Trafficking Facts & Myths
Understanding Youth Trafficking: Facts & Myths
Where does trafficking happen?
There is a misconception that trafficking only occurs on the streets under the control of a ‘pimp.’ However, the presence of a ‘pimp’ is not necessary for commercial sexual exploitation to occur, and in most cases, there is no pimp. Increasingly, young people are approached or lured online in social media spaces by someone pretending to be a friend or a peer, but who is really a buyer.
Is it true that Atlanta is #1 for sex trafficking?
Note: This list was released in alphabetical order and because Atlanta starts with an “A”, the city was listed first. There were never any statistics released that said that Atlanta was #1 in the nation.
I've heard so many terms used. What is the appropriate language to talk about exploitation?
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST)
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)
Prostitute vs. Prostituted
What does economics have to do with sexual exploitation?
What does a victim look like?
Sometimes those who have been trafficked may not self-identify as victims. This makes it difficult to help those who may be in need. However, this does not mean that he or she does not need help. Remember, there is no singular victim profile. Despite this, there are some similarities worth noting. Although these warning signs or red flags do not necessarily mean that exploitation is happening.
A victim may experience several of these or none at all:
- Having a marginalized sexual, gender, or racial identity
- Experiencing social and familial discrimination or rejection
- Lack of stability in the home
- Familial poverty
- Repeat runaway history
- A history of physical or sexual abuse
- Emotional or mental trauma
- Exposure to (or witness to) violence or drug abuse in the home
- An obligation or desire to help family make ends meet
- Peer, family, or media influences
- Lack of adequate employment opportunities
A primary driver of youth engaging in survival sex is homelessness. Research has found that between 10% and 50% of runaway and homeless youth have engaged in survival sex.
Do people want to leave the sex trade?
Research on Youth Exploitation and Sex Trafficking
Want more facts, not myths? Check out our annotated bibliography of trustworthy research studies on the topic of youth sex trafficking.