How Traffickers Ensnare Victims

Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings. (

Top 5 Risk Factors/Vulnerabilities for Sex Trafficking

  • Substance Use Concern
  • Runaway/Homeless Youth
  • Unstable Housing
  • Mental Health Concern
  • Recent Migration/Relocation

2020 Human Trafficking Data Analysis

In an analysis of 2020 National Human Trafficking Hotline Data, in a year when everything from crime to commerce saw dramatic shifts, reports of human trafficking were most notable in 2020 for their consistency.

Additionally, recruitment by family members and intimate partners was particularly noteworthy in sex trafficking situations. In 2020, situations of sex trafficking or sex and labor trafficking combined, of the 2,448 victims whose recruitment was known — 42% were brought into it by a member of their own families and 39% were recruited via an intimate partner or a marriage proposition (Polaris).

Click here to view South Carolina specific statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Additional Information and Resources on Human Trafficking

To learn more about the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit their website. Find additional resources from SCCADVASA here.