Trafficking happens every day, including in our own back yards.
It is estimated that there are over 40.3 million people that are victims of human trafficking.
There are more girls, boys, teenagers, and young adults trapped in slavery than ever before. They are beaten, raped, and exploited for the profit of others.
Statistics in circles pertain to trafficking cases in the United States. Data by Polaris
A person is trafficked every 30 seconds
of victims are trafficked for sex
of trafficked victims are children
of victims trafficked are female
Threat of Modern-Day Slavery
Slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. Instead, it changed its form and continues to control and harm people. Today, people are being controlled by their exploiters and their freedom stripped away.
what is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. It involves traffickers who use force, fraud, or coercion to control and manipulate victims for the purpose of labor or sexual services against his or her will.
who are the victims?
Vulnerability is the common thread that most trafficking victims share.
Although anyone can be trafficked, evidence shows that when someone is highly vulnerable, they are more easily exploited, deceived, and manipulated—creating both despair and desperation. Those that become desperate are more likely to have that vulnerability abused.
Teens and young adults from marginalized and economically disadvantaged communities are targeted by traffickers.
Those with a history of child abuse, trauma sexual abuse, family neglect, violence, homelessness, extreme poverty, or a combination of many factors can contribute to vulnerability. The uneducated or unemployed, isolated and neglected, are all potential targets of traffickers.
Traffickers also target those with high risk factors who are without a strong support system such as runaways or involved in the juvenile justice or foster care system, homeless youth, youth aging out of foster care, LGBTQ minors, those with drug addictions, individuals that come from broken families, and those that feel emotionally isolated or depressed.
Traffickers exploit vulnerabilities that many people already face by using stories of a better life – whether that means a feeling of belonging, a better income, or a chance for new opportunities. While these claims may appear to be legitimate at first, unfortunately for many, they’re targeted as easy prey for exploitation.
of victims are never rescued
of victims are ever rescued
Together we can change
Tactics Used to Lure Victims
Traffickers lure their victims by using charm, lies and deception, promising a better life and opportunities to make money. They can use tales of romantic love, money, affection, attention, and promising them the world.
Traffickers will take the time to groom their victims, flatter them, make them think that they love and care for them, and persistently build a ‘true friendship’ to gain their trust. The appeal of being wanted and being loved blurs the trust factor.
Once the exploitation begins, traffickers use a cycle of abuse and affection to keep their victims in their clutches.
Estimated Human Trafficking
Generates Per Year
Supply & Demand
Human trafficking is the only industry in which supply and demand are the same thing: human beings.
Most importantly, condemnation is largely focused on traffickers, with significantly less attention and accountability placed on the conduct of sex purchasers. Sex purchasers are rarely seen as part of the crime and victimization.
Sex trafficking thrives because there is serious demand for sex with children here in the United States. Buyers are fueling the market with money to rape children and young teens, creating a demand that traffickers can’t ignore.
The heinous crime of human trafficking has become the second-largest criminal industry in the world. The motive of traffickers—regardless of the type of human trafficking they are engaged in—is clear: money. The business of human trafficking generates an estimated 150.2 billion in profits. The growing demand for sex is what keeps the trade going. If there were no buyers, then sex trafficking victims wouldn’t be needed. The rule is simple: no demand, no supply. If we can stop the buyers, we can put an end to trafficking.
Pornography is Linked to Human Trafficking
Porn, sexual exploitation and sex trafficking are inseparably linked.
Images that occur in pornography encourage, promote and normalize sex acts with violence and submission. Porn communicates that they want to be raped, strangled, hit, and made to do unfathomable sexual acts as normal and acceptable. Pornography absolutely perpetuates abuse, it dehumanizes people, and increases sex trafficking.
Porn viewers quickly become addicted, watching more and more, clicking on videos and images that are then directly fueling the demand for sex traffickers to make money by selling videos of their sex slaves to porn sites.
Porn is to trafficking as cigarettes are to cancer.
Pornography creates compulsive sexual behaviors and sexual dysfunctions in viewers which then are tempted to go out and buy sex from minors in order to fulfill the unrealistic fantasies that scenes created in pornographic videos. The increasing demand for pornography increases the demand to live out real experiences which then fuel the demand for sex trafficking. It’s a vicious cycle.
child sexual abuse material
One unforeseen consequence of the rise of the internet has been an explosion in the illicit trade of child sexual abuse images and videos.
25 million images are reviewed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children annually.
Child sexual abuse material (legally known as child pornography) refers to any content that depicts sexually explicit activities involving a child. Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor.
Child sexual abuse images and videos found online involve both boys and girls from 0-18 years old. In their assessment of reports to their tipline, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection found that children under 12 years old were depicted in 78.30% of the images and videos assessed by their team, and 63.40% of those children were under 8 years of age.
Why don’t victims try to escape?
Why don’t they run?
Why don’t they speak up?
Many people often wonder why someone caught in these horrible conditions doesn’t do something to escape or report their abuse. The realities of the exploitation suffered and the complications around each situation are often misunderstood.
There are many reasons why someone who is being trafficked might not be able to leave. Victims are often taught to distrust others – particularly law enforcement, this is especially true if they are in a country illegally and could be deported if discovered. Victims are very rarely left alone and are threatened with violence. Severe retaliation or attacks on their families and loved ones hold many in fear of disobeying their traffickers.
Victims experience both physical and psychological abuse that hinders the possibility to escape. Victims of trafficking are emotionally manipulated, brainwashed and coerced to keep them from leaving.
Additionally, victims often have psychological trauma from their abuse, which can often cause them to bond to their abuser in irrational ways. Victims develop emotional attachments to their perpetrator as a coping mechanism to the abuse. Victims of human trafficking do not want to remain victims, but they feel trapped.