Myths vs Facts
Myth: Most people trafficked do not know their trafficker.
Fact: Stranger abductions account for less than 1% of human trafficking situations.
Myth: The manner in which a person is lured into human trafficking always includes violence.
Fact: The majority of trafficking cases are initiated by a process called “grooming” in which a trafficker develops a relationship with the victim to build their self esteem, create a loving relationship and isolate them from their family and support system to get them into “the life”. This is commonly done via social media or gaming platforms. There are pimps known as “Gorilla Pimps” who engage in violent behaviors to control their victims but they are becoming less common as the “Romeo Pimp” (described above) is much more common and effective.
Myth: All human trafficking involves sex.
Fact: 16 million people are victims of forced labor. 4.1 million people are trafficked for forced labor in state-imposed forced labor. There are six different types of human trafficking: forced labor, sex, debt bondage, child bride, child soldier, and organ trafficking.
Myth: Females are the only target for traffickers.
Fact: 71% of trafficking victims are women and juvenile girls, while 29% of trafficking victims are men and juvenile boys.
Myth: Children are primary targets of trafficking.
Fact: 75% of trafficking victims are 18 years old and older, while 25% of trafficking victims are children under 18 years old. The average age a child is lured into “the life” is 14 years old.
Myth: Trafficking only occurs in other countries or to foreign nationals.
Fact: Of reported trafficking cases in 2019, 4,601 involved foreign nationals, while 1,388 involved US citizens/lawful permanent residents. Human Trafficking exists in every country and nationwide in the US – in cities, suburbs and rural towns – to include your own community.
Myth: Human trafficking is not a large problem in today’s society.
Fact: An estimated 40.3 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery.
Myth: Human Trafficking and Smuggling are the same.
Fact: Trafficking is not the same as smuggling. Trafficking is based on exploitation and does not require movement. Smuggling is based on movement of a person across a country’s border with consent and in violation of immigration laws. Smuggling does have the potential to evolve into trafficking though.
Myth: Human Trafficking victims will attempt to seek help while in public.
Fact: Human Trafficking is often a well hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help. They may be forced or coerced through threats of violence and/or they may fear retaliation from traffickers which includes danger to their families.