One might have hoped that after the Ipswich murders the media would have learned a thing or two about treating sex workers as different, disposable, and authors of their own misfortune.
Sadly reading the CTV report on the death of an Edmonton sex worker it would seem no lesson has been learned at all.
We begin by reading;
Police have identified a missing woman as a dead Edmonton sex trade worker and have launched a homicide investigation.
Really?! So if we were all to get together and purchase a head stone it should say dead Edmonton sex trade worker?
At least in the next paragraph they deign to identify Leanne Lori Benwell, by name.
Next in the portion involving the grieving mother, they write;
The last time Connie saw her drug-addicted daughter, Leanne had a bruised and bloodied face.
Is that what she said? Her drug addicted daughter. I doubt it. While she probably knew of her daughters’ struggle with drugs, while she may have feared what the outcome of that struggle would be, she would no doubt have thought of her daughter as her child. Not her drug addicted child.
What is the point of injecting her drug dependency into that portion of the story? Two strikes now, a sex worker and a drug addict, nothing to see here folks just another drug addled whore bites the dust.
In an effort perhaps to redeem the article Project Kare is invoked, however, Ms. Benwell’s case isn’t currently being dealt with by Project Kare.
What would have been wrong with wording the article in a similar fashion to the way they worded the caption under the accompanying picture?
Police say Leanne Lori Benwell, 27, was last seen March 12 after visiting her mother in Edmonton and was reported missing in April.
This acknowledges her as a human being first and foremost as she should be acknowledged.
The media need to stop incorporating the idea of women as either Madonna or whore into their stories. Leanne Lori Benwell is every bit as deserving of a story treating her, her family and her life with respect as anyone else.