Sex and human traffickers get their victims through the use of physical force, threats, psychological manipulation, and other tactics. These methods allow traffickers to recruit, harbor, and control vulnerable people. Often their recruitment involves a ruse or trick to lure the victim in before forcing them to participate in unwanted labor or sex acts.
In other cases, traffickers looking for a new victim may physically capture or restrain their target until they can gain control of them. The victim then participates to avoid further injury or threats of physical harm.
There are two general ways that traffickers get their victims:
Human and sex traffickers may go to great lengths to put up a ruse that their intended victim buys into. They may make false promises of a dream job, the desired relationship, a large paycheck, or another worthwhile prize. However, that prize never existed. The trafficker may play along for a short period after luring the victim, but the victim will never see the prize they were promised.
Some traffickers will use physical violence or threats of physical harm to get their intended victim, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They may snatch her off the street using a weapon or physical restraint. Even when the trafficker uses a ruse to draw their victim in, it is not unusual for threats of injury, realized violence, forced drugging, and other harmful tactics to gain and keep control of their victims.
In some cases, traffickers also obtain their victims from another trafficker. Sex or human trafficking rings often sell or trade trafficking victims without the victim’s consent.
The U.S. Office on Trafficking Persons recognizes three ways that a trafficker may gain control over a victim. They may use any of these ways or a combination of all three. This includes:
When a human trafficker first gets a new victim, physical force is often necessary to force their victim to participate. The physical abuse associated with trafficking may include:
A trafficker typically uses fraud as a recruitment tool. They can make false promises to lure the vulnerable victim to their car, a secluded public place, or even their home. The ruse may continue for weeks or even months. Once they gain control of their victim, however, the victim will likely quickly recognize the promises were empty.
Coercion is psychological manipulation that is used to convince someone they want to take part in something they likely do not actually want to do. Coercion does not include physical abuse. Instead, it is a type of psychological abuse. This could include:
Because sex and human traffickers target the most vulnerable anyway, it is often difficult for those they recruit to report or escape the abuse. They may fear being deported, worry about being arrested for forced sex or illegal activity, be physically unable to escape confinement to seek help or struggle to communicate because of a language barrier or disability.
At Newsome Melton, our trial lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the most favorable outcome for our clients. We pursue civil justice through compassion and strength in every case we handle. We take on complex civil litigation, both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Knowing how sex and human traffickers get their victims allows us a better perspective when defending victims. If you or a loved one is a survivor of human trafficking and feels that a hotel or truck stop could be liable for your pain and suffering, call (888) 808-5977 today for a free consultation.