In Ruhama’s experience and what is affirmed by multiple studies , research and statistics, women with the fewest viable options, frequently from marginalised, migrant or impoverished backgrounds, make up the bulk of the sex trade.
If a ‘choice’ is made and if no human coercion is involved, it is frequently one made out of a lack of viable options or to survive against another existence; poverty. Most people agree that having sex for payment out of a lack of choice or to escape poverty, versus stacking shelves for payment out of a lack of choice or to escape poverty, are two very different things and affect the person involved in significantly different ways.
Ruhama acknowledges that there are indeed a small number of women who are independent and who are making that choice amongst other options in the face of the well-documented harms of the sex trade. But these are in the very small minority and do not represent the experiences of the majority of women in the sex trade who encounter high levels of coercion, poverty, abuse and violence – psychological, physical and sexual, prior to entering and within the sex trade