Groups Most at Risk for Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is the act of being manipulated, tricked, or forced into sexual scenarios, usually pornography or prostitution, without one’s consent. Sexual exploitation, human trafficking in particular, is a growing international problem that exploits thousands of individuals from vulnerable populations and forcibly places them into situations characterized by rape and violence fueled by drugs and money. Some groups are more at risk for sexual exploitation than others are, including:
- Children: The human trafficking business is notoriously filled with children who are forced to act as sex workers. Children, especially runaway children or children from poor backgrounds, are among the most vulnerable to being tricked or coerced into the industry. In fact, studies have shown that one in six runaway children have been the victims of sexual exploitation. Both male and female children are routinely added to the human trafficking industry, even sometimes by their parents or guardians in the hope of procuring money.
- Women: Although anyone, regardless of age, gender, or sexuality, can be a victim of sexual exploitation or trafficking, women are at a far higher risk than other groups. Women are much more consistently kidnapped, tricked, drugged, and forced into prostitution and other trafficking scenarios against their will, with young girls being the most at risk.
- Individuals with a history of abuse: Many individuals with a history of abuse are likely to become victims of exploitation. Victims of abuse often run away, suffer from poverty, or use drugs, all of which increases their likelihood of exploitation. Perpetrators of exploitation routinely go after individuals who are vulnerable and have little resources or family ties, all of which are common among victims of abuse.
- Individuals from poor socioeconomic backgrounds: People who are poor, homeless, or disenfranchised in some other way are at a greater risk for exploitation. Many families will prostitute their children for money, and individuals who live in poverty are less likely to be noticed if they go missing, making them common targets for perpetrators of exploitation.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual exploitation, there is help and hope for your situation, and the attorneys at McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm can help. Many victims of sexual exploitation do not come forward for fear of retaliation from their abusers or because they assume nothing can be done for them. No one should have to suffer the injustice of sexual exploitation, and those responsible should be held legally accountable for their detestable actions. McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm has years of experience helping victims of exploitation and prosecuting those accountable, no matter how powerful they may seem. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with an experienced Fort Smith exploitation attorney, please contact us at (479) 783-0036 today.