Targeting the Victim

● Traffickers look for people who have emotional or material needs that are not being met, such as teenagers who lack self-confidence or young adults who write online about a bad breakup.

Gaining Trust

● Traffickers get to know their victims and use what they learn to make it seem like they are the perfect match, the answer to their dreams, the person they can count on. They listen, offer support, and bide their time.

Meeting Needs

● Once traffickers know what victims want or need, they give it to them – or at least dangle it before their eyes – and let them taste what it feels like to be loved, to be safe, or to be cared for.


● As the relationship grows, the trafficker slowly cuts the victim off from friends and loved ones, reinforcing the sense of dependence.


● This might start slowly, asking the victim to have sex for money, “just this once” or “to help me”. Over time, this becomes normalized so that the victim thinks they are making the decision on their own.

Maintaining Control

● In most cases, the trafficker will do anything to maintain control over the victim.
● Traffickers often manipulate their victims into depending on traffickers to do things that any other person would have no problem doing themselves.
These indicators include:
     ◘ Not being able to control one’s own identification (ID or passport)
     ◘ Not allowed or able to speak for themselves and refuses to make eye contact
     ◘ Has few personal belongings, wears the same clothes over and over again, or carries his or her belongings in a garbage bag
     ◘ Pays mostly in cash; cannot dispose of their own money or has no financial records or bank account

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