- Burns or scars
- Malnourished or hungry
- Varied stages of bruising
- Branding or tattoos, such as a $, a barcode, or “Daddy”
- Signs of alcohol or drug addiction
- Withdrawn, depressed, and fearful
- Inappropriately dressed for the season
- Inconsistent stories
- Frequent or unexplained absences
- Frequent travel to other cities
- Always accompanied by an older, controlling boyfriend or woman; or has a boyfriend 10+ years older
- Talks about sexual situations beyond what is normal for their age
The trafficking of minors can happen to kids within a home, as well as, to those who have left or lost their home. Kids likely to be approached by traffickers within 48 hours of leaving or losing their homes.
The bottom line is, no matter their socio-economic, racial, or ethnic background, no matter if they live at home or are a runaway, our kids are a vulnerable population for human trafficking.
Now, the boundaries for human trafficking have expanded even more. Perpetrators are entering into our homes and kid’s lives through the online doorways provided by social media and gaming. Traffickers use simple conversations online to lure grade schoolers and teens into “friendship” that ultimately results in them becoming a victim.
A few examples of how perpetrators gain access to their prey by turning online interactions into opportunities to traffic innocent kids and teens.