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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHERE CAN I WATCH 8 DAYS?

You can buy the 8 DAYS DVD here. The film is also currently available to watch on Tubi, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play and iTunes.

What does SHARE Do to Fight Child Sex Trafficking?

In conjunction with After Eden Pictures, SHARE creates media content as tools to bring awareness and education about sex trafficking. We also host events to raise awareness, rescue, rehabilitation and support for local, national and international anti trafficking organizations that are fighting the crime.

Is sex trafficking happening in the United States?

Yes, the sexual exploitation of women and children for profit is happening in your state. Individuals from the your state, the U.S. and internationally have their sexual services bought, sold and traded here in U.S. Children and women in these situations are forced, tricked or coerced into participating in prostitution, pornography, stripping and other sexual acts.

What is CHILD / MINOR sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking is when a sex act for profit is committed against another by force, fraud (without knowledgeable consent) or coercion or when the person performing the act is under 18 years old. A sex act for profit includes, but is not limited to, sexual services such as prostitution, pornography, or any sexual performance in exchange for something of value. 

Domestically it is this type of exploitation of U.S. born children within the borders of the U.S. for some form of compensation (money, shelter, food, drugs, etc.). Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is specifically children under the age of 18 who are being exploited in the same manner.

Synonymous terms for sex trafficking are: sexual slavery, child sex slavery, sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, prostitution, prostitution of children, commercial sexual exploitation and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). 

How do you identify a trafficking victim?

Firstly, be diligent and aware of your surroundings, determine what establishes normal and abnormal conditions and behavior

Red Flags that could be identifiers.

  • Physical security measures present which are out of place or excessive (bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, constant surveillance, etc.)

  • A lot of activity abnormal for the community at a house with multiple different types of visitors and predominantly male

  • A girl or boy that avoids eye contact or is not allowed to speak for themselves

  • No local knowledge or awareness of his/her location

  • Signs of physical abuse such as burn marks, bruises or cuts

  • Unexplained absences from class

  • Less appropriately dressed than before

  • Sexualized behavior

  • Overly tired in class

  • Withdrawn, depressed, distracted or checked out

  • Brags about making or having lots of money

  • Displays expensive clothes, accessories or shoes

  • New tattoo (tattoos can be used to brand victims)

  • Older boyfriend or new friends with a different lifestyle

  • Talks about wild parties or invites other students to attend parties

  • Not in possession or control of his/her own identification documents (driver’s license, passports, social security cards, etc.)

  • Is not able to leave or come and go as they please

  • A child with an older man at a mall, truck stop or public venue, with the man lurking a close distance away and with behavior that does not seem normal of that of a parent

  • A child that lingers for extensive period in a public restroom without actively using the restroom

  • A child that appears to try to make contact with you through obscure means. Hand gestures, eye movement, facial expressions

  • A child that strikes up deep personal conversation with stranger may be asking for help without being forthright with what is actually going on

  • A child asking to borrow a phone or asking for the name of the city / state or specific location

What should I do if I suspect a potential human trafficking situation?

If there appears to be immediate danger, call 911.  Local law enforcement is trained to deal with emergency situations regardless of whether they have received specific human trafficking training. Also notify the immediate authority such as mall security, TSA, teacher etc. Take clear notes of the child (height, race, approximate age, hair color and length, eye color, state of mind, clothing, who they are with, direction they went in, dis they display cash or cards, tattoos, markings, scars and any behavioral patterns. If the situation is not an emergency you can contact the following resources who have staff trained to assess and refer cases to the proper channels :

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or online at www.humantraffickinghotline.org.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 1-866-347-2423 (U.S. & Canada)
or complete a tip form online.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or visit their website at missingkids.org. 

 

Are those who choose prostitution victims of sex trafficking?

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) prostitution is considered sex trafficking if it involved force, fraud or coercion. Any minor used in a commercial sex act is considered a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of their perceived willingness or desire to engage in the sex act.

Why don’t victims escape when they have the opportunity?

Traffickers/pimps use abuse cycles (physical, emotional, and psychological) to coerce young women and boys to stay in a life of sex trafficking. As master manipulators they use tactics that create trauma bonds with victims, keeping victims bound many times without physical restraints. Traffickers can also keep victims in the lifestyle through: the threat of violence against victims or loved ones, encouraging drug addiction, withholding the victim's identification documents. Traffickers can also capitalize on a victim’s need for someone to love them to hold them in bondage.

How do traffickers recruit victims?

Traffickers are some of the best psychological profilers, using social media sites to recruit teenagers who can be manipulated by their dreams and/or desires. Many pimps attract girls and boys from middle and high schools through a lover boy or girl. A lover boy or girl is one who presents himself as a boyfriend, winning the unsuspecting youth with gifts,  dreams, protection, adventure, or whatever she believes she needs. After securing her affection, she will be coerced into sexual activities. In fact, in a survey of sex trafficking survivors conducted by NHTRC and BeFree Text line revealed “romance” and/or “marriage proposal” as the recruitment method for 31% of the participants.  A rising trend is family members trafficking their own children for monetary reasons


What makes a young person vulnerable to sex trafficking?

Age is the most common factor of vulnerability in the sex trafficking fight and makes all children and adolescents potential targets. The profilers and crime does not discriminate against, race, gender, socio economic status of geographic location. The crime is prevalent in all 50 states and all zip codes with suburban children being particularly targeted due to low self and environment awareness and a false “safe zone” concept. Adolescent girls are more predisposed to the deception and manipulation techniques used by traffickers; but all youth are susceptible to these tactics. 

