There are numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding sex trafficking, a prevalent one being that all trafficking victims are bound and cannot move on their own volition. While anyone under 18 years old who exchanges sex for something of value is a trafficking victim, exploitation exists on a spectrum and every victim’s circumstances are different. Most often, psychological coercion and threats are used to induce forced commercial sex in a trafficking situation.
Someone you know may be in a sex trafficking situation if:
They want to exit the sex trade; however, they are scared or unable to leave.
They have a pimp or manager in the sex trade.
They work an industry where they may feel pressured to engage in sex acts for money, such as a strip club, illicit massage business or escort service.
They live where they work or have guards who provide their transportation to and from work.
They have a controlling, and even abusive, parent, guardian, romantic partner, acquaintance, or “sponsor” who monitors their daily activities and seems to control their ability to communicate with others.
They have a history of criminal convictions for prostitution, loitering, obstruction of the highway, retail theft and/or drug offenses.