Sex trafficking in San Diego is big business. As the 8th highest intensity city for trafficking in the U.S., it’s a nearly 100 million dollar business here. But most of us have never seen signs of it.
Generate Hope, a Hope for San Diego affiliate, provides a way out of trafficking for women. Through their six years of work with victims, they understand the problem better than almost anyone. They put together this explanation that helps unveil the mystery of sex trafficking.
If trafficking is everywhere, why can’t I see it?
- Victims of trafficking are hidden in plain sight. Traffickers isolate and intimidate their victims so they live in constant shame and fear. By keeping them constantly moving on a circuit, victims are kept disoriented and without a means to escape.
- Victims of trafficking are frequently betrayed by people they know and trust and may feel deeply connected or even grateful to the captor. 83% of confirmed sex trafficking cases in the United States were US Citizens.
- Most victims are not held in physical chains, yet physical and psychological abuse prevent them from running away or asking for help. Traffickers condition their victims through various methods of violence and manipulation to keep them mentally and emotionally enslaved.
- It’s extremely difficult for victims to come forward for help. Through psychological conditioning, most don’t identify themselves as victims. Others believe there is no way out, as they have been completely stripped of their identity and worth.
- Traffickers use many methods of threats and coercion to control victims. Forced drug use and threats against family and loved ones are common. This violence encourages victims to cooperate to avoid additional punishment.
- Even if a victim appears to be alone, her trafficker is likely nearby watching her every move. Controlling personal documentation, when she eats, sleeps and what she wears, the trafficker takes complete control over her life.
Help change the life of a victim of sex trafficking by volunteering at Generate Hope.