Human Trafficking and Online Victimization

Produced by IOM X

Human Trafficking

As the video above explains, human trafficking doesn't happen all of the sudden - traffickers offer a promise of something you want, and then lure you into a trapped situation. Human trafficking is sometimes called “modern day slavery”. There are two main forms of trafficking, labor trafficking and sex trafficking. Either way, someone is forcing you to make money for them and giving you little or nothing in return. Youth coming out of the foster care system are especially vulnerable to traffickers who lure them with the promise of food, warmth, and even false love.

You can learn more about human trafficking on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website. The Polaris Project, created by MTV and other organizations, also has some very meaningful videos and stories of sex and labor trafficking.

Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking involves children or adults being controlled and sold to others for sex against their will. Victims are threatened, lied to, and beaten by traffickers and pimps, who control their money.

Online Victimization

Online enticement can lead to becoming a victim of sexual exploitation or abduction. Think twice before you meet in person with someone you've only "met" online. Learn how victims get lured in with these stories from former victims:

  • Amy's Choice: Hear the true story of a 15-year-old girl who left home to meet in person with a man she first "met" online. He promised to “take care of” her.
  • Survivor Diaries: Ryan and Noah share their stories to show that online victimization can happen to boys too.
  • Julie's Journey: Julie talks about when she left home for three weeks with a convicted murderer she had developed a relationship with online.

Talk to Someone

If you are a victim or suspect that someone else is a victim of human or sex trafficking, reach out to the Human Trafficking Hotline anytime, 24/7. This free hotline is confidential. Text BeFREE (233733), call 1-888-373-7888, or visit their website and chat with someone online.