Common recruitment locations for youth include places adolescents frequent such as social media sites, schools, malls, parks, etc. Sex Traffickers are continually searching the internet for their next recruit. Teenagers repeatedly overshare on social media which allows the profiler to gather deep and often intimate detail about the child, their insecurities and desires as well as the dynamics and details of the family. They do this often posing as a teen girl or boy interested in a relationship. The “relationship” is developed in a seemingly harmless manner until the child agrees to meet, sends compromising photos and/or shares their secrets with the trafficker.  Once these things occur, predators will move in and begin to separate them from the safety measures and advocates in their lives.

Many youth and child victims have multilayered vulnerabilities (in addition to age) that make them even more susceptible to sex traffickers.  Some of these vulnerabilities are poverty and/or homelessness, substance abuse, history of sexual abuse or assault, history of child abuse or neglect, if they are a runaway, children and youth in the Child Welfare and/or Juvenile Justice System, history of domestic violence, confusion surrounding sexual orientation and mental health issues, desperate need for attention and recognition, need for acceptance and love.

Who buys sex?

There is no easy way to spot a buyer or “John.” The buyers of sex from juveniles can be anyone with disposable monies.  They are professionals, tourists, military personnel, students, clergy, teachers, family members, the ultra wealthy as well as the middle and lower income groups etc. Buyers are increasingly difficult to identify because buyers often pay in cash.

When the organization Demanding Justice broke down 134 cases to begin to understand who the buyers are, they found 54% of the buyers were Caucasian males.  The remaining breakout indicated 15% of the buyers were Hispanic, 12% African American, 9% Other, 9% unknown, and 1% Asian and all buyers in this analysis were male and ranged in age from 18-71.  85% of those buyers solicited minors. For more information about buyers in your state visit: http://www.demandingjustice.org.


How does viewing pornography support the trafficking industry?

Viewing pornography directly supports the sex trafficking industry and creates demand. Many victims are groomed and trained by their traffickers with pornography. Oftentimes trafficking victims are abused and filmed for porn sites.

Demand proceeds production and in the production of the material and viewing there are social and relational consequences that extend past the individual choosing to watch. Children and adults endure brutal rape and abuse at the hands of pornographers and may require years of specialized therapy to heal from the intense trauma inflicted on them to produce much of the porn industry’s material.

Not only can pornography distort the viewer’s perception of healthy sexual boundaries (impacting relationship with a spouse or significant other), but pornography has been shown to be addictive and produces a need for increased intensity and eventually brutality for the same level of stimulation.  Over time seeing images or videos does not hold the viewers attention and acting out extremes in person is the next step, which in many cases feeds directly into the demand for sex trafficking.     

I’ve seen a lot of different statistics about the scope of human trafficking. Why don’t we have consistent numbers?

Human trafficking is an underground crime and as such is very difficult to quantify. It is believed that only 1% of the crime is reported. The media age we live within makes purchasing victims increasingly easy and invisible.  Still many groups are out there learning as much as they can to bring information to the table from which to inform and mobilize the American public.  

  • See how your state measures up on the 2018 report card produced by Shared Hope

  • See survey results from former victims found in a report produced by Polaris 

How do I protect my child?

Encourage open and age-appropriate conversations about internet safety and how to get to know others in a safe and transparent way.  You can also engage your adolescent regarding the issue of sex trafficking and how susceptible students under 18 are to the many strategies that look to prey upon their need for acceptance, romance and support.  Share the signs that can show up in sex trafficking victims and encourage them to keep their eyes open for other peers who may need help. Engaging youth in the cause will keep them informed and just being knowledgeable about what to look for will help them be aware in their own life too. 

Factors that increase likelihood of sex trafficking victimization mostly center around youth who do not have much in the way of advocacy or people specifically looking out for them.  If you recognize youth without advocates consider ways you may help them find advocacy or provide appropriate advocacy to bolster their safety.

HOW OFTEN IS A TRAFFICKED CHILD SOLD FOR SEX

On average children can be forced to perform sexual acts 10-20 times per day

WHO IS INVOLVED AND WHO MAKES THE MONEY

Trafficker/Pimp, Bottom Girls, Recruiter, Victim and Buyer. The victims and bottom girls (also victims) do not make the money. They are working for the trafficker who predominantly receives the financial reward and will pay his recruiters for their service.

How can I help?

Get the Information Out: Stay informed and encourage your community to become informed and trained to see and report red flag indicators of sex trafficking.  For instance, law enforcement, emergency room or other medical personnel, teachers, homeless shelters and other first responder/contact groups can get specialize training or just become aware of indicators and be encouraged to develop a protocols if they come in contact with someone they believe is being trafficked.  

Encourage and request community resources be provided that educate the general public in your area.  For example, request materials and informative seminars be made available at your local library, community centers, etc. 

Use your social media to counter the attack by educating your contacts on what to look for and what to do if they recognize signs of sex trafficking.

Write your state and national congress and senate representatives to support stronger laws prosecuting traffickers and buyers to the fullest extent, while protecting and not prosecuting the victims.  

If you are involved with professional organizations or associations encourage them to adopt a Code of Conduct to protect children from sexual exploitation.  For instance if your association utilizes hotels for meeting require venues sign a contract repudiating the sex trafficking of children and any activities that could support such behaviors.  For more ideas along these lines see some more ideas at ECPAT USA.

Join and volunteer for local and national advocacy groups.  If you can’t give time or money to support these groups then be a proactive watchdog and educator in your circles! Your contribution is significant and we are proud to be in the fight to protect our children with you!  

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