Learn MoreWhat is sex trafficking?
defines sex trafficking as:
- receiving, recruiting, enticing,
harboring, providing, or obtaining by
any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of the individual; or
- receiving profit or anything of value,
knowing or having reason to know it is derived from prostitution.
"By any means" - Why is this important?
Some provisions under international and federal law require proof that force, fraud, coercion, or the abuse of power was used in order for an act to constitute sex trafficking. Minnesota law recognizes that sex trafficking encompasses a broad spectrum of abuse and exploitation, and that sex trafficking can occur even when traditional elements of force, fraud, coercion, or the abuse of power are not overtly present. Under Minnesota law, victims do not have the burden to prove their trafficker used force, fraud, coercion, or the abuse of power in order to be afforded victim status, and prosecutors do not have to show force, fraud, coercion, or the abuse of power in order to convict the trafficker.
law, consent is not a defense to sex trafficking. Minnesota
recognizes that a person cannot truly consent to being sexually exploited.
The reality is,
if you're not seeing it, you're not looking.
does sex trafficking look like in Minnesota?
Learn to look beneath
the surface. Sex trafficking can take on
many forms. Traffickers do not always
look dangerous, and at least one third of victims report having an intimate relationship
or bond with their trafficker. Pimps and
traffickers may be a boyfriend, family member, or friend.
use a variety of methods to recruit their victims. Acts of extreme violence, such as rape,
kidnapping, beatings, psychological torture, forced drugs and alcohol, and threats
to the victim and/or her family are combined with emotional manipulation,
grooming, and the creation of a bond between the victim and her
girls are recruited from malls, bus stops, youth centers, social networking
websites, and the streets. Stripping and
exotic dancing often serve as a gateway to prostitution. Sometimes, prostitution
is generational, so family members set the example for younger victims in the
home. And sometimes, victims are used to
recruit other victims.
The Myth of Choice - Barriers
ask, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” The
greatest myth is that a victim is in control of her situation, when in fact she
is under the complete control of the trafficker.
expertly employ the same methods of control and dominance used by domestic abusers. Women are trapped by forced addictions,
homelessness, economic abuse, emotional manipulation, violence and threats of
violence, and threats to turn victims over to law enforcement. They are isolated, and have little access to
the outside world. Victims live in fear –
for many, leaving is simply not an option.
Effects of Prostitution on Victims and
Survivors of Sex Trafficking
of prostitution and sex trafficking will impact a victim for life. A majority suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses, as well as chemical
dependency and addictions. Physically,
sex trafficking victims are at a higher risk for sexually transmitted
infections, assault with a deadly weapon, murder, and other forms of physical abuse. Sex trafficking victims have difficulty trusting
others and are often unable to have meaningful relationships. As many victims are forced to engage in
criminal activities, obtaining employment and safe housing are difficult because
of criminal records.
Many victims will not
self-identify as victims.
Recognizing the warnings signs and effects of
prostitution is key.
service providers, teachers, medical professionals, and others on the
front lines will have contact with sex trafficking victims but will not
recognize it. Recognizing the effects of
prostitution and other red flags is the crucial for the purposes of victim
Facts and Stats
Click here for Breaking Free statistics on sex trafficking victims.
Sex Trafficking Resources
Click here for some helpful resources on sex trafficking and victim services.