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Yes! This crime does not discriminate. A person’s race, class, socioeconomic status, sex, gender, religion, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, marital status, or level of education does not exempt or exclude one from being trafficked.
Pimps use lines like “I love you,” “You are the only one for me,” or “I can’t make it without you” tactic to recruit children from middle and high schools. When the pimp is a male, he usually presents himself as a boyfriend. He may buy gifts, provide endless compliments about beauty and body image, while promising to provide a future of security, expensive escapades, and dreams. He finds an area in which the youth is lacking and fill that space with lies and deception. When he has established a loyal relationship, the child is then coerced and exploited into prostitution.
Female pimps use similar tactics. Female pimps often present as “mother figures.” She may promise to fulfill not only the basic needs of shelter and food, but also nurturance. Unknowingly to the child, this is the beginning of deceit that leads to prostitution.
New trends in recruitment also show that child victims recruit other child victims while attending school, hanging out at the mall, or through social media.
No. Not all victims of trafficking are under the control of a pimp. There have been cases in which children are being trafficked by parents or due to homelessness.
The age of the child plays a huge role. The adolescent years (ages12-17) are delicate in development. Children are trying to find out “Who am I?” and “Where do I fit in?” No child is exempt.
Recruitment can take place at school, the malls, parks, bus stops, shelters and group homes. Likewise, social media, websites, and transit stations are recruitment spots. Youth with a history of physical and/or sexual abuse have an increased risk of being trafficked.
A buyer is anyone who solicits or engages in sex with a minor. They look like your neighbor, a relative, doctors, professional athletes, successful business owners, and plain, regular, “normal” people. To sum it up, there is no one identifying characteristic in describing a sexual predator.