Victims of the sex trade industry do not want this life. They are threatened, beat, raped, drugged, starved and forced into sexual activity.


Is there human trafficking in the United States?

Yes. The United States ranks 2nd in the world to India in the number of children who are in sex slavery. Over 100,000 children and youth are involved in forced prostitution in the United States each year as well as a growing number of young women and men over 18. Today more men, women and children are victims of sex and labor trafficking than ever before in the history of our country.

Isn''t trafficking just in the big cities?

No. Trafficking occurs in big cities, small towns, rural neighborhoods, suburbs, lower, middle and upper class communities and business districts. Due to the nature of this often hidden crime, trafficking can be occurring in our neighborhoods and communities without being detected.

How do girls/boys get involved in prostitution?

Girls and boys can enter forced prostitution in a variety of ways. Pimps or traffickers may kidnap a child, lure them into their vehicle with promises of food or shelter, or use front businesses (such as modeling or acting agencies) to gain access to them. Pimps target youth shelters, children who have run away or other vulnerable youth with promises to take care of them, but instead force them into prostitution. In many cases, parents, extended family, neighbors and family friends are the traffickers and sell the children in exchange for drugs or financial gain.

Why don''t they just leave?

Traffickers prevent their victims from leaving by using control tactics such as threats of personal harm or harm of loved ones, severe beatings, lies, forced drugging, sleep and food deprivation and manipulative promises. The average age of entry into forced prostitution is 13. It can be very difficult for a young child to figure out how to escape, especially when controlled through multiple forms of intimidation and violence.

How do the victims get rescued?

Only one percent of victims of human trafficking are ever rescued. While victims are primarily rescued by law enforcement, tips from the public lead to the majority of the rescues.

What happens to them when they are rescued?

Many survivors are prosecuted for prostitution and sent to correctional institutions. Due to the lack of aftercare homes, many survivors are sent to mental health institutions or taken to shelters. Traffickers often target shelters to recruit and survivors are again forced back into prostitution. Currently, there are 80 beds in aftercare homes where survivors can receive the care and support that they need for healing and restoration.

Are there major funding streams for working with survivors?

No. There are not major funding streams for survivors on national trafficking, although some funding is available for international victims who are brought to the United States. Funding for aftercare homes comes primarily through private donations, church support, and private organization contributions.

Where do they go for help?

There are ministries all over the world to help survivors of human trafficking. Hopewood Haven Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian organization dedicated to girls who have been victims of commercial sex trafficking by providing residential group homes of hope, healing and restoration. We also confront the issues of exploitation and childhood sexual abuse through advocacy, education and treatment programs for girls and women.

What can I do to help?

There are many ways to help victims and survivors of human trafficking. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Learn the signs of Human Trafficking and report suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-3737-888.
  • Get involved by volunteering at Hopewood Haven Ministries! There are many ways to volunteer and opportunities to get involved. Email us for current volunteer opportunities.
  • Give financial support or donations to help provide for immediate and ongoing needs of survivors.