Victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation are intensely manipulated and coerced by pimps and traffickers to believe that they are willing participants in their own exploitation and worthless beyond their role as a money generating commodity.
A sexually exploited individual's history of victimization and trauma sets her up for a psychological belief that she deserves no better and has no other options. The journey out of such abusive and violent situations is a difficult one, especially because the women involved have often been subjected to abuse since childhood; they are truly the girls that got left behind. For many of them there is no such thing as choice, and once they are in it, it is extremely difficult to get out.
Commercially sexually exploited individuals are subject to physical injuries and psychological and emotional abuse on a daily bases. Injuries such as broken bones, concussions, burns, traumatic brain injury are but a few physical issues, and among Journey Out clients 75% suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. An overwhelming number, 87%, have histories of childhood sexual abuse.
As a result, commercially sexually exploited individuals are among some of the most vulnerable populations experiencing issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, substance abuse, rape and sexual trauma, domestic abuse and general violence against women.