The multibillion-dollar industry of human trafficking deserves no place in a civilized society. Human trafficking is – NOT - humane! Compassion, justice, and specialized care is needed for every rescued victim of human trafficking. Vigorous prosecution needs to be applied to all individuals who prey on others, regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, or culture. We are committed to healing, restoration, mental clarity, and giving victims back their dignity. If this generation – your generation – my generation - does not stand up to eradicate human trafficking . . . who will . . . when will it happen . . . if not now . . . THEN WHEN?
Human trafficking can happen to anyone, but some people are more vulnerable than others. Significant risk factors include recent migration or relocation, substance use, mental health concerns, involvement with the child welfare system and being a runaway or homeless youth. Often, traffickers identify and leverage their victims’ vulnerabilities in order to create dependency.
Perpetrators of human trafficking span all racial, ethnic, and gender demographics and are as diverse as survivors. Some use their privilege, wealth, and power as a means of control while others experience the same socio-economic oppression as their victims. They include individuals, business owners, members of a gang or network, parents or family members of victims, intimate partners, owners of farms or restaurants, and powerful corporate executives and government representatives.
Human Trafficking is widespread and exact numbers are hard to come by. It follows patterns, but every situation is unique. There is so much more to learn, and so much misinformation already out there. Here’s what we really know!
In 2019 the trafficking hotline saw nearly 20 percent increase over 2018, The number of victims and survivors that contacted them directly about their own situation. Hearing directly from the person affected gives the best information and an avenue to provide the the most meaningful help, whether that be finding a safe place to stay, an attorney, a trauma counselor, transportation or seeking a law enforcement intervention.
2019 National Human Trafficking Hotline Statistics
22,326 trafficking victims & survivor
11,500 Situations of Human Trafficking
1,912 suspicious businesses
Many cases go unreported, making it a difficult crime for law enforcement to spot. Many trafficked victims, because they are technically committing a crime, do not come forward because they fear prosecution. That silences the victims! Traffickers often tell the victims, who are exploited for sex, that they are offenders, threating to call the police and report them for prostitution if they push back. They also threaten their lives and the lives of their families with death. Many of them are beaten down, (physically and mentally). ALL of them are abused in one way or another, The victims do not know who to trust and often do not speak the language of the country they are in.
1. It's always or usually a violent crime. The most pervasive myth about human trafficking is that it always, or often, involves kidnapping or physically forcing someone into a situation. In reality, most traffickers use psychological means such as, tricking, defrauding, manipulating, or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labor.
2. Traffickers target victims they don’t know. Many survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, including spouses, and by family members, including parents.
3. Human trafficking only happens in illegal or underground industries. Human trafficking cases have been reported and prosecuted in industries including restaurants, cleaning services, construction, factories and more.
4. Human trafficking involves moving, traveling or transporting a person across state or national borders. Human trafficking does not require any movement whatsoever. Survivors can be recruited and trafficked in their own home towns, even their own homes.
5. If the trafficked person consented to be in their initial situation, then it cannot be human trafficking or against their will because they “knew better”. Initial consent to commercial sex or a labor setting prior to acts of force, fraud, or coercion (or if the victim is a minor in a sex trafficking situation) is not relevant to the crime, nor is payment.
6. People being trafficked are physically unable to leave their situations, locked inh, and held against their willha. It is sometimes the case. More often, however, people in trafficking situations stay for reasons that are more complicated. Some lack the basic necessities to physically get out – such as transportation or a safe place to live. Some are afraid for their safety. Some have been so effectively manipulated that they do not identify at that point as being under the control of another person.
7. All commercial sex is human trafficking. All commercial sex involving a minor is legally considered human trafficking. Commercial sex involving an adult is human trafficking if the person providing commercial sex is doing so against his or her will as a result of force, fraud or coercion.