What is Defend Dignity all about?
Defend Dignity exists to end all forms of sexual exploitation in Canada.
- There is an over-representation of Indigenous women & children and children in care
- There are more domestic victims than international victims
Defend Dignity acts as a catalyst for individuals and churches to end sexual exploitation in Canada. Commercial sexual exploitation includes: pornography, strip clubs, escorts, massage parlors and prostitution. All involve the selling of sexual services which undermine the dignity of women, men and children and are detrimental to a healthy society.
Raising awareness on the realities of all forms of sexual exploitation through events and resources.
Aiding individuals, non-profits and faith organizations to come alongside victims and at risk youth, through resources and training.
Advocacy for law and policy reform.
Defend Dignity is an initiative of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada believes:
• in the inherent dignity and value of all women, men and children made in the image of God.
• prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation, oppression and violence especially against women and children and seriously undermines their dignity and value
• prostitution is detrimental to a healthy society
The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada is therefore committed to the abolition of prostitution by:
• raising awareness and public education on prostitution, sexual exploitation and sex trafficking
• advocating for stronger legal and social deterrents to eliminate both the illicit demand for and the selling of sex
• developing resources to empower our congregations to take action against prostitution, sexual exploitation and sex trafficking
Defend Dignity’s leadership team consists of 9 individuals from all across Canada. Learn about each member of our team, their background, and passions!
Defend Dignity was launched by National Women’s Ministries of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in 2010. Glendyne Gerrard was the National WM Director at the time and had been challenged by then President Dr. Franklin Pyles to address a justice issue affecting Canadian women. Through research, Glendyne was drawn to the issue of sexual exploitation. She was introduced to Trisha Baptie, a formerly exploited woman from Vancouver, BC. Trisha began to send Glendyne more research, studies and videos which prompted Glendyne to invite Trisha to present to the National Women’s leadership team. This was a defining moment as the team prayed, reflected and deliberated on all they heard. It was decided to form a small sub-committee to plan next steps as all were convinced that this was an issue that the church needed to understand and respond to. This committee wrote the official statement on sexual exploitation for The C&MA and launched awareness initiatives with the churches of The C&MA. The committee also chose the name “Defend Dignity” based on Psalm 82:3,4. These initiatives were video driven along with presentations made at each District Conference in 2011. C&MA churches were eager to learn more and so Information Forums began to take shape. These Forums gained momentum as it became apparent that Canada’s prostitution legislation was being challenged (Article – Bedford vs. Canada). Churches were eager to learn how to engage on this issue.
With the growing demand for information, the need to educate the public on the realities of exploitation, Glendyne left her role as National Director of Women’s Ministries in order to give full time direction to Defend Dignity in 2012.
Founded in the 1880s, The Christian and Missionary Alliance is committed to Jesus and his mission. We are a group of approximately 440 local churches in Canada, and we send people to live on mission locally and globally. We aim to be a Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered, Mission-focused movement in everything that we do.