How This Happens
Victims are... Targeted, Tricked and TraumatizedTargeted: 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.