National Runaway Safeline

untitled 5c 20i 35365655 1
Learn more at: https://youth.gov/youth-topics/trafficking-of-youth/sexual-exploitation-and-sex-trafficking

The Issue

As National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, we want to address how youth are impacted by this issue that exists in every community across the nation. Individuals from all backgrounds are trafficked, but youth are at an increased risk to sex and labor trafficking. This can be due to the fact that they are in the early stages of development where they are more easily able to be deceived, manipulated, forced, or coerced. Unfortunately, runaway and homeless youth are at even more vulnerable to human trafficking.

A recent study from University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University found that one-fifth of the homeless youth they were interviewing were victims of human trafficking. Some of the reasons for this can be due to the fact that when youth are on the street they lack funds, interpersonal and job skills, and support systems. There are other risk factors in addition to youth experiencing homelessness. Data has shown there to be a strong correlation between childhood sexual abuse, chronic maltreatment and neglect, and unstable home environments in relation to youth trafficking victims. Evidence has also shown that LGBTQ youth are more susceptible to trafficking.

How to Help

Since human trafficking often starts with recruitment, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs. ITHasToStop has created a list of potential warning signs of youth who may be getting trafficked.

Some examples are:

Physical Appearance

* Has injuries or other signs of abuse and is reluctant to explain them.

Possessions

* Has an unexplained, sudden increase in money, clothing, or possessions like jewelry without explanation.

* Has a prepaid cell phone.

Behavior

* Talks about an older boyfriend or sex with an older man.

* Has inconsistencies in their story.

Lack of Control

* Seems scripted in the way they speak.

* Accompanied by someone who seems to control their every move.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and may be experiencing trafficking, please contact the Human Trafficking Hotline:

o By phone: 1-888-373-7888 o By email: help@humantraffickinghotline.org

o By text: text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE) o Online chat: www.humantraffickinghotline.org

The National Runaway Safeline is also here to support youth survivors on our 1-800-786-2929 hotline and online services (live chat, e-mail, forum) where we have a database of resources throughout the United States and territories.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

Partner Spotlight: Waypoint & The Rochester Police Department

As a New Hampshire-based nonprofit, Waypoint’s mission is to empower people of all ages through an array of human services and advocacy. In addition to serving youth experiencing homelessness, they offer programs for seniors and adults with disabilities, children with developmental or chronic health conditions, families affected by incarceration, and others throughout the state.

Partner Spotlight: Midwest Youth Services

Without Midwest Youth Services (MYS), more youth would be on the streets and be targets for exploitation and crime. MYS provides 24 hours, 7-day-a-week crisis intervention, mediation, and emergency shelter to vulnerable children. Their mission is to divert youth from the juvenile justice and child welfare systems while helping to strengthen and restore families.

Partner Spotlight: Hale Kipa

Since 1970, Hale Kipa, has championed Hawai‘i’s youth and children. They provide youth outreach, independent living facilities, therapeutic foster care, a haven for runaways, and more. Their founders recognized a need for a nonprofit to assist this deserving population and they remain committed to this critical work today, on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, and the Island of Hawai‘i.

Scroll to Top

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website. 

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website.