In Indian society, several topics are considered taboos like periods, women drinking and smoking, LGBTQ, prostitution, etc.
This blog covers the social challenges which are faced by the victims of sex traffficking. If simply stated then prostitution is just like other professions where one provides service and gets paid, however, this particular profession is considered derogatory and women involved in this profession are not respected and valued. Moreover, their family members receive ill treatment just because of the stigma which persists in our society.
Prostitution is neither legal nor illegal in India because several illegal practices are conducted in the name of this profession such as solicitation, pimping, trafficking, running brothels, etc. However, the unclear status of prostitution makes things even harder for the victims of sex trafficking. Because of the unclear status, victims are unable to file complaints against forceful ill acts as in most of the cases women end up being in jail due to their profession. Other social challenge is ostracizing; this includes the children of victims being ignored at schools and other institutes and other family members being excluded from the social gatherings.
Furthermore, the children who live in red-light districts have to face harsh conditions, for example; daughters of women indulged in the profession often face sexual harassment in schools and even at their own houses, also, children gain knowledge about the adult acts at an early age which is not healthy for their mental well-being. Such scenarios push the children to choose wrong habits like smoking and chewing tobacco, even 14-year-olds are addicted to smoking.
All these social challenges directly affect the mental health of the victims of sex trafficking and their family members. There have been many protests in our country to make prostitution normal or legal, however, we have a long way to go. It should be taken into account that the safety of the people of red light areas is equally important and as citizens, these workers have all the equal rights. There are several reasons because of which women choose this profession and out of all those reasons the main ones are poverty and vulnerability. They already have a lot of challenges to overcome, so let’s not add up to their vulnerability and instead help them raise their voice, fulfil their necessities and assist their children to fulfil their dreams and help their families live better lives.
Several NGOs like APNE AAP are working to help the victims of sex trafficking overcome their problems in different types of ways such as spreading awareness about their issues, providing meals, helping with education, etc. We too can do the same, our little step can help someone to overcome the bigger problem.