THE TRAFFICKING CRISIS
Human trafficking is slavery… period!
Although most people think slavery is a thing of the past, human trafficking still exists today throughout the United States and around the world.
Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, and other manipulative tactics to trap victims in horrific situations every day…and sadly, these criminals often prey on the most vulnerable population, homeless youth.
Trafficking in America: It’s Not Just a Foreign Problem
In the United States, the most common form of human trafficking involves the commercial sex industry and occurs in online escort services, residential brothels, brothels disguised as massage businesses or spas, and in street prostitution.
There are two primary factors driving the spread of sex trafficking: high profits and low risk. Like drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Every year, traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, including here in the United States.
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We’ve Seen the Damage First Hand
Every day young trafficking victims arrive at our 23 shelters across the Americas. They are usually hungry, tired, scared and almost always alone, with no family or parent to call who can care for them. Some have been forced to deal drugs, beg for money on the streets or subway, or work as servants in another’s home while being denied an education. But a majority have been made to have sex against their will with multiple partners so that someone else can profit off their young bodies.
Many have escaped locked rooms and endured horrific violence and threatened with further violence if they ever tried to leave. But just as many have been locked in by less overt force, including having nowhere else to go but the street and being traumatically bonded to a pimp who may have offered the only affection they have ever experienced in their lives (alternating love and violence is a powerful tactic by many traffickers). These bonds are difficult to break and require extensive social services by dedicated and caring professionals.