Poiema Foundation - Education and Public Awareness of Human Trafficking

Who Are Victims of Human Trafficking?

Human traffickers look for people who are psychologically susceptible, emotionally vulnerable or are facing economic hardship. Victims can come from different socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Perpetrators lure the innocent into human trafficking through manipulation such as:

  • Showering them with attention
  • Making false promises
  • Giving them gifts and money
  • Faking romantic relationships

Pimps keep their victims under control through force, coercion, violence, rape and in some cases, threats to harm the victim’s family. The trauma caused by traffickers, (called a trauma-bond) can be so strong that many do not identify themselves as a victim of human trafficking. The control a pimp has over the victim and the victim’s fear of retribution typically cause the victim to feel powerless and trapped, resulting in a reluctance to ask for help, even when in public. In many cases, human trafficking is a hidden crime.