Sexual exploitation is any exchange of sex acts for money; gifts; drugs; or basic needs, such as food and shelter. It can include sex trafficking and take the form of survival sex, prostitution, stripping, dancing, phone sex, web cams, and other forms of commercial trade sex.
Commercial sexual exploitation may also happen within a family, when a domestic partner, parent or step-parent, guardian, or other family member forces, tricks, or coerces another family member to have sex or perform sex acts in exchange for anything of value.
Who is at risk?
- 90% of exploitated youth have a history of abuse, neglect, and/or sexual trauma.
- Predators seek out those who are already vulnerable often targeting homeless and runaway youth.
- Average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14.
- This problem can affect all genders, not just girls.
Am I experiencing sexual exploitation?
- Are you being made to have sex or do sexual things you don’t want to?
- Do you feel like you must give sex for money, food, drugs, or a place to sleep?
- Have you experienced uninvited or unwanted requests to engage in sexual activities in person, on the phone, or over the internet?
- Have you felt that someone may hurt you unless you have sex or do sexual things for them?
- Have you been made to move away from your home and community for sexual purposes?
- Have you been made to watch someone else touch themselves sexually in front of you?
- Have you been asked to have sex or do sexual things with your partner’s friends?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you deserve support.
You can reach an advocate 24 hours a day at 360.715.1563.
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