It’s easy to believe that people who get involved in sex work have chosen to be there. It’s almost natural for us to make distinctions between those in prostitution and those who have been trafficked.
Of course, there is one fundamental difference between a person who ends up in sex work through trafficking and a person who ‘chose’ sex work. The difference is the entry point. One comes into it forced with violence or threats to their family, and the other comes in through poverty or a lack of better options.
“What we are talking about when we address trafficking and prostitution are simply two different entry points to the same place. Regardless of whether a woman is dragged in by her hair or brought in by poverty, as I was as a homeless teen, she ends up in the same place.” – Rachel Moran
At Rahab, many of our clients would fit into the category of someone who ‘chose’ sex work. When in reality, this so called ‘choice’ is often a lack of choice. Many of our clients have backgrounds of severe and multiple disadvantage, and remain in these circumstances because they’re extremely vulnerable and frequently marginalised by the rest of society.
- Most people involved in on-street prostitution are experiencing poverty, and they are absorbed into the commercial sex industry because of a desperation to survive. The unfortunate truth is that almost no one gets out of poverty through prostitution.
- These prostituted women frequently have a history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse. It’s uncommon for a person to get involved in prostitution without having suffered from abuse prior to their entry into the sex trade.
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