Human Traffic Watch

How to identify victims of sex trafficking

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on December 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm


The following signs are by no means a comprehensive list, but they are a starting point for identifying trafficking victims:

Unusual absences from school and running away from home.
References about travel to other cities.
Withdrawn behavior and fear.
Much older boyfriend/friends.
Lacking control over his/her own schedule and lack of identification.
Signs of drug addiction.
Sudden changes in clothing and acquisition of expensive items such as electronics.
Hungry or malnourished.
Dressed inappropriately for the surroundings or weather.
Talks about sexual situations that are much too ‘old’ for their age, uses street terms for trafficking such as ‘the life’ ‘the track’.
Previously untreated medical conditions like broken bones, bruises and cuts.
Branding by burning/cutting or tattoos, signs of torture cuts and scarring.

Above all else, listen to your heart.  If something feels wrong, it most likely is.  Listen to what the potential victim is saying and ask questions.  Some questions to help identify a victim of sex trafficking include:

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  1. This is great information . . . but it really makes me sad to read these signs. Inhumane. As always, I appreciate the info you share.

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