At Scarlet Hope, we reach exploited and trafficked women with the hope of the gospel. One question we often get asked is about the difference between exploitation and trafficking. If you’re curious, here’s how we define them:
Exploitation in the context of the adult entertainment industry refers to the act of taking advantage of individuals, often through force, fraud, or coercion, for personal or financial gain. It involves the manipulation of vulnerable individuals for profit, wherein they are subjected to various forms of abuse and are forced to engage in sexual activities against their consent.
Sex Trafficking refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of individuals through force, coercion, or deception for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It involves the exploitation of vulnerable individuals, often involving elements of control, abuse, and coercion to force them into engaging in commercial sex acts against their will.
Exploitation and Trafficking in the Adult Entertainment Industry
Along with those definitions, it’s important to know how trafficking and exploitation play a role in the adult entertainment industry as a whole. We like to explain it as an umbrella. The industry, being exploitative in nature, is the umbrella that encompasses things like trafficking, prostitution, strip clubs, and pornography. Not everyone in the industry is being trafficked, but we have seen exploitation play a role in each category that falls under the umbrella.
One common thread within each category is the exploitation of vulnerable individuals who may feel like the industry is their only means of survival. Within the industry, there are key factors that contribute to the vulnerability of individuals to trafficking. These factors include homelessness, lack of education, trauma, hunger, and runaway situations. We see this play out in ‘survival sex’, where women engage in sexual contact driven by the need for food, addiction, or to pay bills. Although some may initially enter the industry by choice, they become more susceptible to exploitation by pimps and traffickers due to these vulnerabilities.
How does Scarlet Hope Help in Trafficking Situations?
While we focus on the adult entertainment as a whole, we play a part in sharing the hope and love of Jesus with women who are being trafficked. We support victims while relying on the skills and resources of anti-trafficking organizations to safely remove women from trafficking situations. Our role when encountering potential human trafficking victims is to walk them through the process of receiving help, connect them to local resources, and continue to point them to Jesus. The process can be painful, but we trust that the relationships built through walking alongside trafficking victims will serve as evidence of the hope found in the gospel.
How Can You Respond?
We believe that God is calling us to share hope and love with exploited and trafficked women. Is He asking you to join us? You can help share hope for freedom by volunteering, supporting us financially, and partnering with us in prayer. We know that God is at work in the lives of the women we encounter, and we are so grateful that you would consider joining us as we tell them of the hope found in Jesus.