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Know the Facts

Understanding Sex Trafficking


Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for commercial sex that is induced by force, fraud, coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not reached 18 years of age.

  • Force: Can involve physical restraint or bodily harm of any kind.

  • Fraud: Can include false promises, deceitful employment offers, withholding wages for services.

  • Coercion: Can involve threats of harm against the victims loved ones, bodily harm of any kind against any person, abuse of the legal process, withholding of documentation or identification.


what are the numbers?

Sex trafficking is the third largest organized crime in the United States.

The largest group of at-risk children are runaway, abandoned, or homeless American children who use survival sex to acquire food, shelter, and clothing. According to the National Runaway Switchboard, 1.3 million runaway and homeless youth live on America’s streets every day [approximately 5,000 die each year].

The average lifespan of a victim of sex trafficking is reported to be 7 years [found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD’s, malnutrition, overdose, or suicide].

According to the 2019 TIP [Trafficking in Persons] Report, the United States ranks third in the world for human trafficking.

There are an estimated 300,000 enslaved in the United States.

The Protected Innocence Challenge is a comprehensive study of existing state laws designed to inspire and equip advocates.

South Caroline moved from a C rating in Shared's Hope study in 2017 to a B rating in 2018.

For additional information on what is happening in our State, visit the State's Human Trafficking Task Force website:

Now What?

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