- Sex trafficking is the largest growing criminal operation in the world.
- $99 billion dollars is made each year from sex trafficking.
- 20.9 million adults and children are forced into sexual exploitation by being bought or sold.
- Women and children make up of 96 percent of all sex trafficking victims.
- To be involved in sex trafficking is an international crime.
- Over 155 countries have laws that criminalize sex trafficking.
Prostitution is considered sex trafficking, but the victims are not given a choice to have someone pay for sex, so they can receive any money like a prostitute in the conventional sense that we may witness in movies or on television. Instead the victims receive constant mental and physical threats if they do not conform to the sexual duties that they are forced to perform. Victims are secluded, sold into debt bondage, and enslaved to sexual and physical abuse from their traffickers. In other countries where there is not much security, victims are either lured into the country or kidnapped with the intention of sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking also happens right under our noses here in the United States. Children and even adults are unknowingly groomed into the sex trafficking rings. Traffickers will shower their victims with expensive gifts and make them feel “special” like no one else has before. Once trust is gained, victims will be made to feel guilty that all their lavish gifts have bankrupted the trafficker and they will ask the victims to do this “one-time sex act” so they can catch up financially. “One time” will turn into a diabolical cycle that the victims are unable to get out of. Drugs become part of the day to day business of the victims so that they will follow orders better or, so they can cope with the humiliation that they feel for what they are being coerced into doing repeatedly.
In another scenario, sex trafficking can take place when someone owes money for drugs. The person that owes money will pay off their debt through prostitution to ensure their safety and not have to die for their drug bounty. Drug cartels that have lost access to some of their territories or have had their drugs confiscated have tried to make up their financial loss by using sex trafficking as a lucrative angle in their business.
Sex trafficking is an inhuman, heinous crime that must be stopped to alleviate the abuse that the victims are faced with. Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline if you have a tip at 1-888-373-7888.