Thornhill dominatrix publishes memoir

Terri-Jean Bedford continues to fight to change prostitution laws

Terri-Jean Bedford, otherwise known as dominatrix Madame DeSade, has written a memoir that reveals the details of the police raid on her “Bondage Bungalow” in Thornhill. As she explains in Dominatrix on Trial: Bedford vs. Canada, it was this event that sparked her legal fight to have prostitution laws decriminalized. “It’s my life story,” Bedford said. “A big part of the book is my journey through the justice system.”

According to her book, Bedford suffered abuse during her unstable childhood, which led her to the “elite world of professional domination,” including a house on Thornridge Drive set up to facilitate bondage, role play and domination. After the police raid on Bondage Bungalow in 1994, Bedford challenged the constitution. As a result, Ontario Supreme Court’s Justice Susan Himel ruled that provisions in the Criminal Code concerning prostitution were unconstitutional. The ruling has since been appealed by the federal government, with a decision set for this fall.

“Women are going missing,” Bedford said. “If the government refuses to change its position … it’s going to get worse if we continue to perpetuate the devaluation and stigmatization of these women.”

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