The best way to be vigilant and protect your family and friends is by is by learning the signs and by talking about the facts and possible risks. Having open discussions about this crime is helpful. You should talk about the dangers of sex trafficking with your children and encourage them to let you know if they encounter an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situation.
Traffickers frequently turn to online message boards, social media websites, telephone chat lines, shopping centers, and other public places to recruit potential victims. Often, traffickers will use older girls to recruit other females first by befriending them, and then turning them over to a pimp.
It is important for parents to be able to recognize the warning signs so that they can prevent traffickers from coercing their children
Signs that your child could be trafficked include:
- Older “boyfriends” in their lives who are controlling;
- Frequently going to or coming from places that are unusual for their age group to attend such as hotels or motels, clubs etc.
- Dress more provocatively; Stay out later or all night;
- Hang out with new friends who are older than them;
- Ignore childhood friends and family members;
- Drink or use drugs;
- Skip school, Skip meals, Skip showers or stop changing clothes;
- Exhibit anxious behaviour, lack of sleep, depression;
- Ignore rules and instructions at school or at home,
- Lie or unable to recall events in their lives;
- Carrying false ID, one or more cell phone(s);
- Wear new clothes, shoes or jewellery of unknown origin;
- Spend more money and buy more things such as iPods or video games or receive gifts from a new friend or boyfriend;
- Talk about a modeling or other job contract waiting in another town or city;
- Become more secretive about spending time online or on cell phone; and
- Become frightened of being online or on cellphone/telephone.