TRAFFICKING STAGES

Sex traffickers make their living by forcing a person to sell sex then taking the money that person earns.

This demonstrates a very unequal relationship between the trafficker and the person selling sex. But how did the person selling sex get to this point? What did the trafficker do to make them a “victim”?

 

THE TRAFFICKINGS STAGES

We developed a staging system based on our experience helping thousands of trafficking victims as well as on an exhaustive literature review. In general, every sex trafficker — whether they are a stranger, friend or family member — must progress their relationship with a victim through three general stages,

  1. Victim Selection

  2. Grooming

  3. Maintaining Control

 

ABOUT "RECRUITMENT"

Many articles about sex trafficking will refer to a “recruitment” stage as part of the process, however, there is no agreed upon definition of that term. Some researchers use it to define the Grooming Stage, while others use it to describe both the Victim Selection and Grooming stages together. Because of this, we will not use the word “recruitment” here.

  • 50-65% of traffickers begin as strangers 1,2,3

 

  • 33% of traffickers begin as part of victim’s social network 1

 

  • 16-17% of traffickers are family members 1,3

TRAFFICKER'S RELATIONSHIP TO VICTIM BEFORE TRAFFICKING STARTS

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