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Understanding the Perspective of the Victim: Recognizing the Complexity of Sex Trafficking Situations

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2017
3 pages
Intended for law enforcement officers, this resource material, which is based on research, identifies the various reasons some individuals are at risk of being trafficked for commercial sex, how they are recruited, and why leaving commercial sex trafficking is difficult for the majority of victims.
Law enforcement officers and community residents must first appreciate that persons trafficked for commercial sex may not view themselves as victims in need of help from law enforcement authorities. Traffickers teach their victims to avoid and mistrust law enforcement and others in positions of authority. Another topic discussed is risk factors for being recruited for sex trafficking, including substance abuse at a young age, poverty, and few options for economic advancement. This is followed by information on how victims of sex trafficking are recruited, why they are not motivated to leave sex trafficking, and recruiter profiles. The material concludes with a few direct quotes from American Indian and Alaska Native trafficking survivors, explaining how or why they became victims of sex trafficking.

Date Published: October 1, 2017