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What is Sex Trafficking?

Texas is 2nd in the nation for calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

75% of children have been exploited for 2 or more years
75% of victims don’t know they are trafficked
50% of victims were 14 when trafficking began

Sex trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, is a commercial sex act that is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. A commercial sex act is identified by the exchange of anything of value (money, drugs, food, clothing, shelter) for a sexual act. Sex traffickers use threats, manipulation, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Under U.S. law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking — regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.

Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into sex work. Some victims of sex trafficking were promised of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Others have been sold for sex by their parents or family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or trafficked for years.

Victims of sex trafficking can be U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals. Vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination.

Sex trafficking occurs in a range of venues including massage businesses, online ads or escort services, in residential brothels, on the street or at truck stops, or at hotels and motels.


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