Pimp. We’ve all heard the term thrown around in main-stream media and casual conversation, but do we really know the meaning of this phrase? The dictionary defines a pimp as:
Pimp (noun): a man who controls prostitutes and arranges clients for them, taking part of their earnings in return.
You read that correctly. A man who makes a profit from selling prostitutes. A man who creates an underground business to feed into the illegal commercial sex industry. As disturbing as this may be, it is a very real problem facing our city in all walks of life.
Don’t be fooled, however, to think that a pimp is exclusive to men. There are women who act as pimps as well and they are known as “Madams” – the female version of prostitution control. We at Blue Heart International have made it our mission to fight this epidemic and provide a solution for the battered women who are victims of sex-trafficking.
Countless reports show that 80% of prostitute wish they could get out of it. The more startling fact is that 40% of prostitutes are former child prostitutes who were illegally forced into the profession through human trafficking or were once teenage runaways. (Sex-Crimes Laws)
With this in mind, it is of utmost importance to be aware of the critical signs to identify a pimp and sex-trafficker. Don’t miss the signs – they are more common than you think.
- He controls prostitutes to make money. A pimp is someone who controls the actions and lives from the monetary proceeds of one or more women who work in the streets. Generally, pimping becomes trafficking when “the threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim” is present.
- He became a pimp because he grew up around it. Research suggests that one-third of pimps interviewed said they entered the underground commercial sex economy because they grew up around it. Exposure to sex work as children made the trade seem like a normal, achievable means to earn a living.
- His biggest goal is to recruit more prostitutes. Recruitment is the most important component of any pimp’s business model. Pimps recruited individuals of all ages, genders, and races. However, multiple pimps noted that white women are more profitable in the sex market and easier to manage. You’ve heard that word-of-mouth is the most powerful way to recruit/attract more prospects to your business. This is no different in the sex industry. Pimp-managed employees play a critical role in recruiting more individuals to engage in prostitution. Employees approached individuals, encouraged friends to engage in prostitution under the pimp, bolstered the pimp’s reputation, and explained the business to recruited individuals.
- He finds his prostitute in the most common spaces. Pimps recruited sex workers in different spaces, such as scouting at transportation hubs, mass transit stations, nightclubs, strip bars, malls, high schools, college campuses, local neighborhoods, as well as through online and social media channels.
- He’s mastered “Finesse Pimping.” Pimps appeal to individuals’ emotional dependencies and economic needs through “finesse pimping.” Studies revealed that pimps use emotional manipulation to recruit and control employees. This form of coercion and fraud includes feigning romantic interest, emphasizing mutual dependency between pimp and employee, discouraging women from “having sex for free,” promising material comforts, and establishing a reputation as a “good” pimp.
- He uses RULES against drugs for his employees. The majority of pimps reported imposing rules on employees. Many pimps said that employees using hard drugs are typically unreliable and a danger to themselves. Others prefer that their employees not smoke marijuana or drink, but still tolerate it. About one in five pimps said they impose restrictions on their employees about what clients they can solicit, often banning certain races and younger men
- He punishes his employees with either physical violence, isolation and confiscating possessions. “Even in the absence of clearly articulated rules, pimps used discipline to exert control over employees and encourage dependency.” According to studies the most common form of punishment is psychological and emotional abuse along with physical violence.
- He forces the prostitutes to meet a sales quota. In terms of revenue, about 18 percent of pimps said they impose a dollar figure quota that employees would have to earn each day. These figures range from $400 to $1,000, depending on the day of the week. Other pimps say that, instead of requiring quotas, they incentivize performance by collecting and depositing cash at the end of every night so that the group starts each day without money. If the employees want to ensure food, lodging, and other necessities, they would have to go out and earn more money, pimps reasoned.
- He is afraid of getting arrested and prosecuted. Nearly 21 percent of the pimps interviewed said their greatest fear was being arrested and prosecuted. About 18 percent said their greatest fear was for their personal safety, while only 6 percent cited employee safety as their chief concern.
This study can be sourced from the Urban Institute about the underground commercial sex economy in eight major US Cities. Although this study does cover a wide variety of topics it provides some very revealing data on the act of coercing people into prostitution.