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Human trafficking is a complex issue that is, unfortunately, frequently misunderstood. Whether through Hollywood’s portrayals or news, many people do not have an accurate view of what human trafficking is and who is most at risk.
At Allies, we believe in the freedom and dignity of all human trafficking victims and survivors. To achieve that, an accurate understanding is paramount.
Here are some common myths about trafficking and why they are false:
MYTH #1: Traffickers typically kidnap their victims.
FACT: Most child sex traffickers operate by building trust with victims, and manipulating them into sexual exploitation. Oftentimes, traffickers spend a significant amount of time grooming their victims so that when the moment comes where exploitation occurs, they submission is a conditioned response.
Every child is at equal risk for sex trafficking.
FACT: As with adults, children who have certain other risk factors are also going to be more at risk for trafficking. These include children who have been abused or faced trauma, children in unstable living situations and children in families battling addiction. Traffickers are smart so they go after the child that does not have a strong support system. The one that nobody would really notice is missing or acting strangely.
Traffickers are often strangers who choose their victims at random
FACT: Traffickers can be, and often are, relatives, neighbors or other people well known to the victim. According to the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative “in over 60% of cases, victims are familiar with their traffickers.”
Now that you know, help us spread the word and tell your friends and family what you learned. We can’t solve a problem we can’t see or don’t understand. If you have any questions or have a common trafficking myth you think we should talk about, please reach out to our team. In the meantime, please consider supporting our work to provide accurate data about trafficking to partners and the public alike.