“Unpredictable violence along with love and admiration.”

Description of eventual relationship between victim and pimp sex trafficker***


of pimp traffickers are male**
percent of pimp traffickers who left trafficking by choice**
of pimp traffickers are family members***
percent of pimp traffickers who said they enjoyed the work**
Range of yearly income made by victims and taken by pimp trafficker**

How traffickers justify forcing another person to sell sex**

Say they are helping the victim by:

  • Feeding and clothing her

  • Giving power back to her

  • Teaching her not to give her body away for free

  • Believe sex-trade industry is embraced by society

  • See pimping as a safe way to make money, with little chance of arrest

  • Justification for working as a pimp sex trafficker in a nutshell: Since there is an unending demand for sex and the world accepts it, there is no reason to feel guilty about it

How traffickers justify making money by forcing person to sell sex**

  • Verbal abuse (85%)

  • Make live/stay in a certain place (75%)

  • Take all money (69%)

  • Tell them they owes him for food and clothing (63%)

  • Threaten to leave them (69%)

  • Threaten to hurt them (68%)

  • Keep victim from visiting family and friends (62%)

How traffickers control victim***

Pimp traffickers look for two types of victims:*

  1. A younger woman — most often underage — desperate for love and attention whom he lavishes with “nice” things (75% of traffickers say they specifically target this kind of victim)

  2. A woman already in the commercial sex industry — such an exotic dancer

In both cases, he begins the relationship by making the woman believe he loves her.

In the case of the younger woman, part of his tactics includes conditioning her into selling sex within a few months of meeting her. And he makes her believe she is doing it because she loves him.

Here, just click on a picture in the honeycomb to read — in a pimp's own words — about his strategies and timeline:

third week

fourth week

sixth week

second week

first week


two days later

fifth week

within three months

in another two days


 “We eat, drink and sleep thinking of ways to trick young girls into doing what we want them to do.”
— Pimp trafficker**

Look for blonde runaways with “broken bones, unhappy with parents, abused by some sucker.” — Pimp trafficker**

“Any player can tell you when a girl has the look of desperation that you know she needs attention or love. It’s something that you start to have a sixth sense about.”

— Pimp trafficker**

* — Roe-Sepowitz et al. The Sexual Exploitation of Girls in the United States: The Role of Female Pimps Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2015, Vol. 30(16) 2814–2830

** — Raphael, J. and Myers-Powell, B. “From Victims to Victimizers: Interviews with 25 Ex-Pimps in Chicago.” Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center of DePaul University College of Law September. 2010.

*** — Raphael, J., Reichert, J., and Powers, M. “Pimp Control and Violence: Domestic Sex Trafficking of Chicago Women and Girls.” 2010. Women & Criminal Justice. 20:1-2, 89-104

# — Sterk, C., and Elifson, K. Drug-related Violence and Street Prostitution. 1990. (NIDA Research Monograph No. 103). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

+ — Raymond, J., Hughes, D., and Gomez, C. “Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States: International and Domestic Trends.” 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice

% — Lederer, L., and Wetzel, C. “The health consequences of sex trafficking and their implications for identifying victims in healthcare facilities.” 2014. Annals of Health Law. 23:61–91. 

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