What is the difference between a sex trafficking victim and someone “in the life”?
Someone who is a victim of sex trafficking is a person who is forced, lured under fraudulent conditions, or coerced into selling herself or himself for sex, or is legally a minor. Minor victims do not have to prove force, fraud, or coerced tactics.
Someone who is involved “in the life” may not currently have a trafficker; however, all the women we have met in the sex industry have suffered from some form of abuse and/or were trafficked at some point in their life.
How is sex trafficking and pornography connected?
Pornography is another form of sex trafficking. Women are coerced or forced into the industry to perform for the films and their compensation is given to their trafficker.
Pornography is also often used to teach younger victims of trafficking how to “perform” for their customers.
What age group does Switch focus on?
Switch does not discriminate and will serve anyone who is a victim of human trafficking or sexual exploitation, however, most of the individuals that we serve are adult women. One reason is that minor victims are almost unreachable, as most are trafficked within the home unit, schools, foster care, etc. As a result, we tend to only encounter adult women through our community outreaches, however, we are able to assist minor victims through law enforcement referrals. Many of the adult women that we serve feel forgotten or neglected by government systems or other NGOs, and Switch exists to provide hope and restoration to all who need it.
Are all traffickers violent?
No, in fact one of the most common forms of trafficking is what we call a “romeo pimp’ this is a trafficker who uses sweet gestures, gifts, romance, etc. to coerce a women into trafficking seeming like the “perfect” boyfriend. It isn’t until later in the relationship that he turns into a more violent “gorilla pimp”.
How can I help?
There is a place for every one to help, whether it be volunteering, giving financially or just inviting us to come speak at your business, church or group…you can get involved and you can make a difference. Find out more here.