AppsPredators are constantly using phone apps to communicate with and groom children and youth. While most apps are not inherently evil, their capabilities provide sexual predators with an ideal platform and environment to anonymously communicate with our trusting, naïve, and attention-hungry children and youth. Although the list of potentially dangerous apps constantly grows, some apps that have been utilized by predators to exploit minors are: Snapchat, Yik Yak, Vine, Twoo, Whisper, After School, Kik, MeetMe, MeetUp, Chatroulette, and Meet24.
BrothelsMen, women, and children can all be victimized, exploited, and sold through brothels. They often live in the brothel, which can be operated within residential homes, apartments, and/or under the disguise of a legal business.
Often, brothels will operate together and shuffle their victims from one location to another. This tactic benefits the trafficker as it disorients the victims causing them to not know their location or surroundings. It also protects the trafficker by not allowing law enforcement or johns to become familiar with any one victim.
InternetBetween the dark web and dozens of common websites, the Internet has become the red light district of the U.S. and is the primary way traffickers facilitate the exploitation of their victims. Often trafficking is disguised within advertisements for escorts, massages, adult jobs, etc.
Massage ParlorsAsian Massage Parlors (AMP) are numerous and exist throughout the United States. They are frequently a cover for a brothel and may be located in a variety of commercial or residential settings. Often, those who are exploited through AMPs are not U.S. citizens and are usually tricked into their position through promises of legitimate work and opportunity. Their documents are confiscated and they are cut off from the outside world drastically limiting their opportunities for escape.
PornographyThere is a direct connection with pornography and sex trafficking. As Americans continue to consume more pornography, the addiction rate skyrockets. Simply put, there are not enough consenting adults to work in the pornography industry (which is 100% exploitative on its own). To fill that gap and meet demand, pimps exploit men, women, and children through pornography to make extra money and desensitize them for other forms of sexual exploitation.
Street ProstitutionThe prevalence of street prostitution is lower than it used to be as the majority of prostitution is facilitated online but it does still exist. Trafficking victims typically are given a quota to meet. It is often $1,000 or more and is confiscated by the pimp.
Strip ClubsOften, the girls working in strip clubs are victims of human trafficking and forced to earn their traffickers additional funds by dancing, stripping, and other commercial sex acts. As with pornography, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between a consenting adult and a victim of human trafficking.
Truck & Rest-StopsThe use of highways and interstates is the primary method of transporting victims through the country. Rest and truck stops pose as primary targets for trafficking as the transient nature of both the traffickers and purchasers facilitates anonymity and convenience.