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Curtis Wayne Sagmoen was initially charged with assault causing bodily harm but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge Monday in provincial court in Port Coquitlam. The court heard that Sagmoen responded to an advertisement posted by the woman on Craigslist and the pair got into a dispute over money, which led to her sustaining an injury to the back of her head.
My age: I am 30
Sep 8, Battered Women's Support Services.
On my second shift working relief at a sex worker resource centre in the Vancouver area, I was stopped by a program participant named Arlene . Arlene is an older Indigenous woman with a kind, sincere smile; she knows everyone and she always sits in the same chair. That was as jarring for me as if all the windows around us had suddenly smashed. Like most of us, I am very familiar with that case, however my experience with it was purely academic. I had read and talked about it at length, but suddenly my safe and comfortable distance from the reality of it was shattered as I hugged a woman now heaving with sobs.
Sagmoen has a many year history of hiring sex workers, usually Indigenous women, to prostitution at his properties both in the Vancouver area and near Vernon and viciously assaulting them, resulting in an extensive criminal history including brutal attacks with a hammer, guns, and using a spike belt to slash tires and prevent a woman from fleeing from his property. Yet, despite a lengthy criminal history of violence against women, the RCMP have continually abetted his violence by failing to properly investigate, stigmatizing the online and survivors, and displaying bias against them based on their occupations, race, and gender.
The word prostitute is an ugly word. It is a power-laden word hurled at women working in sex economies that robs them of their own power over their bodies and labour. While some sex workers have reclaimed the word on their own terms, it is generally used only to degrade, objectify and dehumanize sex working women.
Yet, how can they claim this to be their mandate when they are abdicating responsibility for properly investigating attacks on Indigenous women, sex workers, and women prostitution in poverty? How can we feel safe or protected by a police force, or within a system that clearly demonstrates its belief that some maple are not deserving online protection?
That bias is hardly committed solely by RCMP or police broadly ridge, but it is up to each one of us to commit to ridge it because of the violence against women that this bias causes and excuses.
It is all of our responsibility to commit to properly interrogate and dismantle racist bias, anti-sex worker bias, and misogynist bias. Violence against women on the basis of their gender does not take place in a vacuum. It is not an isolated phenomenon that takes place between two people. Rather, it is a social phenomenon that is made possible by widespread de-valuing of women and feminized people.
This de-valuating takes place when we tell jokes degrading sex workers, use violent language about women, or assume specific roles and behaviors based on gender. We are all complicit in sustaining this system, called patriarchy, in which women who fail to meet their unattainable ased roles are seen as deserving of punishment.
If she dresses in certain ways or dates multiple people, we feel it is understandable if she is sexually assaulted. If they trade sex for food, shelter, or money, we feel it is understandable if they are murdered. Even in the conflation of Indigenous women with sex workers we display a dangerous ignorance in suggesting that two distinct groups of people are one and the same.
Indigenous women are overrepresented in sex economies because of the conspiring of forces of colonialism, racism, and misogyny but we must be clear in our language that sex worker does not imply Indigenous woman, nor does the reverse.
One is Arlene, mother of 5, sister of 11, and a teacher of Indigenous history and culture at several local organizations. One is a writer and loving daughter who never forgets to call her parents on their birthdays and holidays.
One drives a tour bus for a local company. One works out of her home earning in a month nearly what I earn in a year.
Each is someone I consider a friend. Each has been arrested numerous times in their lifetimes for crimes of poverty or crimes of self-defense.
She was a “known surrey prostitute with an extensive criminal record”
Each are kind, intelligent, and funny. Curtis Sagmoen has, for nearly a decade, been acting as judge, jury, and executioner to Indigenous women and sex workers in the Vernon area and the greater Vancouver region. On September 9 thSagmoen will appear in the Vernon courthouse to enter a plea in his latest trial for violence against women. Please us at 9am September 9 that the Vernon Courthouse located at: — 27 th Street in Vernon BC in solidarity with survivors and those who did not survive their interactions with Curtis Sagmoen.
Read the press release here. Curtis Sagmoen is responsible for inflicting violence directly onto these women, but it is up to each of us to find ways to challenge the system that teaches men like Sagmoen that violence is how to solve problems, or that some people do not deserve protection from the state. Someone I love is a sex worker, and statistically speaking, someone you love is too.
Sagmoen ple guilty to assault of sex worker in maple ridge
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Wearing black high heels, rose patterned tights and a black jacket, Michelle says she is confident with her body.
Prostitution charges have been laid against year-old Mark Carlisle Humphrey for allegedly luring women into the sex trade through Craigslist's advertisements for escorts and exotic dancers.