Posted Aug 11, 2011 08:39 pm CDT
As a child escaping from what she described as an abusive home situation, Wendy Babcock turned to prostitution at 15 to support herself. She quit in 2003, after a colleague was murdered by a client.
Smart, personable and interested in fighting for the rights of sex workers and others, she’d thought about law school, but the career choice seemed about as realistic as deciding to be a movie star. Nonetheless, she won admission to one of Canada’s most prestigious law schools and seemed to be succeeding in life, only to be found dead at home earlier this week, reports the Toronto Star. She was 32 years old.
Babcock had previously attempted suicide and police said there were no signs of foul play. She had been about to begin the third year of a four-year program at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.
Still struggling with a number of issues, she had looked to law school not only as a way to help others but as a way to help prove her self-worth, Babcock told the newspaper in 2009.
Despite her perpetual smile, seeming confidence and flamboyant personality, the Star reported at that time, “she cannot silence the stigmatizing judge inside her own head—the one who whispers to her, as she sits in her Osgoode classes, that she is still ‘Wendy the foster kid,’ ‘Wendy the group home kid,’ ‘Wendy the ho.’ “