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Facts and figures

Some facts and figures about prostitution

  • 73% of women in prostitution report having been subjected to physical aggressions while in prostitution [1]
  • 68% of women in prostitution meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the same range as victims of torture [2]
  • 62% of women in prostitution report having been raped [3]
  • A research project in Oregon shows that 78% of women in prostitution had been raped at an average of 16 times per year by their pimps, and 33 times by their clients. Out of the 12 complaints, none has resorted into conviction [4]
  • In 2004 in France, a man was arrested for having raped and kept a prostituted woman locked up. He was condemned to… pay back the price of the ‘service’! (100 euros) [5]
  • A quarter of women in prostitution report having been victims of male domestic violence before entering the system of prostitution [6]
  • 54% of prostitute-users recognised having had aggressive sexual behaviour towards a partner not in prostitution [7]
  • For 25% of men, the concept of ‘rape’ for women in prostitution is ‘ridiculous’… [8]
  • 9 out of 10 women in prostitution would like to exit the system of prostitution but feel unable to do so [9]
  • Women are reported to be victims in more than 80% of trafficking cases. 79% of reported trafficking in human beings is for sexual exploitation. Women constitute 85% of the victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation [10]

[1Melissa Farley et al., “Prostitution in five countries: violence and post-traumatic stress disorder”, Feminism and Psychology, 8, 1998

[2Melissa Farley et al., “Prostitution in five countries: violence and post-traumatic stress disorder”, Feminism and Psychology, 8, 1998

[3Melissa Farley et al., “Prostitution in five countries: violence and post-traumatic stress disorder”, Feminism and Psychology, 8, 1998

[4The Council of Prostitution Alternatives, Annual report, Portland, Oregon, 1991

[5La Dépêche du Midi, 7 October 2004

[6Dominique Damant et al., « Trajectoires d’entrée
en prostitution : violence, toxicomanie et criminalité », Le journal international de victimologie, n°3, April 2005

[7Montoo, Mac Ree, “A comparison of the male customers of female street prostitutes with national samples of men”, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 2005

[8Melissa Farley, Julie Bindel and Jacqueline M. Golding, “Men who buy sex. Who they buy and what they know. A research study of 103 men who describe their use of trafficked and non-trafficked women in prostitution, and their awareness of coercion and violence”, Prostitution Research and Education and Eaves, 2009

[9Home Office, Paying the price, 2004

[10UNODC 2009 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, and UNODC 2003 Preliminary findings of the human trafficking database

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