Sexual exploitation           

The exchange of sex for food, shelter, drugs/alcohol, money and/or approval. Sexual exploitation is not a lifestyle choice – it’s child abuse.

Source: Sacred Lives: Canadian Aboriginal Children and Youth Speak Out About Sexual Exploitation, (Kingsley & Mark, 2000)


Statistics on the sexual exploitation of children and youth

  • Approximately 400 children and youth are being sexually exploited on the streets of Winnipeg each year. (statistics include only visible sex trade exploitation).
  • 80% of child sexual exploitation is hidden in "gang houses" and "trick pads".
  • Thirteen years old is the average age that children reported their first experience of being exploited through the sex trade. Age range is from 8 years - 16 years old.
  • 70% – 80% of adults involved in the sex trade were also first exploited under the age of 18.
  • 85% - 90% of sexually exploited children/youth are female; 10% - 15% are male.
  • 52% were sexually abused as children and 52% were physically abused as children.
  • 81% were runaways.
  • 33% were homeless.
  • 72% were in the care of Child and Family Services.
  • 93% had involvement with drugs and alcohol.
  • 53% had used alcohol before the age of 12.
  • Seven times is the average number of attempts individuals had made trying to escape or leave the sex trade.
  • 44% have been treated for an emotional problem by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counsellor.
  • 38% have attempted suicide.
  • 63% failed or repeated a grade in school. 77% were suspended from school.
  • Average education level is grade 8.
  • 70% - 80% of children and youth exploited in Manitoba are of Aboriginal descent.

Sources: Transition, Education, and Resources for Females (TERF) Mentor and Youth Program Evaluation Reports 2005; 2006 Prostitutes and Other Women for Equal Rights (POWER) Evaluation Report, Campbell and Heinrich, 1995.