Peer to Peer Exploitation
THE GREATEST CHALLENGE WITH SEXUALLY EXPLOITED YOUTH IS THEY DO NOT KNOW THEY ARE BEING EXPLOITED.
If you are exchanging sex for a place to stay, for clothing, food, drugs or alcohol, and you're under 18 it's sexual exploitation.
The "gateway" to sexual exploitation often happens through friends. Some things to be aware of as a youth:
- Really know who your friends are: youth who have been recruited into the sex trade have been lured because they have "friends" who have bought them nice things, given them money, and listened to them. There is usually a cost to everything!
- It's easier to get into trouble when you have a buddy to do it with: our friends can convince us to skip school, use drugs, go to parties, lie to our parents or have an older boyfriend/girlfriend. If things are getting out of control for you, there is help.
- Does your friend care about you and have your best interests? If your answer is no, or if you wonder sometimes, it might be time to think about finding new friends. Easier said than done, but there are people out there to help.
If you are in immediate danger, please dial 9-1-1.
If you are in need of support, please contact us here.
What youth who've "been there" had to say to you:
" LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!!" - anonymous
"When older guys give girls alcohol and drugs it's so they can take advantage easier because the girls are more vulnerable." - anonymous
" Talk to someone you trust" - anonymous
" Girls need to be strong enough to say no and feel okay to talk to someone if anything happens." - anonymous
"Pick better friends. The people you hang out with will affect your future." -anonymous
"You miss out on a 'normal' teenagehood." -anonymous
"The lifestyle gets old." -anonymous
"These guys don't care about you; they will use you for what they want." -anonymous