“Fugueuse” on TF1: the prostitution of minors, a scourge difficult to fight

It is a real scourge. In recent years, underage prostitution has exploded in France. According to a report submitted in July 2021 by the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, they would be between 7,000 and 10,000, overwhelmingly young girls aged 15 to 17, selling their bodies on classified ad sites. A staggering figure, but probably below reality.

In order to raise awareness on this subject, TF1 is broadcasting this Thursday Runaway, a punchy fiction that follows the descent into hell of a young girl from a good family who sinks into prostitution after being manipulated by a pimp with whom she falls madly in love. As the fiction shows, today adolescent girls from all social and economic backgrounds fall into the trap of prostitution and not just young girls in great precariousness.

When you see that you are earning someone’s salary in a day, you say to yourself “Normal job, what is it for?”– Louna, 16 years old

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Because, if the prostitution of minors has always existed, the emergence of social networks plays a role in accelerating the process. According to a police study cited in the report, 85% of underage victims are exploited by “city pimps”, a trend which appeared in 2015 and which “quickly took off”. This scourge is all the more difficult to fight as a large proportion of the young girls concerned do not consider themselves to be victims. This is the case of Louna, 17, who agreed to testify in the documentary Prostitution: teens in danger, directed by Pauline Liétar and broadcast just after the fiction, at 11:10 pm.

The young girl can do ten passes a day. “We can’t say it’s fun when 15 men pass us over. At one point, we don’t feel anything anymore”, explains the teenager who says she can earn up to 1700 euros in one day. “When you see that you are earning someone’s salary in a day, you say to yourself ‘What is normal work for? ‘“.

While some adolescent girls are kidnapped, kidnapped and forced into prostitution, many of them are voluntary and in search of easy money. “It’s hard to talk to them, they think they’re strong and confuse sexuality with maturity. They don’t see themselves as victims. They just run their business.”, deplores Margaux Bourbier, lawyer for the Association action teams against pimping.

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What to do ? In an attempt to combat this constantly growing phenomenon, the government will present a national plan to combat underage prostitution in the fall. “To be effective, we must work on all dimensions of prostitution”, explained last July the Secretary of State for Children and Families Adrien Taquet who promised “concrete measures” bearing on “prevention, identification, legal treatment, both educational and medical care, and finally the training of all the professionals concerned”.

The fiction Runaway, broadcast on Thursday 23 September at 9:05 p.m. on TF1, will be followed by the documentary Prostitution: teens in danger, at 11:10 p.m.

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