Fast Facts About Sex Trafficking

Fact 1: Sex trafficking is the most common form of human trafficking.

Human trafficking occurs in every country. The most frequent forms of human trafficking are sexual exploitation (80 percent) and labor exploitation (20 percent). The majority of trafficked people are female and half are children.

Fact 2: Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood someone will be targeted by human traffickers.

Human traffickers seek individuals who are isolated from social supports, have been victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, have low self-esteem, are substance abusers, are impoverished or homeless, suffer from mental illness, and have learning disabilities and developmental delays. The average age of sex trafficking victims is 11-14. An estimated one out of every six runaways is estimated to be a victim of sex trafficking.

Fact 3: Sex trafficking victims may display some specific behaviors.

Children and teens who are being trafficked for sex may display changes in behavior that include withdrawal and depression, fear and anxiety, drug use, eating disorders, unexplained absences, inappropriate clothing for the season, a heightened use of sexual language, unexplained bruising, and new body markings.


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The following citations reflect research, publications, and presentations by current ATSA members.



2018 ATSA Conference