Notice also what Megan doesn’t say:
“Although survivors come from a wide set of backgrounds, experts say they have one commonality: a vulnerability to exploit, according to Megan Cutter, associate director of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
“Particularly with minors, often what we’re seeing is an adult trafficker who notices maybe someone has run away from home or doesn’t have a support system within their family and kind of becomes that for the victim,” she said.”
Megan does not say that there is some widespread conspiracy to snatch any random kid from malls and playgrounds, which seems to be the big thing we spend so much time on. When that does happen, it’s huge news, for the simple reason that it is so rare. It can happen, but it’s not where the bulk of trafficking comes from. It doesn’t need to.
Much more likely are kids with nowhere else to turn, because they’ve been abused at home, or aren’t accepted at home, and are just trying to run away from something horrible. Becoming a victim of traffickers is just a way to survive, and for many who’ve already come with a history of sexual abuse, being used and having no control over their own bodies, is nothing new.
I’ve been telling people for years that child predators look for kids who are vulnerable, who are used to keeping secrets and don’t have a support system. Kids who are already on the streets, or thinking about running away, fit that bill for traffickers too.
However, when it comes to demographics, sex trafficking knows no limitations. “In terms of race, sex, and gender, it really doesn’t matter — people will sell what they think they can sell, just like any consumer market,”
Yes, that means boys, girls, minorities, LGBT, straight, etc. Anyone can be a victim, don’t ignore it just because the victim looks different than you pictured.