The Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines the crime of sex trafficking as: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, OR in which the person induced to perform such an act is under 18.

Commercial sexual exploitation includes prostitution, pornography, and sexual performance (dancing, stripping).


Sex Trafficking is happening in every community in America! New Jersey is a hub for sex trafficking, we are in the top 10 states for sex trafficking.

Human trafficking cases are a combination of runaways, kidnappings and parents prostituting their own children from home.

Human trafficking has become a $32 billion global commodities industry marketing illegal goods. It makes more money worldwide than Google, Nike & Starbucks combined. Child/human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. It is the second largest criminal enterprise after drugs according to the U.S. State Department.

100,000 to 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk each year for commercial sexual exploitation. (U.S. Dept. of Justice)

Victims include girls and boys of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic classes.

2.8 million children run away each year. Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, 80% of them will be approached by a trafficker and lured or forced into the world of prostitution and pornography.

At least 100,000 children are used in prostitution every year in the U.S. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years old. The average lifespan of a 13 year old girl in the commercial sex industry is 7 years!

Prostituted girls are often controlled by a pimp who recruits them into sex trafficking by posing as a boyfriend, caretaker, and protector. Traffickers learn the psychology of their young victims and master the manipulation methods necessary to deceptively lure children into sexual exploitation. The trafficker’s goal is to create and exploit vulnerabilities which will make a child completely dependent and bonded to their exploiter. The trafficker’s ultimate goal is profit.

Exploited children are often labeled “child prostitutes” or juvenile delinquents and punished for the crime committed against them. Victims of DMST are in detention facilities across the country for charges of prostitution while those who buy sex from them are free and their traffickers frequently escape detection. (National Report on DMST, America’s Prostituted Children, Shared Hope International)

1 in 5 pornographic images is of a child, 58% of Internet child pornography comes from the U.S.

In the U.S. investigations in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Washington DC found that large numbers of American children are prostituted on the streets, through escort services, and in pornography and erotic dancing- and large numbers of American men are buying these services. (DEMAND, Shared Hope International)

The market for sex trafficking and sex tourism works just like a shopping mall where buyers can choose from a variety of human products of various ages and colors. As long as buyers continue to purchase this human product- and facilitators support the market- the shopping mall operates and flourishes. (DEMAND, Shared Hope International)

In the sex tourism market, demand exceeds supply. Traffickers will manipulate, coerce, and force victims to meet that demand. The easiest prey are juveniles. (DEMAND, Shared Hope International)

A culture of tolerance both fuels the demand and normalizes commercial sex to the point that buyers can now access the sex markets locally. Local men are buying local women and children. Technology is the greatest facilitator and the engine behind the growth of the sex trade. The use of the Internet for commercial sex services- particularly pornography and escort services- offers website visitors and owners anonymity and supports an illicit market. (Demand, Shared Hope International)

Now that you know-awareness is just the beginning-it’s what you do next that makes the difference!