Law

What Makes Someone Vulnerable to Sex Trafficking?

What Makes Someone Vulnerable to Sex Trafficking?

Many people assume victims of sex trafficking are brought into the country from poor nations, but the reality is that 66 percent of victims are US citizens. Human traffickers have many ways to groom their victims, but once recruited, the victim is sold for sexual exploitation or forced labor.  

Why Does It Happen?

Human trafficking is now a federal crime, but despite this, there are still victims out there, many of whom remain enslaved. Why? Because there is a lot of money to be made from trafficking vulnerable women and men. Perpetrators of this crime can be prosecuted under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. If you believe someone you know is a victim, it’s important to contact the police and a sex trafficking attorney like Romanucci Blandin.

No one is completely safe from sex traffickers, but some young girls and women are more at risk than others of being trafficked for sex. Here are the main risk factors a person is vulnerable to sex trafficking.

Part of a Dysfunctional Family

Children from dysfunctional families are far more vulnerable to sex traffickers. These kids often have low self-esteem, and may not have experienced a normal, loving family relationship. Often, kids have already been abused by parents or other family members. They may have moved around a lot, which makes it harder for schools and other people in authority to spot when something isn’t right. 

Kids who are starved of affection, neglected, and abused, are much more likely to fall for the false charm and fake affection of a sex trafficker. 

Skilled sex traffickers are very cunning. They reel their victims in slowly by showering them with love and praise, buying them expensive gifts, and filling the holes in their lives. 

No Support Network

Girls from dysfunctional backgrounds don’t have strong support networks. Their families may be too busy working two or more jobs or addicted to drugs and alcohol. They often don’t have many close friends and are lonely and insecure. Again, this makes them a prime target for sex traffickers.

Kids from loving families with lots of friends are less vulnerable to the charms of a trafficker. They can’t stay out late because their parents would notice, and they are more likely to be subject to tough rules about who they hang out with. 

Children who end up in the welfare system are significantly more at risk. They slip through the cracks after falling prey to sex traffickers. An FBI raid in 2013 found 60 percent of the kids rescued came from foster care or group homes. These are the kids who repeatedly run away, and eventually, nobody bothers looking for them anymore. 

Homelessness

Homeless girls and boys are often preyed upon by sex traffickers. Traffickers exploit the fact they have no permanent address and nobody looking out for them. They may offer them a home and money and ask for sex in return.

Nobody is safe from sex traffickers. Always be vigilant if you suspect a young person is vulnerable or is already being groomed. Contact the authorities immediately if you are concerned.

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