Traffickers invest a lot of time and effort to form a bond with their victim, often giving them gifts, a place to stay and a false sense of love.
The internet has made it easier for children to be bought and sold online, similar to the websites people use to sell their bike, find a roommate or look for a local garage sale.
Children who grow up in the child welfare system are especially vulnerable to trafficking.
Some traffickers purposely target certain youth group homes in order to prey on the child's emotional vulnerability.
In 2018, over half of the criminal human trafficking cases active in the US were sex trafficking cases involving only children.
Every day, everywhere, people are bought and sold, forced to do things against their will. The average age of a trafficking victim is just 13 years old, being recruited, controlled and sexually exploited.
Traffickers can be gang members, family or people who appear to be "friends of friends" – online or in person. They target those who appear vulnerable – victims may have low self-esteem, feel unloved or lack a sense of belonging.
Traffickers will often give elaborate gifts, food, or a place to stay, tricking victims into thinking they're in a real, loving relationship. In reality, victims become trapped, isolated and feeling like "property."
One of the important roles of Bellefaire JCB’s Homeless and Missing Youth team is to get involved before young people become victims of human trafficking. Our Value You campaign is designed to help everyone recognize the warning signs of trafficking and develop the tools they need to protect themselves, their friends and loved ones.
Bellefaire JCB Values YOU and is here to help! Each year we serve approximately 4,000 teens, families and community members in Cuyahoga County through street outreach, respite care, community outreach, prevention and education, and our 24-hour hotline. Members of our Homeless and Missing Youth Program are available 24/7 at 216.570.8010 to talk to youth and, if necessary, help them find a temporary safe place to stay. If appropriate, we may refer youth to one of our community partners or to some of Bellefaire's other programs, including:
If you are in immediate danger or need emergency assistance, call 911.
Homeless and Missing Youth 24/7 Hotline: 216.570.8010
For more resources and updates, like us on Facebook @helpintheCLE
Learn more about Bellefaire's Homeless and Missing Youth Program
We can all help fight human trafficking and keep ourselves and our friends safe. Become aware, stay connected and most importantly – Value You!