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What makes someone vulnerable to sex trafficking?

Many factors make young people vulnerable to sex trafficking. In our national study with survivors, parents and anti-trafficking advocates, we learned that the factors noted below made survivors more vulnerable to being lured into sex trafficking. These factors also affected their ability to leave once they were being trafficked.

All quotes, unless otherwise noted, are from our Prevention Study with Teen Girls and Survivors.

Risk factors for trafficking

Lives in turmoil

Unmet needs and insecurities

Past traumatic experiences

Online luring

Changes in societal norms around sex

Lack of knowledge about healthy relationships

Lack of knowledge about sex trafficking

These risk factors were identified in our research study; however, we know from working with survivors that sex trafficking can happen to anyone. Learn more about the warning signs.

  1. Covenant House Toronto, & Ipsos Public Affairs. (2018). A National Sex Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Study
  2. Swan, M. (2018). Parents key in sex trafficking battle over young teen girls . The Catholic Register. Retrieved from https://www.catholicregister.org/item/28616-parents-key-in-sex-trafficking-battle-over-young-teen-girls