New from the Indiana Office of the Attorney General:
About Human Trafficking:
When we hear the term human trafficking, we often think of brothels in third world countries. In the United States, the terms Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) are often used interchangeably to describe the problem of trafficking within our own borders.
Women and children are being used in the commercial sex industry at an alarming rate. They are exploited through prostitution, pornography and sexual entertainment. The growing demand for sex with young children is fueled by the normalization of sexual exploitation through an advertising and entertainment world that commodifies youth.
Once the victim has been prostituted, it is extremely difficult for them to leave due to fear, shame, confusion, stigma, and a lack of available resources.
Vulnerable youth are often targeted by traffickers and exploiters. Those most highly at risk include children in the foster system, runaways, victims of physical and sexual abuse, those with social deficits, and who come from homes marked by instability. Exploiters seek them out and fill emotional voids by playing the role of the absentee parent or a loyal boyfriend. Trauma bonding takes place quickly as youth latch on to the hope of unconditional love and acceptance. Desperate to maintain that connection, they are often willing to comply with anything that is asked of them. When they refuse, force and violence come into play.
Once the victim has been prostituted, it is extremely difficult for them to leave due to fear, shame, confusion, stigma, and a lack of available resources. They are indoctrinated to believe that their situation was their choice, that it is now their lot in life and that they will no longer be accepted by the rest of society. For many who are able to escape, that fear is often a reality and, out of desperation, they return to their exploiter.