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Victims of sex trafficking are frequently recruited to work in strip clubs across the United States. Women, men, and minors may be recruited to work in strip clubs as hostesses, servers or dancers, but then are required to provide commercial sex to customers.
Strip clubs are designed to provide the space and environment in which buyers may purchase commercial sex. Victims of sex trafficking in strip clubs must adhere to extensive, pre-determined schedules and are frequently moved between multiple clubs. Commercial sex sometimes takes place in the bathroom, VIP, or lap dance rooms, or offsite in hotels or buyer’s homes.
Traffickers in strip clubs may be the business owners, shift leaders, fake massage business managers, brothel managers or independent traffickers. Often clubs and bars involved in sex trafficking offer commercial sex through escort services, massage parlors or brothels that are connected to the bar or located nearby. Strip club owners generally consider women to be independent contractors or employees of the escort manager/driving network, not the club, and often require the women to pay a house fee to the club for the space to perform.
A study of exotic dancers found that 100% had been physically assaulted in the clubs where they were employed, with a prevalence ranging from 3-15 times over the course of their involvement in exotic dancing. Violence included physical assault, attempted vaginal penetration, attempted rape,and rape .
(Credit: National Human Trafficking Hotline, More Precious Than Rubies)