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Strip Clubs: Where Prostitution and Trafficking Happen

The Providence Journal 08.2013

In hundreds of research interviews, sex buyers tell us that they can always find minor girls in strip clubs. A 15-year-old girl who had gone missing from Boston was found at Cheaters, a strip club in Providence, RI. Police arrested her trafficker/pimp. Nonetheless a Cheaters spokesman – probably a pimp – lied: “At Cheaters they only hire girls 18 years or above and always check two forms of ID.” Read the story here. Read Provincetown op-ed here.

Vednita Carter, Executive Director of Breaking Free said, “At Breaking Free we understand the connection between stripping, prostitution and sex trafficking. We see between 400 to 500 women and girls per year who have been trafficked/prostituted by their pimps, drug dealers or by organized criminals in gangs. One young woman said:

“I met him in a strip club. He seemed so kind and understanding. Over a short time period, we started a relationship. It was then that my whole life changed; he told me that he wanted me to “start charging for sex”, he said I was already doing it by taking all my clothes off and giving lap dances.  After months of sexual, physical and verbal abuse, I told him that I had enough. I wanted to leave the life of stripping and prostitution. He gave me a choice, “fuck or die” – these were my only options. I chose the first one, because I had seen what he had done to others. It took me four years to leave that monster, but I did…”

Ms. Carter continued, “Stripping is a gateway into prostitution, it’s the place where the training begins. Until we as a society recognize all forms of sexual exploitation including “stripping” we will never end the vicious cycle of sex-trafficking and prostitution.”

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