The Prostitute as a Victim

  • Jennifer James
  • Lois Lee
Part of the Women in Context: Development and Stresses book series (WICO)


Prostitution is often referred to as a “victimless crime” or a “crime without a complainant.” These terms are used to characterize crimes, such as vagrancy, gambling, pornography, and prostitution, wherein, typically, none of the involved citizens files a complaint with the police. Because the prostitute and her customer are involved in a mutually agreed–upon relationship, neither party feels any need for the services or interference of the authorities—in contrast to the relationship between a burglar and his homeowner victim, where the latter is quite clearly an involuntary participant in the interaction. Those who refer to the prostitute as a victim do so in a nonlegal sense. She is seen as a victim because of her life–style, her “immorality,” or her “degradation.”


Sexual Abuse Criminal Justice System Occupational Choice Uniform Crime Report Sexual Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer James
    • 1
  • Lois Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington Medical SchoolSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Children of the Nighta social service program for teenage prostitutesBeverly HillsUSA

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