Some Youth Are More at Risk

Victims come from cities, suburbs, and small towns across the country, from all races and ethnic groups. Still, there are certain factors that increase the risks of victimization:

  • a history of abuse and neglect at home, particularly sexual abuse
  • involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems
  • a history of running away and homelessness
  • poor family connections

Young people experiencing one or more of the above factors may be more vulnerable than other youth to the coercion of traffickers. Often, traffickers manipulate other exploited youth to help them recruit teens at runaway shelters, group homes, bus stops, shopping malls, or other places where vulnerable youth tend to be.*

Where does commercial sexual exploitation of minors occur?

  • Peep shows or strip clubs
  • Erotic massage services
  • Streets (Prostitution)
  • Online (Pornography)
  • Escort services
  • Truck stops

No One Chooses to be Sexually Exploited

Sex trafficking of minors is a form of child abuse. It’s important to remember that no one chooses to be exploited. Many young victims are lured by exploiters and traffickers with the false promise of a better life, love, or affection. Later, traffickers use violence, threats, and manipulation to control their victims psychologically and financially.


*Hay, M. (2006). Commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth. BC Medical Journal, 46(3), 119-122


Next: Signs of Sex Trafficking