Stuck in the Sex Industry: Scarlet Hope Helps Exploited and Trafficked Women in Las Vegas

In the heart of Las Vegas, a city famed for its dazzling lights and endless entertainment, lies a hidden and harrowing reality. Here, amidst the allure of nightlife and the promise of fortune, many women find themselves ensnared in the shadows of exploitation. 

The effects of their work on the lives of adult entertainers in Las Vegas is a grim facet of this city, often overlooked by the throngs of tourists and obscured by the glitz of the Strip. Yet, amidst this darkness, organizations like Scarlet Hope emerge, dedicated to offering support, healing, and new beginnings to those who have been trafficked and exploited. 

Las Vegas is home to a wide array of strip clubs, adult conventions, and other facets of the “triple X” world. Tourists ceaselessly punch queries into their phones such as nuru massage in Las Vegas or is prostitution legal in Las Vegas?–never stopping to think that they are potentially supporting a business whose underworkings they’d rather not know about.

Look at these statistics from the Scarlet Hope website,

  • 20,000+ dancers work in the adult industry of Las Vegas on any given night
  • There are 200+ adult entertainment industry establishments in Las Vegas
  • There are 16,000+ potential victims of exploitation and trafficked identified online

Scarlet Hope is a nationwide Christian outreach community that operates in locations across the United States, and one of those communities is right here in Las Vegas.

The Story of Scarlet Hope

When she was 21 years old, a woman named Rachelle Starr felt a deep yearning for a meaningful purpose aligned with her Christian faith. Unexpectedly, she felt called to minister to women working in the sex industry, a revelation she received while driving past an adult theater. 

After 18 months of prayer, Rachelle, alongside a few friends, ventured into a strip club with the intent of offering support and kindness. Surprisingly, upon offering to bring a home-cooked meal to the women there, the club’s owner welcomed her gesture. This marked the beginning of her mission, leading to regular visits to provide home-cooked meals to the clubs in Louisville. Rachelle and her friends grew in their unique ministry based on compassion and service.

Scarlet Hope’s work in Louisville has expanded beyond one city to become a growing network. Volunteers replicated the ministry in Greater Cincinnati in 2009. The ministry spread, and now there are operations in 11 major U.S. cities (and aspirations to reach 25 cities).

How Scarlet Hope Fights Exploitation and Sex Trafficking in Las Vegas

Scarlet Hope is fighting hard against exploitation and sex trafficking in Las Vegas. They’ve grown from giving out home-cooked meals to offering a wide range of help for women caught in tough situations. This organization is all about showing kindness and giving these women a chance at a better life.

Starting with outreach programs, the members of Scarlet Hope connect with women stuck in the sex industry, offering friendship and support right where they are. Scarlet Hope also provides safe places to live, counseling, and training for jobs, aiming to help these women stand on their own two feet again.

Through their work, the organization started by Rachelle Starr in Louisville, Kentucky, is making a big difference–one woman at a time. The volunteers of Scarlet Hope show that with enough care and support, it’s possible to leave behind a difficult past and start fresh. This organization is not just fighting against sex trafficking in Las Vegas; they’re also lighting a path to hope and independence for many.

A woman's hand offering hope and help

How to Get Help

If you are a woman in the adult industry in Las Vegas seeking help or looking to escape situations of exploitation or sex trafficking, know that support is available to you. Here are steps you can take:

Contact Scarlet Hope: Reach out to Scarlet Hope directly for immediate assistance, support services, and information on safe housing options. They offer confidential help and a range of programs designed to support your exit from the industry and transition to a new beginning.

National Hotlines: Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to 233733 (BeFree). This 24/7 service can provide you with immediate help, resources, and information on local assistance.

Seek Legal Assistance: Organizations like the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada offer free legal services to individuals in need, including those looking to escape exploitative situations.

Connect with a Local Church or Community Group: Many local faith-based organizations and community groups partner with Scarlet Hope and can provide support, counseling, and resources to help you through your transition.

Remember, you are not alone, and there are people ready and willing to help you take steps towards a safer, healthier future.

How to Get Involved

Getting involved with Scarlet Hope is a powerful way to make a positive impact in the lives of women affected by sex trafficking and exploitation. 

Here are a few ways you can contribute:

Volunteer: Offer your time and skills by joining the outreach programs, helping with administrative tasks, or providing professional services such as counseling or job training.

Donate: Financial contributions support the essential services Scarlet Hope provides, from safe housing to rehabilitation programs.

Educate Yourself and Others: Learn more about sex trafficking and share your knowledge with your community to raise awareness.

Pray: Support the organization and the women it serves through prayer, asking for safety, healing, and success in their efforts to rebuild lives.

By getting involved, you’re not just helping individuals; you’re part of a larger movement to restore hope and dignity to those who have been exploited.

Scarlet Hope Media Appearances

Learn more from these podcasts and articles:

The Girl Defined Show: Sharing Jesus with Women in Strip Clubs with Rachelle Starr. A conversation between Rachelle Starr and Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal on The Girl Defined Show.

Be Love. Do Good. Answering God’s Call to Shine in the Darkest Places with Rachelle Starr. A conversation between Rachelle Starr and Kristi Hayes on the Be Love Do Good podcast.

Love Where You Are Podcast. Answering God’s Call to Shine in the Darkest Places. A conversation between Rachelle Starr and Somer Colbert on the Love Where You Are Podcast.

Strong Women Podcast. Bringing Christ’s Love and Light to Women in Strip Clubs with Rachelle Starr. A conversation between Rachelle Starr and Sarah Stonestreet on the Strong Women Podcast.

Live Today TV: Called to Minister in Strip Clubs. A conversation between Rachelle Starr and Randy Robison and Tammy Trent on Life Today TV.

FAQs About Sex Trafficking in Las Vegas:

Does sex trafficking happen in Las Vegas?

Yes, sex trafficking does occur in Las Vegas. The city’s vibrant nightlife and large tourism industry create conditions that traffickers can exploit to coerce or deceive individuals into trafficking situations.

How common is it for sex trafficking in Las Vegas?

The exploitation of women and sex trafficking is a significant issue in Las Vegas, partly due to the city’s international reputation as a party destination. While exact numbers are hard to pinpoint because of the hidden nature of trafficking, law enforcement and support organizations report that it is a persistent problem in the area.

How to stay safe from sex trafficking in Las Vegas?

Staying safe from sex trafficking in Las Vegas involves being aware of your surroundings, trusting your instincts, and knowing who to contact if you feel unsafe. Always keep your phone charged and with you, stay with friends when possible, and avoid sharing personal information with strangers. If you’re in a situation that feels dangerous, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

Is sex trafficking bad in Las Vegas?

Yes, sex trafficking is a serious and harmful issue in Las Vegas, as it is in many parts of the world. Victims of sex trafficking often face physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. Efforts by local authorities and organizations like Scarlet Hope are ongoing to combat this issue and support victims.

Is there sex trafficking in Las Vegas?

Yes, there is sex trafficking in Las Vegas. It is a problem that affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds, drawing attention from law enforcement and support organizations working to end trafficking and help those who have been exploited.

Media Credit: “XXX” Neon Sign photo and women’s hand photo licensed from Adobe. Video embedded from YouTube @thescarlethope

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