what is sex trafficking?

The Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines sex trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2007 estimates that 700,000 people are trafficked within or across international borders in the United States each year. At a low estimation, 200,000 American children are at risk for trafficking in the sex industry each year. (TVPA 2000 & USimmigrationlawyers.com)

Domestic minor sex trafficking occurs when U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident minors (under the age of 18) are commercially sexually exploited. Children can be commercially sexually exploited through prostitution, pornography, and/or erotic entertainment.

The age of the victim is the critical issue — there is no requirement to prove force, fraud, or coercion was used to secure the victim’s actions. The law recognizes the effect of psychological manipulation by the trafficker, as well as the effect of threat of harm which traffickers/pimps use to maintain control over their young victims.

Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry.

Sex trafficking exists at much larger rates than most people realize or understand. Most of the time it is right in our own backyard but we do not recognize it or we misidentify it. Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues including residential brothels, online escort services, brothels disguised as massage parlors, nail salons, strip clubs, and street prostitution.


  • 1.2 million children will be forced into sex trafficking.
  • Trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world and it is the fastest growing.
  • In America, the average age of a sex trafficking victim is 12-14 years old.
  • Worldwide, some victims are as young as five.
  • One out of every four females in the USA are sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 27 million people are in modern day slavery? 80% are women and children and generates 31.6 billion dollars every year.
  • Average life span of a trafficking victim is seven years.
NATIONAL HOTLINE: 1-888-373-7888

Did you know that victims of rape are:

  • Three times more likely to suffer depression
  • Six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Thirteen times more likely to abuse alcohol
  • 26 times more likely to abuse drugs
  • Four times more likely to contemplate suicide