Sex trafficking is a horrifying issue dominating the globe, and what many fail to realize is that this issue is not only effecting other countries, it is effecting the United States. From 2007 to 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, has received reports of 34,700 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
Sex traffickers use threats, manipulation, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will, according to Polaris a national hotline set out to put an end to human trafficking.
Awareness must be spread and precautions must be taken to minimize the victims of such an appalling act that is at a rapid increase. The only way to ensure we lower the high rate of sex trafficking is to become educated, and to spread that knowledge in the form of awareness.
Since 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received 10,949 cases by hotline, with 7,859 of those cases considered to be sex trafficking.
As much as over 15,000 of the reported victims have been female, with many of them only at an average of 18 years old when their case began. Polaris also mentions that the top five risk factors for human trafficking include a recent migration or relocation, substance use, unstable housing, runaway or homeless youth and mental health concerns.
Sex trafficking occurs in a range of venues including fake massage businesses, via online ads or escort services, in residential brothels, on the street or at truck stops, or at hotels and motels, according to Polaris.
The next time someone says it only happens in developing nations, or countries across the sea, remind them that California has one of the highest rates of reported cases in the nation. Remind your peers that one in seven homeless children are at risk of sexual exploitation. Remind them that adults are at an even higher risk, with 4.5 million victims worldwide, which includes the United States.
If it appears you have identified an individual as a victim, it is important to call 911 or the national hotline at 888-373-7888.