What is child sex trafficking?

NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE

National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888

We have several facts below but first, what is human trafficking?

Human Trafficking is really slavery, whether it’s sex trafficking, labor trafficking, or domestic servitude.

It’s typically not like the movie Taken. It’s more often a case of someone “grooming” another person, preying on them.

FACTS ABOUT CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING

  • Every child is at risk.

  • It is not just a foreign problem.

  • The United States makes up for a third of the world’s demand.

  • Texas alone makes up for a fourth of the US demand.

  • The average age of a trafficking victim is 11 – 14.

  • The average lifespan when a child is trafficked is 7 years.

  • 33% of runaways are trafficked within 48 hours.

  • Foster care children are actually targeted.

  • Only 1%-2% of the victims are ever rescued.

  • Grooming (where traffickers prey upon a child) is still a product of in-person contact; however, technology is playing an increasing role.

  • A “trafficker” is the same as a pimp.

  • Sex trafficking is the same thing as sex slavery.

  • The majority of kids being trafficked are in school at least part of the time they are in "the life."

  • This means that they are being sold for sex at night or on the weekends and still show up to school.

  • Some children are being trafficked by their family so it’s more difficult to help them.

  • Drugs are a one time sale whereas you can sell a human over and over again in one night (often the act is only 11 minutes and on to the next).

  • Billions of dollars are made from selling humans.

SIGNS TO LOOK FOR

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?

  • Truancy: has a child stopped attending school?

  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?

  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?

  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?

  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?

  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?

  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?

  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers?

  • Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g. where they go or whom they talk to?

  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?

  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?

  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?

  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

(SOURCE: HOMELAND SECURITY)

WHAT IS "GROOMING?"

THIS MEANS THAT PREDATORS ARE BEFRIENDING A CHILD OR TEEN IN-PERSON (AT SCHOOL, THE MALL, OR THROUGH A FRIEND).

The predator is patiently learning all about them so they get a child or teen to trust them. They also use social media to try to develop that connection.

 

What can you do if you think your peer is a victim or suspect someone is a victim? 

If possible, try to have a conversation with your peer and get to know them and their story without endangering them. Be careful! You could make it worse for them, especially if their pimp is watching. If you’re not able to talk to them, there are a couple of options:

Download and use the app, Redlight Traffic.
Call National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888

You can also email beLydia at hello@belydia.org.

 

Common Sense Media improves the lives of kids and families by providing independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media.

 

Shared Hope International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that exists to prevent sex trafficking and restore and bring justice to women and children who have been victimized through sex trafficking.

 

Polaris is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that works to combat and prevent modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

 

More Information on Internet Safety for Kids.

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