What is sexual exploitation?
Sexual exploitation refers to cases in which individuals are forced to provide sexual services to others. More specifically, it refers to forced sexual acts for payment in the form of money or other remuneration such as clothes or food, or the promise thereof. This situation may involve the offender abusing someone’s vulnerability, subordinate position or trust for sexual purposes, including commercial purposes. Men and women, adults and children: anyone may be a victim of sexual exploitation, regardless of their legal status.
Sexual exploitation encompasses anything from prostitution and pornography under duress to the forced provision of sexual services in bars, hotels, resorts, massage salons and the entertainment industry. These acts may comprise sexual services to strangers or acquaintances, such as forced sex with your partner’s friends, for example.
Sexual exploitation and grooming by pimp boyfriends is a particular type of sexual exploitation. Pimp boyfriends are mostly young men that groom a girl or woman to fall in love with and/or become dependent on them, after which they are deceived or coerced into performing sex work. Some women choose to work of their own free will, under the assumption that they will be saving their income to have a future life with the pimp boyfriend in question or to help him pay off pressing debts. If they decide to quit, the pimp boyfriend will not allow them to do so and their money will generally have disappeared. This practice is a prime example of sexual exploitation.
Someone may be a victim of sexual exploitation if:
- they are being forced to have sex against their will;
- they are being forced to have sex for payment and to surrender their earnings;
- their partner has forced them to have sex with acquaintances or friends;
- their partner has forced them to repay ‘debts’ by performing sexual activities with strangers;
- they have been forced to participate in the production of pornographic material.