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Human Trafficking in Texas Lauren McMahon, Project Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Trafficking in Texas Lauren McMahon, Project Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Trafficking in Texas Lauren McMahon, Project Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA

2 CHILDREN AT RISK Mission: CHILDREN AT RISK serves as a catalyst for change to improve the quality of life for children through strategic research, public policy analysis, education, collaboration and advocacy. Vision: The focus of CHILDREN AT RISK is to make children’s needs a priority and to ensure ample resources are available for children and their families to thrive.

3 What we do: Research Education Collaboration Advocacy

4 What is human trafficking? Human trafficking is the exploitation of a person for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sex, regardless of citizenship or nationality.

5 What is human trafficking? A human rights violation Exploitation Commercial enterprise Involves men, women, and children Child abuse An international and domestic problem A federal and state crime Exchange of any sexual act for anything of value.

6 Trafficking vs. Smuggling SmugglingTrafficking Consent Always involves transportation Always crosses an international border Subjects are from outside the USA Subjects are criminals CRIME AGAINST A BORDER Exploitation Does not imply transportation Must contain an element of force, fraud, or coercion (unless under age 18) Can be US citizens Subjects are victims CRIME AGAINST A PERSON

7 Labor Trafficking Always requires force, fraud, or coercion Harvesting crops Domestic service Restaurants/bars Motels/hotels Traveling sales Entertainment venues

8 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Underage U.S citizens involved in any type of commercial sex act Domestic minor are the largest group at risk of sexual exploitation Most frequently reported tips to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline involve domestic pimp control trafficking The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years old

9 Who is at risk?

10 Who is at high risk? Runaway, throwaway, homeless Low income Substance abuse Abuse as a child Broken home or previous neglect Low self-esteem Mental health issues Foster care or Juvenile Justice System

11 There is no “type”, but… NCMEC reports 60% of potential sex trafficking cases among missing children (including runaways) involved children in foster care or group homes 2013: 66,000+ confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect in Texas 30,740 Texas kids in foster care 2012: 9,011 calls to the Texas Youth and Runaway hotline 10,254 juvenile runaways taken into custody 94,624 homeless students in Texas schools

12 Where does it start? Bus stops Malls Schools Shelters Foster homes Residential treatment centers Juvenile detention Street Online-social networks Using other children for recruitment

13 How is it happening? Engage Start up conversation May utilize other girls to begin this process Start up conversation May utilize other girls to begin this process Evaluate Determine vulnerabilities for potential exploitation Provide Finesse: Act as a boyfriend, girlfriend, confidant, father figure, protector Offer shelter, lifestyle, basic needs Guerilla: Abduct, coerce, force, beat Finesse: Act as a boyfriend, girlfriend, confidant, father figure, protector Offer shelter, lifestyle, basic needs Guerilla: Abduct, coerce, force, beat

14 Red Flags: Physical Barcode or ownership tattoos False identification, or no control of identification Motel room keys Burns, bruises, scars and other signs of abuse, and reluctance to explain injuries Gifts from an unknown source Cell phone paid for by others Sexually transmitted infections History of pregnancy/abortion

15 Typical Tattoos

16 Red Flags: Behavioral Frequent travel Fearful, anxious, avoids eye contact Experiences panic attacks, nightmares, depression Reports feelings of shame and isolation History or truancy, running away, or homelessness Shows shift in behavior, dress, or belongings, such as sudden possession of expensive items Lies about age High number of sex partners for age, or talks about sexual activities that exceed age-group norms Uses words common to prostitution

17 Common Terminology Caught a case: being arrested and charged with a crime Daddy: trafficker/pimp Exit fee: large price for victim to leave pimp The life/game: prostitution or being commercially exploited Square: trying to exit “the life”; may also describe those who don’t understand “the game” Stable: group under pimp’s control Track: common area for street prostitution; also called “stroll” Trick: customer; also called a John

18 Where is it happening? Cantinas Tea houses Strip clubs Truck stops Massage parlors Online classifieds Modeling studios Street prostitution Residential brothels

19 Hey guys it's Angel again with a great special for you.... I am fun and friendly and know how to take care of a man....I am available 24/7 Poster's age: 19 Taken from Dallas 2012 Backpage


21 What Fuels It: ● Normalization of commercial sex ● Glamorization of pimping ● Sexualization of children ● Anonymity and ease of internet use – difficult for law enforcement to locate victims ● Criminalization of the victim ● Negligible risk of prosecution ● Society’s ignorance about the issue

22 Normalization of Commercial Sex

23 Glamorization of “pimp culture”

24 P.I.M.P. by 50 cent and Snoop Dog “I'm bout to show you how my pimp hand is way strong, your dead wrong if ya think that pimpin' gon' die. Got some tricks, but I ain't one. I'm a guerrilla for scrilla, I trip you, you try to run. I let em' do as they please, as long as they get my cheese. Even if they gotta freeze, or if it's a hundred degrees.”

25 Sexualization of Children Toddlers and Tiaras Julia Roberts’ character in the movie “Pretty Woman”

26 Sexualization of Children Miley Cyrus Teen Choice Awards

27 Sexualization of Children ● Pole dance doll ● Marketed to toddlers

28 National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-3737-888 Or Text HELP or INFO to BeFree *All tips are confidential*

29 Texas Human Trafficking Database Resource ● Currently 190 members ● Anti-Trafficking Stake- holders from across Texas ● Public & Member versions of the Database ● In-depth resource of trafficking information and services

30 QUESTIONS? 3625 N. Hall Street Suite 760 Dallas, Texas 75219 214.599.0072 Lauren McMahon

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