Child Sex Trafficking in Florida​

All Children are Vulnerable

All children – regardless of race, age, location or socioeconomic status – are vulnerable  to becoming a victim of sex trafficking. Runaways, kids involved with the foster or juvenile justice system, children of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+ are particularly vulnerable

Florida Child Sex Trafficking Myths

MYTH:

Children often become trafficked through kidnapping.

FACT:

Children are most often trafficked by someone they know, such as a friend, family member or romantic partner.

MYTH:

Only girls and young women are victims of sex trafficking.

FACT:

Boys and men are just as likely to be victims as girls and women. However, they are less likely to be identified and reported.

MYTH:

Florida children who are trafficked are child prostitutes who should be arrested.

FACT:

Under Florida law, children under age 18 are to be recognized as victims in need of services, rather than criminals deserving to be locked up.

MYTH:

Children being trafficked are held against their will.

FACT:

Although child victims can be controlled by force, they can also be controlled through manipulation, drug addiction, financial dependence or isolation from family or friends.

MYTH:

Child sex trafficking isn’t a big problem in most parts of Florida.

FACT:

Florida is a national hub for trafficking, ranking 3rd in the nation for reports of human trafficking. Children are being sold for sex in every county in Florida.

MYTH:

The #1 time for child sex trafficking is during the Super Bowl.

FACT:

While big sporting events regularly spark fears of an uptick of sex trafficking, studies have shown there’s no evidence to support these recurring claims.

Warning Signs of Potential Trafficking in Children

How Sex Traffickers Lure, Trick and Threaten Child Victims​

  • Build relationships with potential victims through social media –a process sometimes called boyfriending
  • Posting phony job offers in modeling or acting
  • Using dating apps to connect and coerce
  • Catfishing – pretending to be someone other than themselves on social media
  • Threatening to share intimate photos or damaging rumors with others
  • Stalking victims’ social media accounts even after they have left the trafficker