Dating Violence, Prostitution, & Sex Trafficking

Dating violence happens when one partner tries to control, scare, and abuse the other partner while they are in a romantic relationship. Dating violence can occur in any relationship between two individuals regardless of race, culture, religion or other indicators. It can occur in a straight or gay relationship. It can be perpetuated by a male as well as a female. It can happen to a teenager as well as an adult.

In some cases, dating violence can lead to prostitution or sex trafficking. Prostitution is the act of engaging in sex with another person for payment. Sex trafficking can be described as the enslavement of a person for the purpose of providing commercial sexual services. It often involves coercion, fraud, and force to induce the victims into the act of providing sexual services. Sex trafficking is also the term used for inducing a person under the age of 18 years to perform such an act. In the United States, prostitution is only legal in the state of Nevada. All states have the power to legalize or outlaw prostitution in the entire state or a part thereof. Prostitution is usually classified as a misdemeanor. In the United States, there are tough laws against sexual trafficking and people who are found guilty of using fraud or force to induce a person for sex can be sentenced to life in prison.

When people think about dating violence, prostitution, and sex trafficking, they may think that these issues are separate but there’s actually a connection. In this article, you will see how dating violence can lead to prostitution and sex trafficking.

People who are involved in an abusive relationship often find themselves trapped, and powerless. One reason why the victims are reluctant to end such a relationship may be due to the fact that it all started so brightly. In the beginning, these relationships are always so magical. The flowers, the romantic dinners, the endless promises, the special gifts, and the full devotion are the stuff of dreams. Then, a pattern develops. As tension starts to build in the relationship, the abusive partner goes into violent outbursts which may include intense verbal, physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. After that, the abusive partner appears to come to his or her senses and apologizes. The abuser makes peace with the partner by blaming a situation or person. In some cases, the victims will feel a certain level of guilt because they think they have not done enough.

The abuse can be detrimental to the physical and mental health of the victims. The main forms of abuse are physical, emotional, and sexual. Physical abuse can be manifested by biting, punching, shoving, throwing things, kicking, and scratching. Emotional abuse involves bullying, keeping the victim away from friends, name-calling, embarrassing, yelling or giving “make up” presents. Victims of abusive relationships can be subjected to sexual abuse when they are forced to engage in sexual acts against their will.

In some cases, dating violence will lead to prostitution and sex trafficking, in cases where the victims are underage. When the victim’s will is broken over and over, the level of self confidence is low and reliance on the abuser is high. Under these circumstances, the abuser can easily bring the victim into the world of prostitution and sex trafficking. Once they enter the trade, they may be submitted to even more vicious abuses which can include torture, rape, assault, battery and so on. It’s also common for the abuser to use drugs to control the victims. Victims who have been forced into the sex trade may acquire sexually transmitted diseases and they would certainly be emotionally scarred, not to mention physically abused. Where drugs are used, the victims will also develop an addiction problem. Sadly, there are even victims who die before they can be helped.

When you see or know that a friend or family member is involved in an abusive relationship, you should try to reach out and help the person. Explain that love is not abusive and try to get the person to go for counseling. There are many agencies that offer counseling for people who are in abusive relationships. At the early stage of dating, there are signs that hint at the formation of an abusive relationship. From the onset, the abuser may attempt to cut you off from friends, try to monitor your every movement, display extreme jealousy, post compromising pictures of you online without asking for your permission, and blame you for the abuse. When you see these things, it’s best to stop the relationship right away before more damage is done. If you have a friend or family member who has been a victim of dating violence, you should slowly build up the person’s confidence and spend quality time together so that the person can be reintegrated into society.

Check out these links for more information on dating violence, prostitution, and sex trafficking.

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