How Do Traffickers Find Victims?
Included but not limited to, advertisements in local newspapers, modern technology, the internet, lies, false promises, fraud, bribes, manipulation, purchased from parents and caregivers, kidnapping, physical force, etc.
How is pimping a form of sex trafficking?
In the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, a severe form of sex trafficking is a crime in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion. Pimps, who are motivated by the opportunity to make money, sell women and girls in the commercial sex industry by using numerous methods to gain control over their bodies and minds.
Are pimps managers who offer protection to women and girls in the sex industry and split the money earned through commercial sex acts?
No. Contrary to common perceptions, pimps do not offer protection and they are not benevolent managers. Instead, pimps usually take all of the money that the girls make and typically establish nightly monetary quotas that women and children are forced to earn in order to avoid violent repercussions. Pimps even “brand” those under their control with tattoos of their name to demonstrate ownership.
Is human trafficking the same thing as smuggling?
No. There are many fundamental differences between the crimes of human trafficking and human smuggling. Both are entirely separate Federal crimes in the United States. Smuggling is a crime against a country’s borders, whereas human trafficking is a crime against a person. Also, while smuggling requires illegal border crossing, human trafficking involves commercial sex acts, labor, or services that are induced through force, fraud, or coercion.
Does physical violence have to be involved in human trafficking cases?
No. Under the federal law, an individual who uses physical or psychological violence to force someone into labor or the sex industry is considered a human trafficker. 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 addition, women who are over 18 years of age that work as prostitutes are looked at as “choosing” that life style. More often than not, ladies start out in the sex business with a “boyfriend” that is actually an undercover trafficker/pimp. Unfortunately, once she finds out the truth, it is too late and she is in danger of being hurt, abused, and possibly murdered if she tries to escape.
Do victims always come from a low-income or poor background?
No. Trafficking victims can come from a range of backgrounds and many may come from middle and upper class families. However, poverty is one of many factors that make individuals vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
Who is at risk of becoming a victim of human 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 (i.e. undocumented migrants, runaways and at-risk youth, and oppressed or marginalized groups).
Do victims of trafficking self-identify as a victim of a crime and ask for help immediately?
Often no. Victims of trafficking often do not see themselves as victims and do not seek help immediately, due to lack of trust, self-blame, or training by traffickers.
Does human trafficking only occur in illegal underground industries?
While human trafficking occurs in illegal and underground markets, it can also occur in legal and legitimate settings (i.e. private homes, large extravagant hotels, nail salons, restaurants, bars, strip clubs, etc.).
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