Covenant House and market research firm Ipsos conducted a national research study with the following objectives:
- To better understand the attitudes and behaviours of teen girls that may put them at greater risk of sex trafficking.
- To help assess learnings and inform our sex trafficking education and intervention initiatives, including an awareness campaign for teen girls and caregivers.
The study included both an online survey of 500 girls aged 12 to 16, and interviews with survivors of sex trafficking, their parents and anti-trafficking advocates.
The study indicates parents can play a pivotal role in educating their daughters about online luring and sex trafficking at a young age before their risk factors increase. Education and open dialogue are key to creating awareness and recognizing the warning signs and risky behaviours that could lead to being unwittingly lured into sex trafficking.
The teenage girls who reported that their parents were aware of their online social media activity or felt they could talk to their parents about anything expressed greater awareness of the risks of certain behaviours. They were also more likely to avoid engaging in many of those risky behaviours.