Human Sex Trafficking is the modern day slavery, which basically involves the use of force and violence. Individuals are forced, coerced or exploited to perform sexual acts. There are different programs that can help victims that have been sex trafficked. There are many victims, including boys and girls. People that recruit individuals range in age, gender and tactics.
One in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lifetime. One in 33 men have experienced rape. Men usually do not report that they are victims due to the fact that they will lose their manhood. Men do not like to report that they have been victims because it will take a toll on their manhood.
Women are the most common type of victim. Women have the highest risk of being attacked. We learned that 72% of women are victims in human sex trafficking. Many rape incidents go unreported. Women are victims because women tend to become more vulnerable than men.
There is no specific age group. But the average age that people are forced into sex trafficking is 12-14 years old. The younger you are, the more income you will have. Offenders tend to look for young girls because they attract the most clients. It is known, that when the girls are still a virgin, they are worth more money.
Who do they target?
Traffickers typically target at risk youth. They will usually target girls that are having problems at home with their parents. They will also target girls that are homeless or are depressed. They target these girls because they have become vulnerable. Once girls are vulnerable they become an easy target for a recruiter. The more problems that a girl is having, the vulnerable they become, which makes it easier for them to target. If an individual does not have a home, they will become a target because the recruiter will promise them a home and will make them feel safe. They will also look for girls that want to rebel and not listen to their parents. Recruiters tend to look for individuals that are the most vulnerable.
What do recruiters do?
In order for recruiters to gain more girls, they will sweet talk them. They will make girls feel like they are the world and will direct most if not all of their attention to them. They do this because they want to make the girl feel special and will make them believe that they deserve the world. Recruiters will do anything to make them feel loved, safe, and wanted. They will belittle victims and find their vulnerability. Once they find that vulnerability, they will grab onto it and not let go. They will question a victims life goal and will try to bribe them. They will make Individuals believe that they can make pretty easy money. During the first couple weeks, they will take the girl shopping with them and will shower her with gifts and things that she had never had before.
Who are recruiters?
Recruiters can pretty much be anyone. Recruiters can range from female or males. They can be a new boyfriend, any friends, professor or even a total stranger. Recruiters can be people that you know, but typically it is a complete stranger.
Where can recruiters be found?
Recruiters can be found near schools, parks, bus stops or even the internet. They will go to schools, especially public schools or universities where it is easier to have access on campus.
In order to be able to market young girls or boys, recruiters will post ads on escort sites such as backpage and Craigslist. They will post pictures along with the ad and will use keywords to describe the type of “product” that it is. For example, if the girl is a virgin and underaged, recruiters will use the words young and innocent.
Programs in Place
Dignity of work
Dignity of work is a program to help with employment for individuals that have been human trafficked.
Journey out is a drop in center that provides assistance to those who seek help. Journey out helps victims become more successful by allowing them to participate in school. Journey out has workshops that individuals can go to when they need it. They also offer a one on one mentoring for their counselor. The counselor is available 24/7 and they also have programs that meet with them twice a week.
Street outreach is a program that has a street team that goes out to where the girls are “working” to provide the girls with goodie bags better known as “freedom bags.” These bags contain a number in case they want to ask for help, gum, and any toiletries that they might need.
Rachel's house of healing
Rachel's house of healing is a home, located in San Bernardino, for girls between the ages of 18-25 years old. Women are allowed to stay for up to twenty-four months as long as they comply to the rules. The rules are that they have to be sober, and have no other place to go. Victims have access to a counselor twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This is supposed to be a long-term program designed to provide residence and support for victims.
East Los Angeles Women's Center
The east Los Angeles women's center provides a place of safety for the Latino community. Their mission is to ensure that women, girls and their families live in a place of safety, health and personal well-being.
During my interview I talked to a representative of journey out. Her name was Nicole. I asked Nicole what programs did they have in place. Nicole informed that since they are a drop in center, they had several programs that can help victims. She said they had programs such as counseling, therapy and even educational programs such as a CNA certification program. She said that the CNA program is offered Monday - Friday from 8:00AM-5:00PM. I asked her approximately how many women were in the program. She said that out of 20 women that go into the program, only about 3-5 graduate from the program. Most of the girls leave the program because they are not used to being inside. They were not lucky enough to be raised to get an education. They were raised to be out on the streets and that's what most of them knew how to do. People that went to the drop in center, were predominantly women. Nicole informed me that during the past couple years there has been an estimate of 5% increase in the people that visit the drop in center. Nicole was only able to have a short conversation with me because she had women that she needed to help. But the little bit of information that she gave me surprised me because I would have never thought that the women would go back to being out on the streets after what had happened to them. It was interesting to find out that only a handful would graduate from their CNA program.
Some solutions that we discussed were that the police should focus more on the pimps and the offenders rather than getting the victims out from the street. Although, it helps the victims, it would be more beneficial to go after the recruiters. If recruiters were to be caught, there would be less victims. Victims are scared and most of the time do not want to help out the police in fear of their pimps doing something to them or
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