What is Human Trafficking?
It is important to remember that human trafficking is primarily about exploiting vulnerability. Although factors like economic hardship, prior abuse, homelessness, or lack of documentation make people particularly more susceptible to trafficking, something as seemingly simple as a confidence issue can make someone vulnerable as well, meaning that human trafficking can find its way to ANYONE.
As is the case with victims, the traffickers themselves can be men, women, adults, children, foreign nationals, or U.S. Citizens. However, traffickers can come in a variety of other forms such as family members, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, gangs, contractors, or businesses.
Recruitment strategies vary, but online 'grooming' is becoming more and more popular among sex traffickers because of anonymity and being able to advertise their victims to a larger audience. Meanwhile, many other victims are lured from outside the United States by labor recruiters whose promises of fair wages and work prove false once they arrive.
Sadly, in most cases by the time the victim realizes what is happening it is too late. They are manipulated and forced into a lifestyle against their will that could potentially end in tragedy. The good news is that more and more victims are being rescued every day thanks to the collaborative efforts of many, and with enough time and support, we believe we will win the battle against this modern day slavery.