Realities of Human Trafficking

Children who are homeless or run away are more vulnerable to trafficking.Those who have been abused or faced trauma, live in unstable situations, or in families battling addiction, are at greater risk of trafficking than those in more stable living environments.
Traffickers usually use grooming and manipulation, not kidnapping.Traffickers get to know their victims, online or in person, and carefully groom them over time, to build trust. Common ploys include forming romantic relationships with their victims, or promising them glamorous jobs like modeling.  
Not all human trafficking involves sex.Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to get another person to provide labor or commercial sex.
Victims virtually always know their traffickers and trust them, at least in the beginning.  Many survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, including spouses, and by family members, including parents.  
Victims and survivors of sex trafficking are not always women and girls.Men and boys are also victimized by sex traffickers. LGBTQ boys and young men are seen as particularly vulnerable to trafficking.  
Human trafficking also happens in otherwise legal industries.Human trafficking cases have been reported and prosecuted in restaurants, cleaning services, construction, factories and more.  
Victims often stay in trafficking situations for complicated reasons, not because they are physically unable to leave.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 as victims.  
Labor trafficking is not only a problem in developing countries.      Labor trafficking occurs in the United States and in other developed countries but is reported at lower rates than sex trafficking.  
Trafficking victims don’t always want help getting out.  Self-identification as a trafficking victim or survivor happens along a continuum. Fear, isolation, guilt, shame, misplaced loyalty and expert manipulation are factors that may keep a person from seeking help or identifying as a victim even if they are, in fact, being actively trafficked.