Some interesting statistics:
- 62% of victims are tricked into trafficking by someone they know and trust (boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, etc.).
- 35% of victims are sold into human trafficking by their own family.
Only 3% of victims are kidnapped.
- Every year, 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation.
- Every minute, two children become victims of sexual exploitation.
A trafficker/pimp will know within seconds of contacting their victim if they “got them”.
- It takes as little as 8 minutes for a trafficker to win over his/her target.
- 90% of all the children trafficked for sexual purposes are American children.
- There are as many as 2.8 million runaway children each year in the U.S.
- Within 48 hours of a child being on the street, 1 in 3 will be approached by a sex trafficker.
- The most common approach is the “lover boy” approach.
- This is where the trafficker will appear interested in a romantic relationship while gradually coercing the victim into prostitution.
If any readers might think a loved one is in harm’s way what would be a few actions you would suggest so they can get the help they need?
Be aware of and look for the warning signs.
Some warning signs of a victim include:
- unexplained absences from school,
- inability to attend school,
- runs away from home,
- makes references to frequent travel,
- sudden changes in behavior or material possessions,
- makes reference to sexual situations that are beyond ages specific norms,
- drug addiction,
- signs of physical abuse,
- Avoids eye contact,
- fearful of authority figures.
There is a lot of valuable information online at sources like the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Polaris project, and many more.
The National Human Trafficking hotline number is 888-373-7888
What advice would you give to parents of youth?
Monitor your children’s activity!!! I can’t stress that enough. Kids today have cell phones, tablets, computers with basically unlimited access to the Internet. Parents are too trusting of their kids. We should be keeping tabs on what our kids are doing!
There is no such thing as violating your kids privacy when they are under 18!!
You should know what your kids are doing online including:
- Who they’re talking to,
- Apps on their phones,
- Online places visited.
If anyone is interested in contacting you further what would be the easiest way to reach you?
My website www.authorlauraaranda.com