Former sex worker found dead

Wendy Babcock was advocate for safer sex work


Wendy Babcock, a prostitue-turned-law school student, has been found dead at the age of 32 in her Toronto home.

Babcock gained attention in 2009 after she progressed from homeless teenage prostitute to advocate for safer sex work and then to law student at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

A police spokesperson said there were no signs of foul play, reports the Toronto Star.

Babcock had attempted suicide on several occasions.

Among her achievements was the founding of a group that compiles information on bad sex work clients and her work with Street Health, which prompted an award from former Toronto mayor David Miller.

Babcock was raised in an abusive home and began selling sex at age 15. Her work forced her to give up her son to social services. Eventually, she quit prostitution and attended George Brown College. After succeeding there, she gained admission to Osgoode Hall, despite not having the required university credits. She had successfully completed the first two years of the four-year degree when she was found dead.


Former sex worker found dead

  1. I hope she finds the peace in death that she could not find in life. Wendy was an amazing person, and her work saved the lives of so many people.

  2. We all have our bad side and our good side. I knew Wendy well and her bad side was that of a manipulative fraud artist: readers of the Star sent her $20K for school because of her abusive childhood, but I knew her well enough to know of her interactions with her parents. They were confused by her and possibly intimidated by her – I never saw any evidence of a prior abusive relationship and did see evidence that she was lying. We all have our burdens to bear; I wondered sometimes if Wendy was mentally ill.
    I was very shocked and deeply sorry to hear of her untimely passing.

  3. On what appears to be her last blog of Aug 3, Wendy may have confused having a voice in media with being represented in court. The current Bedford vs. Canada case represents all types of sex workers, or prostitutes, whatever term you prefer, those who enjoy their jobs in brothels, work independently for the disabled and those on the street who don’t enjoy their job and are “survival” sex workers.

    Wendy did understand, however, that even if something is morally distasteful, that doesn’t mean that the Criminal Code of Canada is a way to supress the activity. The Criminal Code of Canada exists within a democracy. Wendy understood that those who would use a criminal code of a country to enforce religious moral edicts are not western democracies but islamic theocracies like Iran.

  4. PMP – Fraud artist? She was registered at York, in residence and attended at least some classes. Everyone is troubled, it just shows more in some than others.

  5. Wendy Babcock was never an abused child, always loved by her family. Her stories were fabricated by Wendy herslef. And at the cost of others who showed pity on her. A con-artist? yes. Confused? yes.

  6. Tom, further, I just want to say that Wendy probably would have made an excellent politician. Just because she had certain traits that worked for her and not others doesn’t mean she was a worse person than the CEO of a major corporation or the head of a political party. Prostitutes shouldn’t have to be perfect in order to be redeemable. I’m still fuming that McGuinty tricked us about how much hydro rates would go up and why; I’m fuming that Ford is going to cut services after promising he would; I’m fuming that Harper keeps arbitrarily cutting services like food inspection without consulting the public. No one campaigned on what they were really planning to do. But I don’t see anyone storming Parliament, Queens Park or City Hall and saying our politicians are irredeemable. And Wendy actually did work to make a difference for good in a very rough environment. No paid her a cushy salary for the advocacy work she did, unlike the current abolitionists who are seemingly grassroots yet set up with scripts, websites, money and travel expenses.

  7. If you dug deep, you would discover the discrepancies within Wendy’s stories. For example, Wendy says she was homeless at age 11.

    This isn’t true and I know this because I met her on July 2, 1991 at Clairville Riding Camp when she was 12. We were friends for 18 months. I visited her home often and even saw her room. She was still living at home at age 13 in January 1993.

    If Wendy was homeless at age 11, then how did she get the money to go to an expensive riding camp?

    I have journal entries and pictures to prove my friendship with Wendy during the summer of 1991 if you need to see them for yourself.

    • You are so right in all you say about Wendy. Her stories were fabricated and my heart goes out to her family who were talked ill about….knowing all they did for her.