Sex Trafficking: Closer Than We’d Like to Think

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Sex Trafficking: Closer Than We’d Like to Think

Defining Sex Trafficking

October is human trafficking month. This week we have been defining and discussing the approximately 54% (1) contributing factor of human trafficking, which is sex trafficking. Sex trafficking happens despite age and gender and has over 21 million victims(2). 72% of female trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation(1).

Examples of these sexual exploitations include:
  • Forced prostitution (the average age of victims is between 12 and 14 years(2))
  • Pornography
  • Stripping
  • Exotic dancing
  • Touch and peep shows
  • Escort services
  • ‘Training’ to deal with clients who have particular fetishes

These can take place in brothels, “massage” parlors, fetish clubs, through classified ads as well as “gentlemen’s clubs”.

Traffickers and their recruiting processes are extremely subtle and nuanced. Anybody who is at all vulnerable or naïve is preyed upon, making women children common targets — in fact, 96% of trafficking cases are women and girls(1).

Pimps often recruit in public spaces such as shopping centres or bars and clubs (35% of targets). Those targeted also commonly known their recruiters, having met socially through friends (32% of victims) or online (18% of victims)(2). A common technique is for recruiters to show a romantic interest in their target, and this is how 51% of them are taken in. Perpetrators also use techniques involving promises of care and protection.

Protect yourself and your children

The facts about human trafficking often seem overwhelming and horrific. Instead of panicking, take action and educate yourself and your family. You can begin with educating the young boys you know, since 46% of men buying sex were taught about respecting women, compared to 70% of men who do not buy sex(2). This blog explains several methods of prevention within your own family that include openly discussing what sexual abuse and human trafficking are. Discuss the dangers of social media with them and set some ground rules about internet use.

Look out for specific red flags in your community that may indicate to you that someone you know has been a victim of sexual trafficking. Examples might be a child accompanied by an unrelated adult, signs of fear, depression, extreme nervousness or other psychological trauma, lack of freedom to move or branding tattoos. See more red flags in our blog An Introduction to Human Trafficking.

You can also equip and protect yourself and children through our training workshops, email to signup for a workshop:

  • Anti-Human Trafficking Workshops: To be equipped on an in-depth understanding of Human Trafficking and to identify Red Flags and what the next steps would be to address a possible incident.
  • Protective Behaviors Trainings: A practical program aimed for the safety and empowerment of children to strategically keep children safe at all times.

What can you do?

Be a Voice

Awareness is a huge need in South Africa — the average South African doesn’t know that Human Trafficking is a problem in our country. Email for more details on our Anti-Human Trafficking Workshops.

  • Book a Speaker
  • Cycle for Hope
  • Run for Hope
  • Raise awareness with your friends & family

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