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Commercial sexual exploitation includes a wide range of sexual activities which men profit from or buy from women and which objectify and harm women. It includes prostitution, phone sex, internet sex/chat rooms, stripping, pole dancing, lap dancing, peep shows, pornography, trafficking, sex tourism and mail order brides.

Who is at risk?

It's difficult to quantify the numbers of women involved in commercial sexual exploitation. There is strong evidence that women abused through commercial sexual exploitation have experience of other forms of abuse. For instance, women involved in prostitution report much higher levels of violence than other women, including childhood sexual abuse. Although fewer men are involved in prostitution, they become involved for the same reasons as women, such as having a lack of options available, or previous experience of abuse, drug misuse and homelessness.

What can I do?

If you are working with someone who is involved in commercial sexual exploitation:

  • make sure they are physically safe
  • listen and be sensitive
  • offer supportive statements
  • avoid judging or blaming
  • respect confidentiality
  • validate feelings

What help is there?

Contact us on the details below or get in touch with one of the following organisations:

Rape Counselling and Resource Centre

Kilmarnock based Rape Counselling and Resource Centre (RCRC) has been working with and for women and girls (aged 13+) to reduce the harm caused by rape, abuse and sexual violence since 1987. The centre provides free and confidential counselling, support and information to women and girls who have been raped, abused or experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives.

Rape Crisis Scotland

08088 010302 - free Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline, available every day, 6pm to midnight

Women's Support Project

The Women's Support Project works to raise awareness of the extent, causes and effect of male violence against women, and for improved services for those affected by violence.

NHS Open Road

NHS Open Road is a service for men of any age who perform sexual acts in exchange for some form of payment. 
Telephone: 0141 420 7284

Contact Information

Health and Social Care Partnership
The Johnnie Walker Bond
15 Strand Street
Telephone: 01563 554200
Social Work: Ayrshire Urgent Care Service
Note: The Emergency Out Of Hours Social Work Service is available after 5pm until 9am, Monday to Thursday and after 4pm on Friday until 9am on Monday (throughout the weekend). It is also available during public holidays. You will be put through to the Ayrshire Social Work out of Hours Response Service. A qualified Social Worker will assess the circumstances referred.