Human sex trafficking is big business, organized crime and the third largest criminal enterprise in the world. The United States faces interstate trafficking of minors. The majority of the victims are runaways or thrown away youths who live on the streets.
Human sex trafficking begins through forced abduction, pressure, or through deceptive agreements between parents and traffickers. Once involved in prostitution, victims travel far from their homes and are isolated from all they know. Few children develop relationships with peers or adults other than the person victimizing them. Their lifestyle revolves around violence, forced drug use and constant threats.
The number of young children and teens living on the streets has become an epidemic in the United States. It is no longer an ‘international’ problem. Many victims are engaged in formal slavery and organized crime networks where they are trafficked nationally. The average age of a victim begins at 11. Girls and boys are affected.
Human sex trafficking is organized and violent. Trafficking victims are controlled, sold, locked in rooms or brothels, drugged, terrorized, beaten, and raped repeatedly. Such tactics allow the traffickers to control their victims mentally and physically. The captives are afraid and intimidated that they rarely speak out, even when faced with escape.
Traffickers use force, drugs, emotional tactics, and financial methods to control their victims. The traffickers establish an easy bond with the victims by promises of marriage and great lifestyle. They claim to ‘love’ and ‘need’ the victim and any sex acts are for their future together. They may even have the victims refer to them as ‘daddy’ to create a tie that binds. Traffickers use violence, such as gang rape, drugs and other forms of abuse to control their victims.
Control includes confiscating birth certificates, passports, and drivers licenses from the victims. These abusive methods of control influence the victims physically and mentally. Attachments formed with the trafficker that makes it difficult for law enforcement to breach the bond of control the trafficker has over the victim.
Traffickers can lure victims with modeling contracts, glamour and lifestyle promises, then force them into grueling schedules of dancing, performing, then to walk the streets after hours until 4 or 5 a.m. propositioning clients. They may beat the victims to force them to work, along with isolation, and stringent rules to control them.
Human trafficking cases happen ALL over the United States. Numerous web sites openly advertise for prostitution. Advertisements in the sports section as deceptive massage services, huge sport events are another opportunity that local trafficker’s flock too. Young captive victims are in Hometown, USA in a middle class neighborhood part of a network of stash homes. These girls are sex slaves, not prostitutes.
Human trafficking warning signs include streetwalkers, strip clubs,
massage parlors, motels, spas and truck stops. Human trafficking
involves big money. Human sex trafficking is among the homeless and
runaway juveniles, criminal gang activity, crimes involving immigrant
children and domestic violence calls.