What is a Bad Date?

A “bad date” is anything that a sex worker doesn’t want themselves or others to experience. This can include violence, theft, any non consensual behaviour, time wasting, creepy behaviour and other negative experiences. 

What is a Bad Date Reporting System?

A bad date reporting system is a peer-led network where sex workers share reports anonymously and confidentially about bad dates with each other so they can make informed decisions in taking new clients and improve the safety of their community.

Who is funding the project?

The project is funded primarily by the Law Foundation of BC, an independent non-profit foundation that provides funding for legal projects that benefit the community. They are not part of government or law enforcement.

We are currently working to diversify our funding sources to include other funders who share our values.

Is BC BDAR a government-led project?

Our project is created and led by sex workers and no level of government is involved in our leadership or decision making.

We are currently in the process of advocating for sustainable funding for the BC BDAR project from the provincial government, and educating provincial government ministries on the importance of our project for sex worker safety.

We will not compromise privacy and confidentiality, sex worker consent, or any of our project values when seeking funding opportunities.

Will BC BDAR share reports with law enforcement?

We are committed to never sharing reports with police without explicit consent from the person making the report.

Will the BC BDAR system be an app?

A lot of early media about the project talked about the system being an app, and while we’re open to the idea, we won’t know what the BC BDAR system will look like or include until we’ve heard from sex workers about their needs and ideas in our extensive community consultations.

Who will the BC BDAR system be for?

The BC BDAR system will be for all sex workers and people informally trading sex in BC.

This includes street-based workers, independent workers, male-aligned workers, workers at agencies and parlours, dancers, people trading sex who may not identify as sex workers – everyone involved in the sex trade industry in BC.

We’re particularly hoping to reach out to workers living outside of areas and sectors covered by existing bad date systems, rural workers, workers who travel throughout the province, and workers who work in communities where resource extraction is a primary industry (oil rigs, refineries, mining, forestry, etc.).

Some early media mentioned the possibility of this becoming a Canada-wide system, but currently our focus is on making the best system we can for sex workers working in BC.

I’m concerned that sharing bad date reports with more people in a wider region will make my reports less private and more likely to be seen by non-sex-workers. How does BC BDAR intend to address this?

Striking the right balance between accessibility and privacy is one of the biggest challenges of this project.

On one hand, we want every sex worker who needs it to have access to the system, and on the other, we want to ensure that sex workers’ privacy is maintained and the reports aren’t being seen by people who shouldn’t have access to them.

Every bad date system handles this balance a little differently. There are various ways to screen applicants, ways to give sex workers more control over who reports are shared with, and ways to reduce the possibility of reports being shared without consent. We are considering all these possibilities and hoping to get a better sense of sex worker’s needs and comfort around privacy and accessibility during our consultations. We hope to give sex workers making reports as much agency over these choices as possible.

Why make a province-wide bad date system?

The idea for the BC BDAR project came out of Living in Community’s 2019 “Safer Province for Everyone” Conference where a diverse group of sex workers, sex work organizations, and allies from across BC came together to discuss best practices in responding to violence in the context of sex work. Recommendations and renewed commitments were made to develop a province-wide bad date reporting system.

While multiple local bad date reporting systems exist in places like Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, and Prince George, these systems aren’t linked together. The hope is that a province-wide bad date system will extend bad date reporting to include sex workers not currently covered by existing systems, make bad date reporting more accessible to workers who travel, help identify serial predators who may travel throughout the province, and generally keep workers safer.

How is BC BDAR involving sex workers in the creation of this system?

Our intent is for this project to be for sex workers, by sex workers.

In addition to current and former sex workers comprising much of our team, we’re just about to begin consultations with the goal to hear from 200 to 300 sex workers from across the province to learn from their experiences, opinions, and concerns related to bad date reporting. Then, once we begin creating the system, we’ll be engaging sex workers in co-design at each step, making sure that the system is something that sex workers will actually use and find helpful..

Who is involved in the BC BDAR project?

Currently the BC BDAR project is comprised of:

Project coordinator Andrea Cupelli, a former online sex worker with over a decades worth of coordination work in nonprofits that focus on affordable housing, food security and queer rights advocacy.

Research lead Courtney Demone, an online and full-service indoor sex worker, with experience working in tech and doing queer, trans, and sex work activism and support work.

A Working Group made up of Living in Community, PACE, Peers Victoria Resources Society, SWAN Vancouver, and WISH Drop-In Society. Our Working Group guides and makes key decisions about the project, and provides insight and connections.

A Regional Advisory Group made up of organizations from smaller communities across the province.

An upcoming Peer Advisory Group made up of a diverse group of active sex workers from across the province.

How can I get involved?

Sign up for our newsletter to find out about future opportunities to be involved in the BC BDAR project as well as regular project updates

Follow us on social media! Find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @bcbdar 

Share information about this project with your friends!

Stop in at any of our Working Group organizations and ask the staff about the BC BDAR project.

Keep an eye on our website for consultation opportunities, surveys and other ways to get involved!