How This Happens

Victims are... Targeted, Tricked and Traumatized

Targeted: Pimps are predators who seek out vulnerable victims, particularly runaways, or children experiencing trouble at home. They know these children have emotional and physical needs and they use this to their advantage. Pimps find victims in a variety of places such as shopping malls, schools, bus stops and in social media websites.
Tricked: Pimps are willing to invest a great deal of time and effort in their victim to break down a victim’s natural resistance and suspicion- buying them gifts, providing a place to stay, promising a loving relationship- before revealing their true intent. Frequently victims do not realize the deceptive nature of their trafficker’s interest in them, viewing their pimp as a caretaker and/or boyfriend.
Traumatized: A pimp’s use of psychological manipulation (causing the child to truly believe the pimp loves and cares for his or her well being) coupled with a physical control (threats, violence, or drug addiction) can make a victim feel trapped and powerless. This “trauma bond” is difficult to break and long-term treatment and counseling for victims is required.
  1. The average age of entry into prostitution is between 12 and 14 years of age.
  2. Sex trafficking does not discriminate.  Age, skin color, social economic class, or body type.
  3. The demand for younger and younger victims is increasing every year.  Johns (buyers) are seeking out under anger girls and pimps are constantly seeking new victims to fill that demand.
  4. There are more people being used as slaves today than in any other time in history.
  5. 1 in 4 children who run away from home are propositioned by a sex trafficker within 48 hours of leaving home.
  6. On average a child trapped in sex trafficking will remain enslaved between four and seven years.
  7. Human Trafficking is the second-fastest growing criminal industry, behind Drug Trafficking.
  8. In the United States, every two minutes, a child is bought sold or rented for sex.