Identifying Victims • Interventions • Questions to Ask • Risk Factors
Being a runaway
- Hotel room keys
- Fake ID's and/or No ID
- Stunted growth
- Substance Abuse
- Lying about age
- Poor Medical History
- 'Dating' an older, controlling man
- Multiple Pregnancies
- Rotting teeth
- Consistent need for pregnancy tests
- Broken bones
- Excessive money or jewelry
- Multiple abortions
- Fertility/Reproductive Health Issues
- Tattooing (specifically of a trafficker's name)
Questions to Ask
- Can you leave your situation if you want?
- Are there locks on your doors and windows to keep you from leaving?
- Can you come and go as you please?
- Do you have to ask permission to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom?
- Have you been threatened if you try to leave?
- Have you been physically harmed in any way?
- Is anyone forcing you to do anything that you do not want to do?
- Where do you sleep and eat?
- What do you do to have a roof over your head?
- Have you ever been deprived of food, water, sleep or medical care?
- Has your identification or documentation been taken away from you?
Risk Factors for West Michigan Youth
- Prior Sexual Abuse (80% of trafficking victims have a history of sexual abuse)
- Runaway/Throwaway Kids (1 in 3 runaways will be approached by a trafficker within 48 hours. There are over 2 million runaway/throwaway kids in America)
- Transient Male Populations (conventioneers, military instillations, truckers, etc)
- Existing Adult Prostitution/Sex Industry
- Familial Traffickers (children are sold by their families in West Michigan for drug money, rent, and other factors)
- Being LGBT (members of the LGBT make up a disproportionate amount of the homeless youth population)
- Substance Abuse (West Michigan kids are escaping their trauma with drugs and alcohol but they are also controlled by traffickers with those same poisons.)
- Poverty (poor communities are targeted by traffickers who offer kids new clothing, jewelry, and cash in an effort to sell their lie)