3 of 14 - Prostitution Facts

Prostitution is gender-based violence. Today it has become mostly secretive, discretely hidden, more complex and underground. It is exploitative, harmful, dangerous to body and soul and diminishes the person. It takes advantage of the most vulnerable, those suffering from poverty, racism and abuse. It is a criminal industry driven by the ability of the perpetrators to make large profits behind closed doors.  

  • 85-95% of prostituted persons are victims of child abuse in the family.

  • Many prostituted persons are victims of incest.

  • The average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14 years of age.

  • About 44% of current prostituted persons entered the industry younger than 18.  

Research by Mellissa Farley, who studied 854 women, of whom 100 were from Vancouver Downtown Eastside, showed the following: 

  • 56% were aboriginal women and girls.

  • 91% were physically assaulted.

  • 76% were raped.

  • 75 % were stabbed, beaten, and had bones broken.

  • 74% had a PTSD diagnosis.

  • 67% were threatened with a weapon, raped more than 5 times, and had pornography made of them in prostitution.

  • 50% suffered traumatic head injuries.

Prostitution is not a choice, nor is it work.  It does not meet standards for acceptable work, since the the entry point is poverty, racism, ageism and/or child abuse; it has a high level of harm to health, and the working conditions are very harmful.

Image Credit: By FloNight (Sydney Poore) and Russell Poore (self-made by Russell and Sydney Poore) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Video clip from HopefortheSold.com: Exiting the Sex Industry: Quick Money vs. Sustainable Employment