13 July 2015
Though sexual exploitation has existed for a long time, it’s only relatively recently that most people have started to understand what it really means.
Several high profile news stories and increased awareness of trafficking have helped to educate the public about the issue. However one thing that many people still don’t realise is that almost anyone can be at risk of sexual exploitation. No matter what your background, age, gender or where in the country you’re from, anyone can be affected by sexual exploitation.
Sexual exploitation can happen to women of any age
Though many people assume that it’s mostly younger women who are sexually exploited, in reality, women of any age can be targeted by abusers.
From 12 and 13 year olds right through to women in their 70s, anyone can be affected by sexual exploitation at any point in their lives and it’s important that those affected know that they’re not alone and help is more than on the horizon, it’s here.
Sexual exploitation doesn’t just happen to vulnerable women
Though some of women who are sexually exploited have suffered from issues with drink or drugs or been in abusive relationships in the past, this is by no means a given and many women who would not consider themselves to be vulnerable have become the victims of sexual exploitation.
In some cases, abusers can be very patient, working over time to build a relationship. Once they have their target’s trust, they will start the process of exploiting them.
Problems with money, drink, drugs and mental health can make women more susceptible to sexual exploitation, however it’s important to be aware that abusers can often find a way to exploit victims without any obvious vulnerabilities.
Some women may not realise they are being exploited
Many of the people who sexually exploit women use clever tricks and tactics to get their targets to do what they want them to without them making the link between what they’re being asked to do and sexual exploitation.
This can often include getting into a relationship with their victims, building trust over a long term period and even changing the way that their targets think about themselves and the world around them.
Thankfully, there is a lot of help out there for women who have been, or are being, sexually exploited. Here at Doorway Women’s Services, we work to support people who have been affected by sexual exploitation. To find out more give us a call on 0808 800 1030 today and talk to one of the friendly members of our team and remember, help is more than on the horizon, it’s here.