Enforced Prostitution and Trafficking

For some women, sex work is a choice. Whether for financial reasons, flexibility or simply because they enjoy it, they have independently decided to work in the sex industry.

However, for other women, sex work is not a choice. Having been forced into it through violence, the threat of violence, emotional manipulation or trafficking, they’re unable to stop and forced to live a life full of danger and fear.

Organisations like Doorway Women’s Services aim to help women in this difficult and frightening position, offering them the support they need to escape a life of exploitation and build a brighter future.

Enforced prostitution

Enforced or forced prostitution, also known as involuntary prostitution, is prostitution that takes place as the result of force or coercion by a third party.

There are lots of ways that women are forced into prostitution including violence, manipulation or the threat of violence. Women working in enforced prostitution are not able to consent to the sex acts that they’re forced to perform, making them victims of exploitation and violating their human rights.

In many cases, the women working in enforced prostitution won’t have control over when or where they work and may not be allowed to keep some or all of the money that they earn from their work.


A common misconception of trafficking is that it involves smuggling people into the country. However in reality, trafficking simply involves moving people between locations and is often for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Sometimes, women will be forced from place to place using violence, in other cases abusers will use emotional manipulation to control their victims and ensure they do what they want them to.Doorway 3

Some women will be moved between locations on a daily basis, with abusers taking them to different locations to work and meet clients. Other women will be moved periodically between places, spending weeks, months or even years in one location before being moved to the next.

Help and support

If you or someone you know has been affected by enforced prostitution or trafficking, their is light at the end of the tunnel. Get in touch with Doorway Women’s Services and we can point you in the direct of organisations that can help you with everything you need to escape a life of fear and danger and build a better future.

Call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 1030 to speak to one of the friendly members of our team or send us an email and we’ll get straight back to you to help you get your life back on track.