WHAT IS HUMAN SEX-TRAFFICKING?
"Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years. Enactment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 made sex trafficking a serious violation of Federal law" (U.S. DHHS). Sex-trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues of the overall sex-industry, including brothels, hostess clubs, online escort services, brothels disguised as massage parlors, strip clubs, and street prostitution.
WHAT METHODS DO Traffickers/Pimps) USE TO FIND VICTIMS?
"Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, and other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry." (Polaris Project) Individuals who exploit children and women should face criminal consequences while also being given the services they need for rehabilitation.
Why Does Sex-Trafficking Exist?
Demand, demand, demand! Demand fuels the rise of the sex trafficking industry. Unlike many other commodities, human beings can be used over and over again by many different customers (johns), thus making the trafficking of human beings a very lucrative business. Lowering the demand of sexual services from trafficked women and children is imperative to ending the sex trafficking industry.
Who is at risk of becoming a victim of human sex trafficking?
Since trafficking victims can be rich or poor, men or women, adults or children, and foreign nationals or U.S. citizens, everyone is at risk for being trafficked. However, traffickers typically prey on individuals who are vulnerable in some way because they are easier to recruit and control. Some examples of high risk populations include undocumented migrants, runaways and at-risk youth, and oppressed or marginalized groups.
Does physical violence have to be involved in sex-trafficking cases?
NO! Under the federal law, an individual who uses physical or psychological violence to force someone into a labor or sex industry is considered a human trafficker. Therefore, while some victims experience beatings, rape, and other forms of physical violence, many victims are controlled by traffickers/pimps through psychological means, such as threats of violence, manipulation, and lies. In many cases, traffickers use a combination of direct violence and mental abuse.
It is important to note that for minors force, fraud, or coercion are not required elements of the crime, meaning that anyone under the age of 18 in the commercial sex industry is a sex trafficking victim according to law. It is, however, important to note that most women 18 and over who are trafficked were first trafficked as children. Society tends to assume that adult women are making a "choice". But those women have, by the time they're 18, been so severely traumatized that escaping the world of prostitution seems near to impossible.
I want to help raise awareness about this issue, what do I do?
Look for "at risk" people - prevention is KEY!
Learn how to recognize and report possible incidences of sex-trafficking!
Model respect for women and children and advocate on behalf of those who have no voice!
Support Bridget's Dream through your prayers, talents, and finances!
How do I make a referral to Bridget's Dream?
If you are a family member, survivor, victim, or are concerned for a girl or young woman in your life and live in California, please contact us at (916) 235-3690. If you are a referring organization, please click here to submit a referral form!
How can I get involved with Bridget's Dream?
Visit our Volunteer page for more information on how to make a difference! We're looking for volunteers! :)