Know the Signs of Human Trafficking

After hearing about a few local cases of traffickers being caught and receiving messages asking about the signs of Human Trafficking after our last informational post, I wanted to share information I gathered from New Life Refuge Ministries! This isn’t an easy topic to talk about in general,  but it is one I definitely think everyone needs to be aware of and one that should be had with your family! 79,000+ Children have been Trafficked in Texas that they KNOW about! You think it’ll never happen to your child and you pray it never does! Having this conversation and knowing the signs can help you prevent Trafficking happening to your loved ones and even their friends!

Possible Trafficking Indicators

  • A girl or boy with an older friend or boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Accompanied by controlling person and does not speak on their own behalf
  • Lacks control of their ID, money, and/or schedule
  • A person is transported to and from work, or lives and works in the same place
  • Owes a debt to an employer and cannot leave the job
  • Has unusual or unexplainable bruises and is fearful or overly submissive
  • Exhibits signs of extreme depression or anxiety
  • Has tattoos that say “Daddy” or refers to money or being someone’s property
  • Travels often during weekends or for long periods of time
  • Has eating or sleeping problems
  • Misses a lot of school
  • Starts running away multiple times
  • Starts isolating and has little or no relationship with family or friends
  • Changes in their school attendance habits, interests, attitude
  • Suddenly has expensive things they cannot afford
  • Wears clothes that are inappropriate for the situation or weather
  • Malnutrition, dehydration, exhaustion
  • Has Refillable Gift Card or Hotel Key Card
  • Has multiple social media accounts or multiple phones and refusing parent access to their account in general and starts lying

Who are Traffickers?

  • Traffickers are masters of deception and can be anyone. They often pose as a boyfriend or girlfriend or simply as someone who wants to help.
  • They can also be family members.
  • They win the child’s trust through deception and then begin to ask them to do things they otherwise never would do. The child does it because of the guilt or feel they have no other choice.
  • Their Classmates.
  • Catfishers Online that pose as kids.

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How do Traffickers Lure Kids into this Life?

Todays traffickers are using Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation. The theory says humans have a hierarchy of needs ranging from the most basic, fundamental needs to the highest level. Humans cannot reach the next level of “needs” until they have achieved the prior level. Traffickers identify the needs of kids then fill the needs and use it to exploit them. This can be as simple as them wanting the new tennis shoes that everyone else seems to have!

A Trafficker’s Recruitment Process:

  1. Identify the need of the child.
  2. Fulfill the need
  3. Remove any other sources of need fulfillment.
  4. Exploit the child’s dependence for need fulfillment by forcing them into prostitution

Where do Traffickers Find Victims?

  • On Social Media
  • Video Game Chats
  • Youtube
  • Runaway/Homeless Shelters
  • School
  • Bus Stations/Stops
  • Shopping Malls
  • Parks and Playgrounds

What can you do to help your child?

  • Talk with them about the signs to watch out for
  • Ask the PTA Board of your child’s school to have a meeting about this with other parents
  • Request a Speaker from a Local Organization to talk to your group
    • In the S. Texas Area? Reach out to New Life Refuge HERE!
  • Check out our last Blog Post on this topic for more ways to help Stop Human Trafficking!!

Want more information? Check out Human Trafficking Statistics in Texas and head over to!



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