In recent years there has been growing awareness of Child Sex Trafficking. Here are WARNING SIGNS to watch for:

  • Signs of physical abuse such as burn marks, bruises or cuts
  • Unexplained absences from school, truancy
  • Less appropriately dressed than before
  • Sexualized behavior
  • Overly tired or falls asleep in class
  • Withdrawn, depressed, or distracted
  • Brags about making or having lots of money
  • Displays expensive clothes, accessories, or shoes
  • New tattoo (tattoos often used by pimps as a way to brand victims.)
  • Older boyfriend, new friends with a different lifestyle, or gang involvement
  • Disjointed family connections, running away, living with friends, or experiencing homelessness


  • Jealous, controlling and violent
  • Significantly older than female companions
  • Promise things that seem too good to be true
  • Encourage victims to engage in illegal activities to achieve their goals and dreams
  • Buys expensive gifts or owns expensive items
  • Is vague about his/her profession
  • Pushy or demanding about sex
  • Encourages inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Makes the victim feel responsible for his/her financial stability. Very open about financial matters.

Myth – Traffickers are always strangers to victims, using kidnapping to acquire victims.

Reality = Like sexual abusers, traffickers are also known to victims, including family or partners.

Signs of control: monitoring, isolation, canned stories, financial dependence, anxiety about sexual history or work responsibilities

  • Has s/he ever asked you to do something you were uncomfortable with?
  • Are you being monitored or watched by him/her?
  • What do you think would happen if you didn’t do what s/he asked you to do?
  • Are you able to keep any of the money you earn or have access to finances?

For more info, contact:
National Human Trafficking Hotline
Courtesy of Shared Hope International,