- The American girls and women that are trafficked come from big cities and small towns. Victims have been found in every area of all 50 states, Washington D.C. as well as the U.S. Territories. They come from affluent, middle class, and lower income families and from many ethnic backgrounds. They are recruited from malls, schools, youth centers, theme parks, neighborhoods, and online. Traffickers target victims with diverse socio-economic backgrounds and varied levels of education.
- Victims are in plain view and may interact with community members, but the widespread lack of awareness and understanding of trafficking leads to low levels of victim identification by the people who most often encounter them.
- In most states, more than 75 percent of the traffickers used social media both to recruit victims, as well as to advertise them to buyers. Some victims are as young as 11.
- Not knowing about trafficking in the first place certainly puts one at risk for being abused and exploited by traffickers.
- The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline receives an average of 100 calls per day, and the number of human trafficking cases that Polaris learns about in the U.S. increases every year. Sex trafficking is by far the most prevalent form of human trafficking in the U.S. National Human Trafficking Resource Center
- About 293,000 American youths are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation, as reported by the FBI.
So when you think this is happening somewhere else, it’s happening in your town, your local middle school, and in your community!