Today we hear and read about child sex trafficking, some of the children are not only victims who are enduring the trauma of a trafficking situation but some of them have a history of sexual abuse and neglect. According to Williamson & Prior (2009) about 30 percent of children who are trafficked reported sexual abuse by someone in their family and 14 percent disclosed sexual abuse by both someone within and outside of their family.
Some young children who are trafficked into prostitution, perhaps where sexually exploited earlier on in life at tender ages in their families and communities who are running away from sexual abuse, domestic violence and neglect in their own families. These children may have other reason for becoming prostitutes but the underlying reasons may be linked to dysfunctional and abusive homes.
There seems to be a probable link between childhood sexual abuse, re-victimization and prostitution. Some findings indicate that early sexual abuse may indirectly affect the chances of victimization by increasing the likelihood of a life-style based on participation in risky activities and events such as prostitution and promiscuity.
Individuals with a history of child sexual abuse may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation in prostitution. For instance, a teenage survivor of CSA may run away from home and may, because of her vulnerability, be targeted by pimps and ensnared into prostitution. “The survivor may rationalize her sexual work as something she can do easily, is practiced at and can perform well, as she has been ‘trained’. The survivor may feel that at least in prostitution she gets paid for sex rather than having sex taken from her”(Christiane Sanderson, 2006 , p.363 ).
Survivors’ rationalization is a way to reclaim some perceived power, not recognizing that prostitution simply repeats the pattern of sexual exploitation that she has been subjected to throughout her life.
Let us all join forces to fight and to prevent childhood sexual abuse and all other forms of abuse in our society for the good of our future leaders and generation.
Sanderson, C. (2006). Counseling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Williamson, C. & Prior, M. (2009).Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: A Network in of Underground Players in the Midwest. Journal of Child and Adolescent Health Trauma, 2: 46-61.