Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Outreach & Volunteer Advocate, Kendra Kaul
Trafficking often involves children and youth already being served in our systems and are often marginalized youth including LGBTQ+, Native Americans, homeless individuals, and runaways. Traffickers tend to recruit when the child is out of home care setting, such as: around schools, at after school programs, in malls, at bus stops, at truck stops, in arcades, and on social media.
Individuals with high risk factors include: an impulsive nature, having a desire for love and acceptance, feeling a low self-worth and low self-esteem, exhibiting mental health issues, an individual who has a proficiency for risk taking, those who have been through a trauma, those that partake in alcohol and other drug abuse, individual with developmental disabilities, and truants. Community high risk factors would include poverty-stricken areas with lack of employment opportunities, areas with a high concentration of gangs, and communities with insufficient activities to participate in.
Traffickers tend to assess and meet that person’s needs, then gain psychological control, and isolate and remove safety nets. Victims are often looking for a sense of family and belonging. They are often the victims of physical, emotional or sexual trauma at an early age.
In Wisconsin, Milwaukee is believed to be the hub for sex trafficking; however, human trafficking has been reported in all 72 counties.
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UW-Madison Human Trafficking Webinar