Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) includes a wide range of often linked sexual activities which (typically) men profit from or buy from women and which objectify and harm women. It includes:

  • Prostitution
  • Phone sex
  • Internet sex/chatrooms
  • Stripping
  • Pole dancing
  • Lap dancing
  • Peep shows
  • Pornography
  • Trafficking
  • Sex tourism
  • Mail order brides

The women involved are very often on low incomes, have substance use issues and are victims of other forms of gender based violence. Exploitation includes offering drugs, food, shelter, protection, other basics of life, and/or money in exchange for sex or sexual acts. In direct contrast to the women they buy sex from, men who buy sex are typically well educated, their income falls in the medium to high range bracket and they are employed in professional occupations.

Dundee VAWP believes that CSE is a form of violence against women and elements of all abuse- physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and child sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking are contained in and supported by commercial sexual exploitation.

CSE commodifies women and girls and supports a culture that views women as objects - more a 'sum of body parts' than a whole being. It eroticises men's violence and their perceived 'right to buy' whatever acts they have sexualised.

The vast majority of men who buy sex are in a position to choose - unlike the women and children who are prostituted. We are therefore very concerned at the normalisation of the sex industry and the pressure on men, especially young men, to be consumers within the sex industry.

Research shows:

•98% of women involved in prostitution have been victims of violence, with more frequent injuries than workers in industries considered most dangerous eg logging, mining, fire-fighting

71% of women involved in prostitution have experienced physical assaults and 62% have been raped

89% wish to leave prostitution but do not know of any other option

Zero Tolerance and the Women's Support Project, in partnership with a steering group of other agencies have produced a new commercial sexual exploitation DVD.

Inside Outside is a short project run through the Encompass Network giving voice to those who have been involved in the sex industry in Scotland.