Some Terms Used in Sex Trafficking

When working with victims of sexual exploitation, it helps to understand the language they may use. Definitions here are taken and adapted from “Domestic Sex Trafficking: The Criminal Operations of the American Pimp” by Polaris Project and “Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children” by Linda Smith (via Shared Hope International).

Bottom: One of a group of victims under the control of an exploiter or pimp, the bottom helps the trafficker exert control over other victims.

Daddy: The term a pimp will often require his victim to call him. 

Dates, johns, tricks: Pays or trades something of value for sex.

Facilitators: People or businesses that enable traffickers to exploit victims. Includes taxi drivers, hotel owners, and newspapers or websites where traffickers advertise.

Family or folk: Group of victims under the control of one exploiter or pimp.

The life: The experience of being used as a victim in prostitution.

Trafficker: (also known as pimp) Someone who receives money or something of value for the sexual exploitation of another person.

Stroll or track: Places where street prostitution occurs.

Wife in law: Women or girls under the control of one pimp.


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