I often get asked if prostitution is the same thing as sex trafficking, and the answer is no. Not all prostitution is trafficking; however, all sex trafficking involves prostitution and the exploitation of our men, women and children. Some prostitution is legal, like in the brothels and strip clubs. And some is illegal including selling sex on the streets or on the internet. There are also a few gray areas including escort services, which depending on the person may believe it is or is not prostitution.
At Awaken, we operate under the umbrella of commercial sexual exploitation, CSE. This refers to any form of prostitution, legal or illegal, for the exchange of money. Money, however, is used lightly and can include actual money, drugs or a place to sleep. I have personally worked with children as young as fourteen and women as old as sixty. Despite the age, the needs only vary slightly. Each one is looking for love, acceptance and personal safety.
For the purposes of this blog, I will speak openly about both sex trafficking and prostitution, while continuing to inform you of the harsh realities that take place in both areas. My thoughts are consistent that the abuse in all forms of prostitution are the same. It is a game of power, control and the manipulation of the more vulnerable party. You will also be shocked by the amount of illegal actions that take place even in legal settings.
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