse program to popularize the consequences of sexual exploitation, in order to raise awareness. As part of her work, Professor Nadine Lanctôt has documented the effects that sexual exploitation has on women, which add “a layer of suffering” to an experience that is sometimes already very difficult.
Des video clips will be broadcast after the show, whose second season began Monday night on the Facebook page of UdeS and on its YouTube channel.
“It is really for the purpose of raising awareness among the general public of the multiple consequences of sexual exploitation. It relates to scientific content (…) We want to take advantage of the moment, it arouses a lot of interest, ”notes Nadine Lanctôt, full professor in psychoeducation at UdeS. Ms. Lanctôt is also at the helm of the Canada Research Chair in the placement and rehabilitation of girls in difficulty. In the context of her research, she is particularly trying to see how adolescent girls who have experienced abuse, who exhibit behavioral problems and who are placed in centers adapt as adults.
Ms. Lanctôt followed 125 young women who ended up in youth centers. The researcher was particularly interested in the impacts of sexual exploitation. More than half of the girls reported prostitution behaviors. “I was able to assess the weight that sexual exploitation can have on these girls,” she notes. The “layer of suffering” experienced with sexual exploitation is expressed in all spheres of their lives, according to Ms. Lanctôt, and the consequences can be felt for years.
The results were presented in a brief to the Special Commission on the Exploitation of Minors.
Even out of hell, these women often have to live with traumatic symptoms, anxiety, low self-esteem … “The ultimate need for women who have experienced sexual exploitation is to rebuild themselves in all spheres of their lives (…) The normal functioning that one expects is an issue very far from their current situation. They need time to recover from traumatic symptoms. There are women who are afraid of taking public transport for fear of meeting the pimp or people in the middle … ”
We must not only prevent women from entering the world of prostitution, we must also offer them support mechanisms. “They are completely deconstructed. We have to see how we can support these women so that they recover. ”
Lack of funding and resources is only the tip of the iceberg, she says, since these women dare not ask for help. “These women are so ashamed, they feel so guilty, that they are going to carry all the blame on their shoulders …” They often say to themselves that they have gotten themselves into trouble, and that they have to fend for themselves. “Women must not bear the burden,” says Ms. Lanctôt.
According to a portrait on sexual exploitation in Estrie unveiled in 2018 by the Center for help and fight against sexual assault in Estrie (CALACS-Agression Estrie), nearly one in two adolescents knows another adolescent who s has already been offered to do sexual acts in exchange for goods, services, money or drugs. About 18% of adolescent girls know someone who has been involved in prostitution. At the Sherbrooke Police Service (SPS), two investigators have developed a specialty in order to help victims of sexual violence and fight against pimping.