Commerical Sexual Exploitation of Children
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER PLEASE CALL 911. Your safety is priority.
If you, or someone you know, is either wondering if they are being trafficked, or are being trafficked, please contact law enforcement immediately at 911; also contact the Department of Children and Families at 800-792-5200 and make a report of "child sexual exploitation".
Child sex trafficking is a form of child abuse that occurs when a child under 18 is advertised, solicited or exploited through a commercial sex act. A commercial sex act is any sex act where something of value – such as money, drugs or a place to stay – is given to or received by any person for sexual activity. While any child can be targeted by a trafficker, research, data and survivor lived experience and expertise have revealed traffickers and buyers often target youth who lack strong support networks, have experienced violence in the past, are experiencing homelessness, or are marginalized by society. Traffickers are masters of manipulation and prey upon vulnerabilities using psychological pressure and intimidation to control and sexually exploit the child for their benefit. (NCMEC). Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker or perpetrator directly.
Could this be you?
- Have you been offered a job that may seem too good to be true? Be wary of offers for jobs in fields that are typically hard to break into, such as modeling and acting, or offers in remote locations, faraway states, and foreign cities. Dangerous individuals may lure victims into isolation away from their friends and family.
- You may be in a relationship but notice that your partner does some of the following;
- Demands that you tell them where you are at all times
- Makes you ask for permission to leave or to socialize with others
- Limits your communication with friends, family, and loved ones
- Threatens to hurt you or your loved ones if you don’t do what they say
- Holds on to your identification cards, other personal documents, or money
- Makes you feel unsafe to be around them
- Provides you with financial support that requires you to ask for money when you need it
- Forces you to perform sex acts for them or others for money or in exchange for other items of value, like clothes, devices, or drugs
If you have answered "yes" to many of these questions, you may be being groomed for trafficking or are being trafficked. If are immediate danger, please call 911.
Also make a report to the Department of Children and Families at 800-792-5200, or 413-775-5000 during regular business hours. Be sure to say that you have suspicions of "being sexually exploitated or trafficked"- this iniates a multi-disciplinary team response and you will be supported. You may also call our Children's Advocacy Center at 413-475-3401 x2 for help and support. You are not alone.
Does this sound like someone you know?
- Does the youth appear disconnected from family, friends, or community organizations?
- Has the youth stopped attending school?
- Does the youth have any new items, such as a phone, clothes, etc.?
- Does the youth have any signs of "branding" such as a tattoo?
- Has the youth had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
- Is the youth disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
- Does the youth have bruises in various stages of healing?
- Is the youth fearful, timid, or submissive?
- Does the youth show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
- Is the youth often in the company of someone to whom they defer? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
- Does the youth appear to be coached on what to say?
- Is the youth living in unsuitable conditions?
- Does the youth appear not to have a stable living situation?
- Does the youth have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
- Has the youth experienced any pregnancy scares? STI or STD scares?
If you have answered "yes" to many of these questions, the youth may be being groomed for trafficking or are being trafficked. If the youth is in immediate danger, please call 911. Please also make a report to the Department of Children and Families at 800-792-5200, or 413-775-5000, during regular business hours. Be sure to say that you have suspicions of "child sexual exploitation or trafficking"- this iniates a multi-disciplinary team response and will be investigated.
Other Support and Resources
National Human Trafficking Hotline- (888) 373-3888 ; also text "info" or "help" to BeFree (233733)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Love and Trafficking, Polaris Project
Please report a missing or runaway child to law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families. You may also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) hotline at 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678). NCMEC also has a CyberTipLine which you can access here CyberTip.
My Life My Choice, Boston - survivor led mentorship
Living in Freedom Together- Transitional Youth Mentoring and Exiting - survivor led mentorship
The Blue Campaign - Department of Homeland Security national awareness, prevention, and resources