Blog header image of a woman lying in front of a window with text on which says "Trafficking vs Prostitution: Is it a choice"

Trafficking vs Prostitution – Is it a Choice?

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 if the entry point. One comes into it forced with violence or threats to their family, and the other comes in because of poverty or a lack of better options.

Rachel Moran said:

“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.”

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 a lack of choice. Our clients have backgrounds of severe and multiple disadvantage. They’re extremely vulnerable and frequently marginalised by the rest of society.

  • Most people involved in prostitution are experiencing poverty, and they are absorbed into the sex industry because of a desperation to survive. The unfortunate truth is that almost no one gets out of poverty through prostitution.
  • These sex workers often have a history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse. It’s very uncommon for a person to get involved in sex work without having suffered from abuse prior to their entry into the sex trade.

Watch this video by Exodus Cry:

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