Bottom Line: The bust in Jupiter highlighted how an extensive human trafficking ring can be operating on a large scale without anyone but the perpetrators knowing. It’s alarming but it’s also instructive. While we’ve come to understand that the victims of human trafficking in the Jupiter case were trafficked into the US, in the second part of today’s story I want to focus on how an average of 22 Americans, often children, are stolen into the human trafficking sex trade daily. Using data from the Polaris Project here are the most common ways it takes place:
- Romantic relationships – most commonly forged online
- Runaways/homeless (taken in and promised care)
- Enticement (for adults it’s commonly being promised illegal drugs, for children/minors it’s commonly being promised devices like iPhones and iPads in exchange “friendship”)
The most common outcome of Americans lost to human trafficking:
- #1 Sex trafficked
- #2 Labor trafficked
- #3 Labor & sex trafficked
Incidentally, the Orchids Day Spa category falls into the third category. Massage parlors are the most common way this type of trafficking takes place. Some ask the question as to why victims don’t try to escape or contact authorities, etc. Commonly the leaders of these rings are among the most hardened criminals in society. They engage in extreme psychological abuse, steal all forms of identification from their victims and leave them without access to devices to contact others. Additionally, it’s common that they’ll threaten their victim's lives and their families’ lives should they attempt to escape and/or report them. It’s an unimaginable situation for those of us on the outside to consider.
Here’s to hoping that the visibility of Robert Kraft, in conjunction with the breadth and depth of this human trafficking ring, will open more eyes as to the potential for this to be taking place just about anywhere at any time. It’s especially timely in advance of next year’s Super Bowl in Miami. It’s estimated that there’s more human trafficking associated with the Super Bowl than any other single event worldwide annually.
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