Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, has received reports of 22,191 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
Recruiting the Vulnerable
Traffickers often will first identify their victims’ vulnerabilities in order to create dependency. They make promises aimed at addressing the needs of their victim to gain control.
Many youth who lack a solid home structure said they considered sex work as one of their only options.
Youth who are supported by state agencies, including foster children, children in the juvenile justice system, victims of child abuse and neglect, runaway and homeless youth, and LGBTQ youth estranged from their families, are particularly vulnerable.
A number of survivors disclosed struggling with substance abuse prior to entering their trafficking situation. In these instances, controllers often recruited their victims by offering them drugs.