Sex-trade worker believes she was raped by Pickton
VANCOUVER — A sex-trade worker testified Monday at the Missing Women Inquiry that she believes she was assaulted and raped by serial killer Robert Pickton two decades ago.
Susan Davis recalled that she phoned 911 to report the matter, but police never showed up.
She said she was transferred to an officer and twice called that officer while she waited for an hour on a street corner for police to come and take her statement.
But she finally left, she said, because it was cold and her feet were freezing.
“There was a blizzard. There was snow everywhere. I had to hop over a snowbank to get into the car,” Davis told inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal about the incident, which occurred sometime around January 1991.
Davis said the man was driving a beat-up station wagon and took her to a location where he punched her in the face and raped her at knifepoint.
She recalled he had thin hair and smelled bad. She thinks it was Pickton.
Davis said the manner in which police treated the incident reflected their indifference to violence against sex-trade workers. It was also a common experience for sex-trade workers, she said.
That’s one of the reasons there has traditionally been a distrust of police, she said. But, she admitted, there has been a change in attitude in the Vancouver Police Department, especially among the younger officers, who try to make sure women working the street are safe.
Davis has advocated for decriminalizing street prostitution and legalizing minibrothels to make the sex trade safer.
“You have no way to protect yourself,” she said about getting into a car with a stranger.
Indoor sex work is safer because you can screen your clients and have control over your environment, said Davis, 43, a sextrade worker for 25 years.
The inquiry is examining why Pickton, who was arrested in 2002, wasn’t caught sooner. Eventually charged with 27 counts of first-degree murder, Pickton, 62, was convicted of six murders in 2007. The Crown decided not to proceed on a second trial after Pickton exhausted all appeals.
The inquiry continues today.