One of the biggest lies we believe today is that prostitution is a choice. The truth is prostitution is a direct symptom of vulnerability. Women are forced, coerced, or fraudulently introduced to this life by the desperate need of something they deem valuable. Money, a place to stay, drug habit or anything they may be desperate to acquire.
The deeper issue is vulnerability. When a person is desperate, they become vulnerable to exploiters. Traffickers, pimps, and sexual exploiters look to those who are the most vulnerable for their prey.
It’s also not a money maker for the individual who is being prostituted. We seem to think they are making a great living and in control of their own lives. This is the facade of predatory stakeholders who want to conceal this industry.
Most are working off a debt, or for privileges to see their child who is controlled by the pimp. Some simply work to for their drug addiction.
Most women who are prostituted have been abused in some way previous to being in the life. It’s common to have a childhood history of sexual abuse and physical abuse. Sexual predators understand this and seek those who require less grooming.
The truth is that it’s not their choice, but it’s a lack of choice that propitiates prostitution. It’s rampant among the poorest, desperate and marginalized demographics in our nation. As advocates if we can provide options, if we can provide choices, we can make a difference.