Exploring the Entry and Exit Patterns of Women From Commercial Sexual Exploitation in India
Methods: A survey design was used to gather data from 163 women who were currently in, exiting, or had already exited the sex trade and were receiving, or had received, services from 10 different agencies spread across 5 major cities in India. After the agencies granted permission to access clientele who were interested in the study, the researcher administered a survey questionnaire in two Indian languages, in an interview format, due to the low level of literacy in India. The questionnaire consisted of standardized measures, generally used with traumatized populations, in Likert scale format along with close ended, open ended and multiple-choice questions. For the purpose of analysis, frequency distributions, factor analysis, cluster analysis, and analysis of variance were conducted.
Results: The mean age of entry of victims into CSE was 21 years with 42% being between 10 to 18 years at the time of induction. On average, the victims identified between 3 and 4 reasons as causing their entry into the sex trade, with economic conditions, peer pressure, neglect by family, poverty, and being cheated and sold, cited most often. Factor analysis revealed six dimensions to the exit process as determined by stages of change. These dimensions showed differential relationships to social support, substance use, mental health problems, impact of adverse childhood experiences, and status in the sex trade. Additionally, a significant association was found between level of service satisfaction among the victims and types of services they received from different agencies.
Conclusions and Implications: The knowledge gained from this study would assist in developing a preliminary exit model which could be tested in other cultures, and in developing or modifying the services currently offered to better meet the needs of the victims of CSE during their specific stage in the exit process, empowering them to regain their life and reduce the possibility of being re-trafficked back into the sex trade.